UK MD Franz La Rosee admits brand had become “too expensive”.
Breitling has lowered the price of its watches by 10% in a move that the luxury watch group has said is to compensate for the increasing strength of the pound against the Swiss franc.
The price drop, which came into effect on March 1, will apply to new and existing stock with both trade and recommended retail prices being reduced by 10%.
As the price drop will affect stock already bought in by retailers, Breitling stockists will lose margin on watches already in stores. While retailers will lose money because of the reduction, but the blow should be softened as the reduction comes off the back of three price increases in the past 18 months.
Breitling UK managing director Franz La Rosee told WatchPro: “Retailers will lose out at that point but they have gained tremendously over the past 18 months.”
La Rosee said that the three previous price hikes have been in reaction to the strong Swiss franc and this new price alteration is similarly a move to combat currency fluctuations – this time the strength of the pound.
He added: “Now to be fair to our customers and end consumers we are lowering the price as we are just too expensive. Because of the sustained increase of the pound we are able to be more internationally competitive. You have to react, you can’t stand still.”
La Rosee, who is still in Switzerland at the BaselWorld exhibition, said that the reaction from retailers to the change has been broadly positive. He said: “We have not had a single retailer who did not think it was a good thing.”