With the release of the Swiss watch export data for October recently, we observe the following notable features. We monitor Swiss watch exports because Richemont is a key operator in this luxury segment.
- China is the largest single country destination for Swiss watch exports, accounting for 13.4% of total exports in 2020 year-to-date (January to October).
- This is up from 8.9% a year earlier and demonstrates the on-shoring of luxury spend by Chinese nationals amid the restricted foreign travel brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In fact, since 2015 Swiss watch exports to China have increased by +9.8% p.a. compared a decline of -7.1% p.a. to the rest of the world excluding China. This supports research findings that conclude that Chinese nationals account for almost ALL the growth in luxury spending in recent years.
- After a strong start in January 2020, Swiss watch exports slumped dramatically with a deep trough in April.
- Swiss watch exports to China is the only region, not only recover to 2019 levels, but record strong growth on the prior year every month since June.
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