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"Watchdreamer, a Swiss platform specializing in online sales via loans, saw its activities take off in February in a context marked by the arrival of the coronavirus in Switzerland."
In addition to opening new markets, the young Watchdreamer will soon sign collaboration contracts with some of the major watch manufacturers.
"It is hard to tell if this is the coronavirus effect but in February, a month that is usually quieter, we achieved our second best month since the existence of the company", told on Friday the founder Nicolas Hildenbrand to AWP, while adding that January has also done very well.
"Today we sell between six and ten watches a day," supports the general manager of the website launched in November 2018. In October, the start-up sold about three watches daily, while at the end of the year, a crucial period for watchmakers, this number increased to ten just before the Christmas holidays.
Breitling, Hublot and IWC are the three most popular brands on the platform, followed by Rolex and Omega. A total of 20 watch brands are available.
The business model of the firm is based on the granting of loans without interest rates up to 14,000 swiss francs, while beyond this amount the customer pays between 4.5% and 9.8% interest in Switzerland.
"We are currently in the process of discussing the signing of collaboration contracts with major manufacturers," reveals the boss, explaining that these partnerships will allow the company to obtain supplies directly from watchmakers and thus to double its margins.
For the moment, it is the retailers who supply the stocks of watches sold by Watchdreamer, which considerably reduces the margin of the business.
In addition, the online watch sales website is also in the process of raising about 3 million swiss francs from luxury groups or investment funds.
"This would allow us to finance our activities for the next 18 months and open new markets," says Mr. Hildenbrand.
Initially planned for January, activities in Germany will start in April. Watchdreamer also plans to expand into Austria, Spain and the Scandinavian countries.
The company with ten employees achieved a "close" turnover of 5 million swiss francs in 2019. " In January 2019, we earned 135'000 swiss francs and in December, we were at 950'000 swiss francs", explains the manager.
The average selling price is around 8000 swiss francs.
In Germany, the purchase of watches costing up to 50,000 euros will benefit from a zero interest rate.(awp)