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Old 27 October 2018, 01:22 AM   #31
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Does Rolex have to force AD`s to hire smaller employees for the illusion to work?
It’s called “downsizing”...
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Old 27 October 2018, 01:27 AM   #32
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Well the stock market is starting to rumble. Perhaps Rolex foresaw the downturn and was just getting ready for it by "downsizing" production.
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Old 27 October 2018, 01:30 AM   #33
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Well the stock market is starting to rumble. Perhaps Rolex foresaw the downturn and was just getting ready for it by "downsizing" production.
Still up 30% since 2016, sir!
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Old 27 October 2018, 02:03 AM   #34
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Won't make any difference if demand stays as it is with lists in the hundreds long in most large cities for the hot models, and at all time highs for most other models too consequently.
I think your right Neil...
People just want to get their hands on a Rolex and at
this point all models are up for Grabs...
People who weren't eyeing DJ's, Explorers ! and !! and
PM models are now scrambling just to get them since
professional models are no longer displayed and on a list...
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Old 27 October 2018, 02:22 AM   #35
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Old 27 October 2018, 02:30 AM   #36
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I don’t beolieve it is up to Rolex, to supply displays, sorry, no.
Everything you see in the Rolex area is controlled BY Rolex. Not the AD. The AD just foots the bill and nods with a smile.
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Old 27 October 2018, 05:11 AM   #37
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Not sure how 6 Rolex watches in a 75-slot display will look so much better than the same 6 watches in a 100-slot display...!

PP displays are always awesome! So are VC, JLC, and ALS. Even Panerai. They emanate some careful through and artistic touch. Rolex, not so much.
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Old 27 October 2018, 06:07 AM   #38
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They should make the displays also "smash and grab" proof as well.
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Old 27 October 2018, 06:09 AM   #39
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They should make the displays also "smash and grab" proof as well.
Some ADs have pretty thick glass which takes a sledgehammer at least a couple of knocks to get through... If you have bulletproof glass, I'm not sure if the AD would be able to afford that for all their displays At the end of the day, they foot the bill
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Old 27 October 2018, 06:13 AM   #40
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Well the stock market is starting to rumble. Perhaps Rolex foresaw the downturn and was just getting ready for it by "downsizing" production.
Consumer spending is up though. Almost all retail companys expects monster numbers for the holidays.
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Old 27 October 2018, 06:27 AM   #41
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Seems like evidence of a merchandising / marketing strategy to me...hmm

I wonder why ROLEX would otherwise mnimalize their displays?
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Old 27 October 2018, 07:13 AM   #42
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Seems like evidence of a merchandising / marketing strategy to me...hmm

I wonder why ROLEX would otherwise mnimalize their displays?
Simple, this is a reaction not a cause. They can't keep up with the demand, and won't for a long time.

I spoke with an AD yesterday that said they are being told this will be the pattern for 2 more years, possibly longer.
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Old 27 October 2018, 07:16 AM   #43
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Simple, this is a reaction not a cause. They can't keep up with the demand, and won't for a long time.

I spoke with an AD yesterday that said they are being told this will be the pattern for 2 more years, possibly longer.
If this were the "strategy" I would think we would have seen smaller displays first, not a year plus after the supply dried up.

E-
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Old 27 October 2018, 08:05 AM   #44
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Still up 30% since 2016, sir!
And up 380% since 2009, when it bottomed out.

It's been a heck of a run.
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Old 27 October 2018, 09:07 AM   #45
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Seems like evidence of a merchandising / marketing strategy to me...hmm

I wonder why ROLEX would otherwise mnimalize their displays?
Maybe they are just adjusting for the possibility of the next generation upgrading Apple watches every 2-3 years instead of buying mechanical watches.
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Old 27 October 2018, 09:12 AM   #46
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Ben Bridge in Washington Square (outside of Portland) renovated their store a few years ago so that their Rolex section is a mini boutique. In addition to the counter cases, they added wall cases. These days, the wall cases are 100% empty, 100% of the time. I would estimate the counter cases are consistently more than 50% empty. So to get rid of the "ghost town" look, they'd not only have to shrink down the counter displays, but get rid of the wall cases altogether. No amount of shrinking is going to put watches in them without increased supply. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. You gotta have something, if you want to fill the case.
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Old 27 October 2018, 09:24 AM   #47
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Ben Bridge in Washington Square (outside of Portland) renovated their store a few years ago so that their Rolex section is a mini boutique. In addition to the counter cases, they added wall cases. These days, the wall cases are 100% empty, 100% of the time. I would estimate the counter cases are consistently more than 50% empty. So to get rid of the "ghost town" look, they'd not only have to shrink down the counter displays, but get rid of the wall cases altogether. No amount of shrinking is going to put watches in them without increased supply. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. You gotta have something, if you want to fill the case.
What’s a few years? 3-4? Ok....If you subscribe to the notion that Rolex dictates display and presentation, that means someone from Rolex signed off on the renovation. If their master strategy is limiting supply why would they pull a 180 from a previous expansion? That don’t make no sense. To me, your example furthers my position: this is simply a matter of excessive demand.
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Old 27 October 2018, 09:46 AM   #48
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What’s a few years? 3-4? Ok....If you subscribe to the notion that Rolex dictates display and presentation, that means someone from Rolex signed off on the renovation. If their master strategy is limiting supply why would they pull a 180 from a previous expansion? That don’t make no sense. To me, your example furthers my position: this is simply a matter of excessive demand.
1. Rolex Authorized Dealers pay for any and all renovations. Rolex themselves pay for nothing. If the AD doesn't agree to renovations and the costs incurred, then they will no longer be Authorized Rolex dealers. What ROLEX says, goes, this is without question.

2. What expansion? Do you mean Rolex overproduction that lead to grey market "whoring" of pricing that was an embarrassment to the brand? A problem that seems to be magically fixed now because of....well...ROLEX!!
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Old 27 October 2018, 09:48 AM   #49
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2. What expansion? Do you mean Rolex overproduction that lead to grey market "whoring" of pricing that was an embarrassment to the brand? A problem that seems to be magically fixed now because of....well...ROLEX!!
Embarassment to the brand? What is an embarassment now is that every single model of watch is available from pretty much any gray dealer around the world and nothing is available from the Rolex boutique themselves.

LOL - THAT is embarrassing.
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Old 27 October 2018, 09:57 AM   #50
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Embarassment to the brand? What is an embarassment now is that every single model of watch is available from pretty much any gray dealer around the world and nothing is available from the Rolex boutique themselves.

LOL - THAT is embarrassing.
A NIB Rolex Submariner with stickers selling on the grey market for $1,000 lower than retail was an inexcusable abomination in the world of luxury branding. This was Rolex 2yrs ago. Nasty stuff.

A Rolex Submariner without stickers, selling for MORE than retail on the grey market is a beautiful thing in the world of luxury branding..

Why is this such a struggle?
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Old 27 October 2018, 10:02 AM   #51
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1. Rolex Authorized Dealers pay for any and all renovations. Rolex themselves pay for nothing. If the AD doesn't agree to renovations and the costs incurred, then they will no longer be Authorized Rolex dealers. What ROLEX says, goes, this is without question.

2. What expansion? Do you mean Rolex overproduction that lead to grey market "whoring" of pricing that was an embarrassment to the brand? A problem that seems to be magically fixed now because of....well...ROLEX!!
1. Exactly, my point. What Rolex says goes. To the entire point of this thread, Rolex dictates the displays. I 100% believe Rolex dictates everything inside the store and the AD foots the bill, no dispute

2. The store expansion mentioned in JS’ post regarded an AD in Oregon. I personally don’t consider a 10%-15% discount with an associated risk whoring nearly to the extent that a 15%-20% premium with the same risk and same abundance from the today’s grey. I still contend the entire inventory issue is nothing more than an excessive demand.
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Old 27 October 2018, 10:03 AM   #52
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A NIB Rolex Submariner with stickers selling on the grey market for $1,000 lower than retail was an inexcusable abomination in the world of luxury branding. This was Rolex 2yrs ago. Nasty stuff.

A Rolex Submariner without stickers, selling for MORE than retail on the grey market is a beautiful thing in the world of luxury branding..

Why is this such a struggle?
I don't think the ideas are mutually exclusive. You're right about discounting. Look at Breitling: they price a new Chronomat at more than $9k, but nobody is willing to pay more than 80% of that, because they know that by the time it hits the pre-owned market, the value is half. It makes their pricing structure look delusional, and that's not good for brand image. Rolex fared better before all this, but yeah, $1000 off MSRP still isn't good for the appearance of luxury.

However, this situation isn't great, either. ADs look like ghost towns, and grays have plentiful stock offered for extortionate prices. That makes the brand look to be in high demand, but it has a "Wild West" feel to it. When people feel compelled either to kiss the boots of authorized dealers to be granted the "privilege" of paying MSRP, or to play ball with unauthorized sellers who charge and arm and a leg, some of the prestige of the brand is tarnished. I can't read Rolex's mind, but I have to think this wasn't the situation they had in mind if their goal was to solve oversupply and discounting.
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Old 27 October 2018, 10:06 AM   #53
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It explains the current demand/supply rate. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 27 October 2018, 10:15 AM   #54
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I don't think the ideas are mutually exclusive. You're right about discounting. Look at Breitling: they price a new Chronomat at more than $9k, but nobody is willing to pay more than 80% of that, because they know that by the time it hits the pre-owned market, the value is half. It makes their pricing structure look delusional, and that's not good for brand image. Rolex fared better before all this, but yeah, $1000 off MSRP still isn't good for the appearance of luxury.

However, this situation isn't great, either. ADs look like ghost towns, and grays have plentiful stock offered for extortionate prices. That makes the brand look to be in high demand, but it has a "Wild West" feel to it. When people feel compelled either to kiss the boots of authorized dealers to be granted the "privilege" of paying MSRP, or to play ball with unauthorized sellers who charge and arm and a leg, some of the prestige of the brand is tarnished. I can't read Rolex's mind, but I have to think this wasn't the situation they had in mind if their goal was to solve oversupply and discounting.
Your Breitling point is also valid with Omega. When a boutique tries hard to convince you a Speedy is worth $5500 when you know the entire world outside their door is paying $3900 or less that is a tough position.

I spoke with well respected TS that told me if he has an item listed online he ha
S at least three in the hole, usually 5.
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Old 27 October 2018, 10:37 AM   #55
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I don't think the ideas are mutually exclusive. You're right about discounting. Look at Breitling: they price a new Chronomat at more than $9k, but nobody is willing to pay more than 80% of that, because they know that by the time it hits the pre-owned market, the value is half. It makes their pricing structure look delusional, and that's not good for brand image. Rolex fared better before all this, but yeah, $1000 off MSRP still isn't good for the appearance of luxury.

However, this situation isn't great, either. ADs look like ghost towns, and grays have plentiful stock offered for extortionate prices. That makes the brand look to be in high demand, but it has a "Wild West" feel to it. When people feel compelled either to kiss the boots of authorized dealers to be granted the "privilege" of paying MSRP, or to play ball with unauthorized sellers who charge and arm and a leg, some of the prestige of the brand is tarnished. I can't read Rolex's mind, but I have to think this wasn't the situation they had in mind if their goal was to solve oversupply and discounting.

This is an excellent, excellent post.

As you know, I have been vehemently supporting the position of Rolex limiting distribution of SS Sports models in order to "right the ship" for a number of issues, along with match the marketing strategies of other "elite" luxury brands (Hermes, Patek...etc), because exclusivity is what the luxury market CRAVES......but you do bring up the most lucid argument against this specific "strategy" in that the situation we are in now is also less than ideal.

I do agree that the merchandising in most stores looks terrible. I would have expected Rolex to anticipate and plan that merchandising better. But all companies make BIG mistakes from time to time and perhaps this was a ridiculous oversight

The disparity in supply between grey market and AD is also brand tarnishing. The street pricing issue is fixed, but there are still too many watches hitting the grey market...I have my own theories on why that is, but that is a separate thread worthy topic...

I have been waiting to see what ROLEX would do about the merchandising issue...and if this is happening as the OP describes, I feel it will turn into a longer term point of purchase experience for the consumer, something more robust than Patek, but certainly less than what was presented before. I think the days of the FULL Rolex case are over, regardless for the "reason" for this shortfall of AD inventory.
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Old 27 October 2018, 12:05 PM   #56
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A NIB Rolex Submariner with stickers selling on the grey market for $1,000 lower than retail was an inexcusable abomination in the world of luxury branding. This was Rolex 2yrs ago. Nasty stuff.

A Rolex Submariner without stickers, selling for MORE than retail on the grey market is a beautiful thing in the world of luxury branding..

Why is this such a struggle?
Nothing to do with discounting - what dont you understand about that? Its got everything to do with availability and WHERE its currently available.

If there was 0 discount but any watch is available at an AD that is perfectly fine. I'm happy for that to happen.

When NOTHING is available at ADs and EVERYTHING is available at any gray dealer well that is a problem.
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Old 27 October 2018, 12:07 PM   #57
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The disparity in supply between grey market and AD is also brand tarnishing.
This is the biggest issue right here. Zero discount is fine.
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Old 30 October 2018, 11:18 AM   #58
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btw if anyones interested, local AD I just visited just confirmed Rolex already swapped the display inserts, and I gotta say, the display cases looked much better. Still bad though haha.
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