Titan partners with Amazon to enter US watch market
Bengaluru: Titan Co. Ltd has partnered with Amazon.com Inc. to enter the US watch market, a departure from its typical strategy of entering new markets through the traditional brick-and-mortar retail route.
The two companies will look at gradually expanding the scope of their collaboration to other markets too, possibly starting with the European Union and Japan.
Under the partnership, Amazon will sell Titan watches through its global selling programme that allows local merchants from India to sell in other countries. Apart from watches, the Bengaluru-based firm will also launch its range of Fastrack accessories and eventually look at adding other products from its portfolio.
E-commerce is the fastest growing retail channel even for Titan, its watches and accessories chief executive officer S. Ravi Kant said at a press conference in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
“The US e-commerce market is a very mature market. I think the US watch industry is about $11-12 billion and the e-commerce contribution should be in the range of 15-20%,” he added.
Titan sells its watches in more than 30 countries, with a significant presence in the Middle East, and overall contribution from exports to sales is under 10%. E-commerce is growing very rapidly as a retail channel even in some countries where the company has had a presence for decades, the company said.
Titan has chosen 500 models from its eponymous watch brand and its Fastrack youth segment brand for Amazon in US, to be priced at $30-$300. Titan has not had any formal discussions yet with Amazon about the latter being the exclusive e-commerce partner for it in the US, Ravi Kant said.
Geopolitical conditions in the Middle East and currency fluctuations in a few of the Far East markets that Titan sells in, like Malaysia and Singapore, hit watch exports in 2016-17 according to the company’s annual report. Entering the US market is one way of mitigating that hit, Ravi Kant said in an interview on the sidelines of the event.
Titan’s watches and accessories business grew 2.7% annually in 2016-17 and earned Rs2,028 crore in revenue, the company said in its annual report.
“The global selling programme itself is getting a lot of momentum. We started this about two years ago with a few hundred sellers. Today we have more than 23,000 sellers listing 65 million products in ten different marketplaces,” said Gopal Pillai, director and general manager of seller services at Amazon.
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