Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Only Way Out Of Winter Is Through It

So the export numbers are in, and they are pretty sucky.
Courtesy of the FH
As the graph shows, while things slightly stabilized, they are still not nearly where they need to be. Also keep in mind that the Swiss Watch Makers holidays are upon us, so there is a desire to push out as much as possible before shipping stops for 3 weeks or so.

Of the top markets, China is the only one that is "up" by 47.7%. The argument could be made that China being the first major economy to pass through the first wave of COVID-19 is showing signs of growth and recovery. Well, yes and no. Let's be honest with ourselves about a few
realities -

1. As has been said here Ad nauseam - Exports Do Not Equal Sales. More likely than a huge uptick in sales, we are watching a fairly large scale shift of stock so that it is "in country" before the second wave hits. Granted, there are sales happening, but not on the scale that would indicate a strong recovery.

2. The big Swiss brands are still refusing to learn from previous lessons. When it comes to eggs, there are 2 rules -
A. Don't count your chickens before they hatch -Simply put, exports do not equal sales.
B. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket -
When you put all of your focus on one market, what do you do when that market is suffering?

If these past months have taught us anything, it is that nothing is likely going to be the same as it was, even once we are past the worst of the current pandemic. Wishing, hoping and wanting things to return to the way they were is not going to magically make it happen.

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