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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:34 pm 
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All Roads lead to Breitling
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I heard the other day from an AD to remain nameless, that BUSA threatened to pull their dealership after two "secret shoppers" were offered a 25% discount. With the Vegas Tourneau having the line halted by the new Vegas Boutique, one can only wonder how far off the beam the regime is? These ADs are the ones who built up the brand popularity when Breitling was not a household name. Now, they are being asked to buy reams of swag from BUSA to sweeten crappy discounts, just like the Boutiques do. With their lineup in utter disarray, it makes no sense to me. I imagine some bean counter somewhere has balanced it all out. Not good consumer news regardless.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:50 pm 
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I can confirm from one of my sources that BUSA is not only secret shopping, but also forcing small dealers to take down massive pieces that are next to impossible for them to move...this is from a small market player where Breitling has no reason to push them out. Just stupid IMO.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:19 pm 
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The only activity that this forum has ever prompted from BUSA (to the best of my knowledge) is contacting ADs that get mentioned in association with discounts, and that seems to be a regular event - if you want BUSA to take note of something in this forum just start a thread entitled 'massive discounts from US AD' - it seemsto be the only thing that they care about - which says a lot about the state of things.

Issue of high end pieces is the same as in Canada. i had a conversation with an independent AD a couple of years ago who had a gorgeous rose gold Headwind. I asked what the price was and he basically told me that it was only available at list price (which admittedly didn't seem awful because the last list price for the model was some time earlier as Headwind has been discontinued for a while). When I asked why they weren't prepared to discount on a piece that clearly wasn't easy to move the reply was "I don't want to sell it - if I do then I have to buy another gold piece from Breitling because I have to carry one in stock." The total retail space for this AD was less than 100 square feet - just a hole in the wall to try and supplement a watchmaker's income.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Bad news for us. It seems this is the trend. Omega, also, has been closing ADs and moving to a Boutique model. They're also enforcing little to no discounts.

One of the ADs I frequent also told me about secret shoppers, at the time it wasn't Breitling, and that a colleague of his got penalized for discounting.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:53 pm 
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RXPete wrote:
Bad news for us. It seems this is the trend. Omega, also, has been closing ADs and moving to a Boutique model. They're also enforcing little to no discounts.

One of the ADs I frequent also told me about secret shoppers, at the time it wasn't Breitling, and that a colleague of his got penalized for discounting.



You can't beat the rules of supply and demand.

If Breitling continue to increase prices, reduce discounts and deliver an in house movement family that is starting to get a reputation that will be hard to shake then they aren't going to sell them. With DLC Flying B Chronos in funky colours at $15K plus before the Bentleys get in house movements, and with the in house pieces rapidly headed for five figures Breitling are going to price themselves way above their ability to deliver - that's getting into AP territory as noted in another thread as well as GO, low end Breguet, etc - it's lunacy.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:59 pm 
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It's a lot easier to screw up your business than it is to fix it afterwards. Especially if what you do makes it easier for competition to take market share.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:00 pm 
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Yeah I don't get this either. Even if they do discount less its not like they are going suddenly start selling tons of watches. And forcing the AD's to purchase inventory that doesn't sell is f'd up I you ask me. There is an easy fix to this though "stop making shitty pieces!!!" Problem solved.

Honestly if these guys were more in touch with what their core audience wanted they would not have the issues they do.

If they want to command a higher price then make less watches. Wtf is the point of flooding watches into the market when some Dont sell then forcing your dealers to buy it up and then penalize them for not being able to sell them off.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:16 pm 
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When I picked up my last ling back in dec. My AD was whispering when we were talking about price. Made me feel like we were doing something illegal. He gave me a great deal and left a week later. Just met up for a few drinks last week, he explained the same thing you are all talking about. The store he was at was on BUSA radar and couldn't give the deals people had come to expect. I believe they deserve them when your buying a few a year. Really kind of sucks, but at the end of they day I would still pay full price for a ling vs a discount on a rolex.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Ah, the good old days...back when I could look through the lineup and have trouble deciding which one I loved best. Every model was better than the last, and the prices seemed downright reasonable. And this was only a few years ago...

Now its a bunch of garbage.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:26 pm 
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RJRJRJ wrote:
Ah, the good old days...back when I could look through the lineup and have trouble deciding which one I loved best. .


Just what I was thinking as I looked over the display. I did spy a beautiful two-tone black dial Cockpit. I put a few hundred on it to hold just in case. ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Hey BUSA, shop this!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:53 pm 
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It's a shame that BUSA feels the need to stick it to the dealers that are ultimately pushing their product. I feel like it should be up to the AD as to how they want to move the pieces. If they want to take a lower margin, that should be their decision. At the end of the day, breitling might make more money due to a higher volume of sales rather than forcing the AD's to take a larger margin but sell fewer pieces. As breitling migrates to the boutique method, they are almost motivated to reduce the number of AD's and force their hand as to how to sell their pieces. It's a shame that they are stabbing the AD's in the back that have been pushing their product for years.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:34 am 
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RXPete wrote:
It seems this is the trend. Omega, also, has been closing ADs and moving to a Boutique model. They're also enforcing little to no discounts.


I was going to say exactly that: i.e., looks like they're copying Omega, who have been stamping out discounts and closing established ADs deemed too close to their boutiques.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:28 am 
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It's a double whammy to the ADs. First, Breitling forces them to buy a certain amount of their watch line each month in order to have to privilege to continue to be an AD. Once they offload their set amount of watches to the AD, they've made their profit and now it's up to the AD to sell their inventory or be stuck with unsold watches.

Then, in an effort to artificially keep the value of their watch brand higher, they enforce a no discount policy to the ADs while also discontinuing to sell anymore watches to ADs that they find selling their overloaded inventories of Breitling that they couldn't sell at full retail to the grey market. It's tough being an AD these days. If they had a line of watches that were simply amazing, it wouldn't be so bad, but IMO many of their new designs suck and are now overpriced compared to what other luxury brands you can buy for the same or a little more dough.

Times are still tough, and while at a well known AD at a shopping mall somewhere in the state of NY, while just browsing at their Breitling case, I was offered 20% discount right off the bat, and I hadn't even asked to try one on yet. I didn't see one watch I would prefer over my 10 yr old Crosswind Special to be honest. Guess that store will get a slap on their wrist soon too. Advice to Breitling- spend more money in your design department and set some more realistic pricing. Your audience of enthusiasts is not the ultra luxury crowd. Focus on your heritage and producing a great quality watch for the money, and your audience will come back.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:52 am 
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dlNYC wrote:
are now overpriced compared to what other luxury brands you can buy for the same or a little more dough.


Right. Personally I wouldn't have an issue with eliminating discounting - in many ways it's better to know where you stand and would eliminate the hassle and tribulations of having to shop around - *if* the prices hadn't increased so sharply and realistically over the past few years.


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