The set to watch Stun: Omega, a maker of fine timepieces, has entered the luxury scene in the Union Square neighborhood of San Francisco with a brand new store – the first in the heart of the financial district.
Previously, the company maintained a Bay Area presence through third-party retailers and a dedicated store at San Francisco International Airport. But the pedestrian traffic and high-end proposition of Geary Street – nestled between Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Neiman Marcus and many others – attracted Raynald Aeschlimann, Omegaof the chairman and chief executive officer.
Aeschlimann explained to WWD: “What we wanted was a presence, which was very important, in some of the key locations of the cities,” such as New York’s Fifth Avenue and Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. , the brand’s first two locations in the United States. “I think San Francisco – sorry for the European vibe – is one of those cities where you feel so good walking around Union Square and Geary Street. And that’s why we wanted to have a nice location there, close to other brands, especially multinational brands.”
The Geary Street location, the company’s 25th luxury store in the United States, is located in a spacious, airy space that measures up to 1,000 square feet. It is molded with luminosity and minimalism to accentuate Swiss elegance to watch.
There are no counters, so nothing separates patrons and products, allowing them to peruse collections, such as Constellation, Seamaster and Speedmaster, and experience mechanical timepieces worthy of with divers, astronauts and Olympic athletes. (As a partner of the International Olympic Committee, Omega is responsible for the timing, scoring and other systems of the matches.)
According to Aeschlimann, the company laid out a new road map for physical retail about three years ago, with a new approach to architecture, instruction and display rolled out worldwide, starting to have stores in Asia, Zurich, Geneva, Paris and London. “Every capital has a new concept of architecture, based on our DNA and based on a lot of light, yellow and red, which are the colors of Omega,” he said. The red carpet stretches out to welcome shoppers, who can explore the space, tweak their belts or service their gear while lounging on the sofa. The premium experience is important, especially as it relates to consumers of $5,000 to $10,000 watches.
The Omega Store arrives at a unique time, as San Francisco has seen several store closed due to rampant theft in recent months. It also opened during an ongoing pandemic.
But for Aeschlimann, such challenges make traits like quality and resilience all the more important.
“It’s actually something that I’ve been pushing a lot for, in terms of continuing to grow and keep rolling out some new products. The one called the Silver Snoopy Awards is probably the most viewed – you know, over 20,000 back orders for this watch – that we have put out during this pandemic,” he said, referring to to the 50th anniversary watch honoring the “Silver Snoopy Award” presented to Omega by NASA astronauts in 1970. The distinction recognizes the brand’s contributions to space exploration.
“We want to stay in touch [and relationships] with customers,” he added. “Some people will wait, that is safe. But it’s the opposite; we must continue the momentum. We have this in our DNA, and that’s why we’ve opened several stores. We opened the biggest, the biggest store in Europe at Zurich airport eight months ago. ”
While the company awards technological innovation, it is of a decisive mechanical nature, unlike the recent smartwatch trend among high-end watch companies. Aeschlimann sees wearables as small calculators on the wrist, not watches. They are attractive, he said, but are completely different from the beautiful watches that are Omega’s specialty. That could turn out to be a refreshing change for the public here, in the backyard of Silicon Valley.
The company marked the grand opening with a celebration that included an afternoon of discussions with brand ambassadors participating in three segments: “Fashion & Omega” with Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber; “Sports & Omega” featuring Tokyo Olympic medalists Mondo Duplantis, Noah Lyles and Dalilah Muhammad, and “Space & Discovery” with NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Kathy Sullivan. The cocktail party will take place on Thursday night.
https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/omega-boutique-san-franciscos-union-square-1235000102/ Omega Boutique Lands in San Francisco’s Union Square – WWD