China’s luxury watch market will stabilize in 2015 as the industry recovers from last year’s decline in demand from high-end customers, according to Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA’s watches business unit.

“Every market that goes up needs to consolidate,” Biver said at his home near Montreux. “We probably lost 20 percent in the upper segment, but now that has been absorbed. In 2015, we are not going to lose 20 percent. I believe 2015 could be stable, and eventually a little bit up in the luxury segment.”

The growth of the country’s middle classes will also make it a better year for the Swiss timepiece industry in the Asian nation, Biver said in an interview with Bloomberg last week.

In this regard, Biver added that “In 2015, China will not be weaker than in 2014, it will be better.”

The growth of China’s middle class -- more populous than the combined peoples of France and Germany -- will help stimulate the industry’s revival, Biver said.

“You have the upper price segment, luxury watches, then you have middle class. The middle class, which nobody talks about, has not been hurt. And which class is developing the fastest? The middle class. So we have to look at China as a total picture, not just luxury. China is not as bad as it might be when you look only at one segment, you have to look at the whole picture.”

 

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