Colombia’s luxury market gains pace as second most dynamic in the region (part 2)

The new free-trade agreement with the E.U. is likely to provide a boost to several luxury sectors in Colombia. According to CPP Luxury Industry Management Consultants Ltd, Colombia’s luxury watches sector could see a 30% growth in sales by the end of 2014. Most of the world’s leading luxury watch brands are already present in Colombia, especially in wholesale at multi-brand boutiques.

The existing mono-brand stores of Cartier,  Bvlgari and Montblanc will be joined by Tiffany&Co by the end of the year, with other brands such as Omega, Hublot and Tag Heuer expected to open mono-brand boutiques in Colombia by the end of the year. Bauer, Cindy Joyeros, Glauser and Joyeria Intercontinental are the country’s largest luxury watch retailers with over 20 stores throughout the country. Their mix includes: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Hublot, Omega, Piaget etc.

The grey market of the luxury watches sector in Colombia is also likely to ebb, due to the new free trade agreeement with the E.U. including Switzerland, leaving decreased speculation on pricing. The biggest competition for Colombia’s luxury watches and jewellery sector remains shopping abroad due to pricing, product selection but also customer service. Sales of counterfeited watches online is yet another growing threat for the watch sector, hence the need for mono-brand boutiques, which would create awareness and provide guarantee of retailing genuine and latest collections products.

The luxury accessories market in Colombia is dominated by MontBlanc, with over 15 mono-brand boutiques throughout the country, including the Bogota airports. MontBlanc is operated in franchising by the same local retailer which operates the Longchamp franchise stores, the first having opened at Andino Mall in Bogota last year, followed by a duty free space at Bogota El Dorado International Airport, earlier this year. American Coach opened last year direct operations in Colombia, with one store in downtown Bogota at Andino Mall and one shop in shop at Bogota El Dorado International Airpotr.

Bvlgari and Cartier each operate mono-brand boutiques, with Cartier boasting an exceptional representation of the brand with a new flagship store downtown Bogota, inaugurated last year by the local franchisee company.

After less than one year in operation, Bogota’s leading women’s luxury multi-brand store, Casa Bizancio, in the heart of Bogota, closed down earlier this year. The brand mix included: Roberto Cavalli, Red Valentino, Moschino etc. Another important luxury fashion & accessories retailer is Le Collezioni which operates 8 multibrand stores (7 in Bogota and one in Medellin), with the most recent opening in the city of Barranquila (Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo, Hackett, Santoni etc).

Le Collezioni is also the largest luxury menswear and accessories retailer in Colombia, operating in franchising the mono-brand stores of Ermenegildo Zegna (Bogota) and Hackett (Bogota) while its other multi-brand stores feature exclusively Corneliani, Canali, Harmont &Blane, DSquared2, Kiton. The only women dedicated Le Collezioni multi-brand store features brands such as Fendi,  Givenchy, John Galliano, Just Cavalli and Michael Kors.