Mr Tokura, during the past weeks, Baselworld announced many new concepts and measures for the 2019 edition. What are your expectations of the show?
Toshio Tokura: The withdrawal of Swatch Group from Baselworld was a major news story. Despite that, Baselworld remains an important exhibition for Citizen and we welcome their new strategy.At the same time, we would appreciate more clarity on the format and positioning that Baselworld plans to adopt from 2020. Whatever changes are implemented, we hope they will make the show even more significant than it is now.
The industry is undergoing rapid changes. How do you perceive them? Where do they have the strongest impact?
Toshio Tokura: In the watch business, customer needs change in a big way in every era. That’s the nature of the product. Back in the 1970s, for example, quartz watches took the world by storm, then digital watches appeared, and then luxury mechanical watches began to recapture people’s interest. There’s no doubt, though, that recent years have seen a rapid diversification of customer needs. We regard that as an extremely impactful development.
How do you deal with these changes? How do you address them and how is this reflected in your products and through your distribution channels?
Toshio Tokura: Responding to changes is a manufacturer’s job. At Citizen Watch Group, we’re implementing a multi-brand strategy to respond to the diversification of needs. We’ve successfully combined multiple distinctive brands in a single group. We are leveraging that advantage by making sure that each brand has its own unique price point, functions and design, and by communicating our presence across all distribution channels from the mass-market to the luxury band. Going forward, tackling new fields in addition to areas where we already operate will be key.