Ms Wempe, you direct 26 subsidiaries in Germany and eight international boutiques – in Paris, London, New York and other metropolises. How important is your attendance of Baselworld?
Kim-Eva Wempe: Baselworld is and remains the most important trade show in our industry. I wished that all watch and jewellery brands would be again present and we only had one single trade show. In the days when Baselworld was still part of the Mustermesse Basel (Swiss Sample Fair), one of its goals was to turn the Swiss timepiece into a synonym for wristwatches around the world and to continually increase its awareness. This show is also a great marketplace; an energetic place where decisions are being made and valuable information is being shared. Today too, in our age of digitisation, I remain convinced that face-to-face discussions and direct encounters will preserve their importance.
When did you first visit Baselworld?
Kim-Eva Wempe: I first visited Baselworld in 1981, when I was 19 years old.
The world of jewellery and watches has changed dramatically since then. Where will this evolution lead? What do you see as the major challenges that the industry will have to face in coming years?
Kim-Eva Wempe: The greatest challenge in the next five to ten years concerns the digitisation of the jewellery and watch trade, i.e. in omni-channel retailing. The objective is to create an identical purchasing experience both offline and online, while optimally interconnecting the individual distribution channels.
How can one successfully attract new target groups and younger customers?
Kim-Eva Wempe: To accomplish that, one must offer intriguing products that are attractive for the people in the intended target group.
What do you expect from Baselworld in this context?
Kim-Eva Wempe: I would like to see the show management taking measurements to counteract, over the long term, both fragmentation and the jewellery and watch brand’s leaving.