Swatch cancels Zurich trade show over China virus

Agence France-Presse
China is a key growth market for the Swatch Group, which owns a vast portfolio of brands ranging from FlikFlak to Harry Winston

ZURICH, Switzerland – Switzerland’s Swatch Group on Tuesday, February 4, said it was canceling a trade show in Zurich for several of its luxury brands because of fears over the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from China.

“Considering the uncertainty related to the 2019-nCoV…outbreak and in order to guarantee the welfare of our guests, partners, and colleagues, the Swatch Group Prestige Brands have decided not to hold the Time to Move event,” a spokesman told Agence France-Presse.

The trade show for retailers and press was due to be held in Zurich between February 28 and March 6 and would have seen brands including Omega, Breguet, and Blancpain show off their new collections. 

“The Swatch Group Prestige brands will introduce their new products to the markets at a later stage during regional events, in order to prevent their partners from traveling internationally in an insecure climate,” the spokesman said.

China is a key growth market for Swatch, which is best known for its affordable multi-colored watches but owns a vast portfolio of brands ranging from FlikFlak children’s watches to the prestigious United States jeweler Harry Winston.

Watch industry trade shows are crucial for companies showing off their new collections and signing new orders.

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 20,000 people and killed 425 in China since spreading from the central city of Wuhan late last year.

The virus has so far spread to more than 20 countries. – Rappler.com

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