© Written by Rachael Taylor for Retail Jeweller
The numbers attached to Swiss watch and jewellery show Baselworld are usually staggering; be it the expansive square footage, the volume of visitors, or just how many restaurants are secreted within multi-storey exhibition stands. This year, however, the numbers surprise for a different reason. The 2018 edition of the show will be a shadow of its former self, with half the exhibitors it had last year and a six-day show rather than eight, and British retail buyers fear it could be losing its relevance – especially for jewellery.
Baselworld has estimated that there will be between 600 and 700 exhibitors at this year’s edition of the show. Last year, the number of exhibitors was 1,300, which in itself was a 13% drop on 2016. And visitor numbers have been dropping too: 106,000 buyers from more than 100 countries attended Baselworld in 2017, which was down 4% year on year and the fourth consecutive year of decline.
Baselworld acknowledged that the change has been driven by a shift in the watch and jewellery industry. In a statement, it said: “The watch and jewellery market is undergoing a period of profound change – first and foremost, through the increasing consolidation of the market in terms of production and marketing, but also through the challenges and opportunities of digital technology…
This story was originally published in the April 2018 issue of Retail Jeweller magazine. Continue reading to see magazine layouts and download full-size PDFs. (main image: Baselworld)