ewatchfactory's product and properties attract all ages from 8 to 80. "Consumers have fun with it, but at the end of the day you still sell a product," says Pucci. "People look at their watches 17 times per day, and the average consumer spends 18 minutes designing a watch." That's a lot of brand building for licensors such as Mattel, Nickelodeon (SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues), Disney (all characters including Kim Possible, Nemo, Lizzie McGuire), and Sega. Also on board are the NBA, NFL, Paramount Studios (Charmed, 7th Heaven), South Park, Sesame Workshop, Bombardier-Skidoo/Seadoo, and Pokemon.
New Products and Venues
Through a joint venture with Pokemon, ewatchfactory will have its first in-store presence before 2004. At a kiosk debuting in New York City's Pokemon store, kids soon will be at work (or play) creating their own signature watches.
The company also has plans (and many ideas in the works) for several partnerships that will tap into new markets. Through a recent union with the Los Angeles-based Wedding Channel, it will offer inexpensive yet unique, personalized gifts for weddings. Since watches are a top-selling gift for groomsmen, the company is working to develop special products for this category. First to kick off will be the NFL collection. Men will be able to give their ushers personalized watches featuring the logos of their favorite teams. The companies also tied the knot on a collection of personalized clocks and jewelry. Additional possibilities run the gamut from key chains to pens and more.
ewatchfactory is in discussions with several other companies but declined to provide specific information. "There is tremendous opportunity for photos, maybe one day with Kodak or Fuji," says Pucci, who is discussing the possibility of implementing walk-in kiosks, a do-it-yourself-type of service similar to one-hour photo at PETsMART's stores. Negotiations will resume next spring.
"ewatchfactory's 'quick-to-market' turnkey system and product line allow us to capture opportunistic sales in the entertainment industry where merchandising products is a challenge since properties tend to be hot and then cold within a matter of weeks," says Pucci, who also notes the company is pursuing Major League Baseball and college teams. There's tremendous opportunity since retailers can't stock watches for each team.
Are higher-end goods also on the horizon? For fall 2004, ewatchfactory plans to introduce brand names in the $150 to $750 range. It's also testing new products with Disney.com (Disney Direct). For holiday, it will launch personalized T-shirts, followed by jewelry and clocks. "We will pursue many more major licenses that have high Internet traffic and the desire to have a direct product offer to core consumers online," adds Pucci.
Pucci credits a team that includes Mara Perlmutter, executive vice president, sales and marketing, and Lisa Turchan, an in-house consultant. Perlmutter was instrumental in securing many of the licenses, and Turchan was a key negotiator for SkyMall. "We have people calling us, and we're deciding which licenses we want to work with," Pucci says. "It's a snowball beginning to roll, growing bigger and bigger. We're nowhere near finished-we've only just begun. As technology evolves daily, we do, too."
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