Bucherer buys Danish watches retailer Klarlund
Bucherer has stepped up the pace of its international expansion. After buying US jeweller Leeds & Son this summer, the Swiss group specialising in the distribution of jewellery and luxury watches has announced a new acquisition, this time in Denmark, where it bought long-established watches and jewellery retailer Klarlund. The transaction, whose value has not been disclosed, will be finalised on January 4.
Bucherer, which notably operates a 2,500 square-metre flagship in the Opéra Garnier district in Paris, “has bought the Danish company’s two stores and service centre, and will be able to gain access to new customer segments. These will perfectly complement the existing clientèle of Bucherer’s renowned shop-in-shop in Illum, the famous Copenhagen department store,” said Bucherer in a press release.
Klarlund was founded in 1947 by watchmaker Povl Klarlund, and quickly became the retailer of choice for Denmark’s watches and jewellery enthusiasts and collectors. In 1955, it was the country’s first official Rolex dealer. Klarlund was sold to investment company Pitzner Gruppen Holding (formerly Pitzner Auto) in 1989, and employs nearly 70 people.
It operates two stores and a service centre in Copenhagen, “the largest certified service centre in Scandinavia,” where expert technicians service and repair models by all the brands commercialised by Klarlund. An extra asset for Bucherer, which also shares with Klarlund a passion for the jewellery sector. Klarlund’s jewellery know-how “fits perfectly with Bucherer’s ideas and growth targets in this segment,” said the Swiss retailer in the press release.
“Klarlund’s history and achievements are impressive, and we have the greatest respect for this family-owned company. All the more so being a family-run company ourselves, and having so many shared values such as attention to detail and the focus and passion for excellent craftsmanship,” said Guido Zumbühl, CEO of the Bucherer Group, adding that he wants to “build on the current staff for our future together.”
Morten Pitzner, president of the Pitzner Foundation, which owns Pitzner Gruppen Holding, said he is pleased to have sold Klarlund to Bucherer. “It was important for us to find a new owner whom we share common values with, and who understands Klarlund both from a watches and a jewellery retailer’s perspective. With Bucherer, we have found just that. They bring in the expertise and understanding we have been looking for. (…) We now have a strong international partner that is still family-run and thus upholds these values.”
As Zumbühl stated, “this acquisition fits into our strategy to strengthen our presence in Denmark further, and to follow up on our market entry in 2016 with our first boutique at the Illum department store.”
Lucerne-based Bucherer was founded by Carl-Friedrich Bucherer in 1888. In recent years, it has notably acquired British luxury watches retailer The Watch Gallery, and Tourneau, the largest luxury watches retailer in the USA, with which Bucherer merged to operate on the US market, as well as two other US retailers, Baron & Leeds and Leeds & Son.
The Swiss company is still owned by the eponymous founding family, and commercialises its own collections, alongside those of many renowned brands, under the Carl F. Bucherer name. It has 2,000 employees and 40 stores in Europe (16 in Switzerland, 13 in Germany, one in Vienna, one in Paris, three in Copenhagen and six in London), plus another 34 in the USA.
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