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Swiss luxury watch retailer Bucherer to shed jobs

The Bucherer shops in Lucerne are particularly popular among Asian tourists coming to Switzerland. Keystone

The leading Swiss luxury watch and jewellery company Bucherer has announced it plans to slash 370 of its 2,400 jobs worldwide due to the coronavirus crisis hitting tourism.

Most of the jobs to be cut are at shops and the company’s headquarters in the central Swiss city of Lucerne, according to a statement on Wednesday.

About 150 positions in other countries will also be affected, notably in the United States where 100 jobs have already been cut.

“The global coronavirus crisis and the almost complete collapse of international tourism has hit Bucherer very hard,” a statement said.

The absence of Asian tourists in Switzerland since January had led to a massive and continuing slump in turnover. Sales dropped by more than 90% in Lucerne alone and the market had not recovered after shops reopened in May, the company added.

Bucherer is pessimistic about future business prospects for the next two years as international tourism is “of vital importance” and because a looming recession, affecting notably the luxury goods sector.

Established in 1888, Bucherer is one of Europe’s leading watch and jewellery retailers with 36 sales points mostly in Switzerland and neighbouring Germany. It is also represented in London, Paris, Vienna and Copenhagen.

It operates 32 shops in the United States under the brand Tourneau.

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SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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