Interview with Chabi Nouri: “We Are Embracing Digital Naturally”

The newly appointed CEO of Piaget talks about the opportunities in optimising in-store experiences and accelerating the growth of digital and offline spaces. She joined the Richemont Group  in 1998 as product manager for Cartier. This is of course an important step for Piaget, but it’s also an historic occasion for Richemont as a whole: Nouri is the first woman to step into the global CEO position for one of the group’s watch and jewellery brands. 

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You were officially appointed as CEO last April, what have been your most important challenges so far?

The first steps have been to clearly define the best opportunities for Piaget. The goal is to well understand the DNA, the key code, the key assets. On the other side, it is the integration of the team, understanding the team. The good thing is that I have been at Piaget for several years with responsibilities. It has been a smooth transition.

What is your management style?

Team work, brainstorming and cross-functional workshops are crucial. I believe in disruption. I am challenging and demanding, but at the same time, I encourage transversal work, and not only functional work. People from different departments have to talk and work together. Speed is very important, we need to move quite fast. We need to work in a very inclusive and transversal way.

A new Piaget e-commerce platform in the US, Net-a-Porter, or Mr Porter: what are you expecting from these initiatives?

This is part of our daily life, and so it is part of our clients’ daily lives. It is a matter of how people live today. Therefore, we are naturally embracing the digital. We need to push it even further, to stay connected with our clients and to be able to express ourselves in a direct way. We need to be with the clients when they are at home, through their desktop, through their mobile phones for example, and then in the physical stores too. It is important to engage with clients whenever and wherever they are.

Why should both direct and indirect e-commerce be carried out?

It is important to have a direct channel with Piaget’s values and environment. But it is also important to have external channels, where the environment is not the same, and where clients are engaged or could be engaged with Piaget. In an environment such as Net-a-Porter’s, users look for a specific kind of lifestyle. It is interesting for us to express the brand in this kind of environment. While on our website, it is a more inclusive environment. We need both approaches.

When you were appointed as CEO, you said you would emphasize Piaget’s e-commerce strategy. Which markets are the most promising?

Definitely the USA and China, but also South Korea and the Middle East for example. We continue to strive and accelerate in the digital world in order to display our creations. Today, it is fascinating to see that we have all these channels, each one of them with a specificity to leverage on different stories, on our website, on social media, or through the retailers. And all of that has to work together.

Online selling for luxury watch and jewelry brands is not a standard practice. Will it change?

It is how we and the clients live that will make the difference. So yes, it is a new reality that brings many exciting opportunities for the luxury watch and jewellery brands. Online selling will continue to grow.

Especially in considering China as a growing market of importance for them. The Chinese are very big on online shopping, even for luxury products. What steps are being taken to address this at Piaget?

We have our own website in China and a strong presence on WeChat and Weibo, which allows us to have discussions with clients and friends of the brand. We create movies with Hu Ge and Yang Mi, very important influencers and talented people. These productions are broadcasted on digital channels. Today, because we want to communicate more with young clients, it is a very good way to emphasise awareness and the desirability of the brand.

The Chinese market has vastly changed over the last 10 years with the push for e-commerce, which is now stronger than ever. Piaget started its e-commerce platform in 2012, has it seen a significant increase in sales from digital channels since?

We see this overall. Even more so on the digital channels. Chinese consumers shop and discover mainly online. And it’s going faster and faster. They are very reactive. It is crucial for us to support Chinese travellers across the world and to give them a Piaget experience wherever these clients go. It is important for us to be with them. Our clients are international; therefore, we want to be connected to them across the world.

100 boutiques, 350 retailers: how is the store network going to evolve?

We are well represented across the world. The challenge is to push in terms of experience in our stores. We have a strong presence in being in the most important areas in the world. We do not want to open new stores. The opportunity is now in optimising our stores’ experience, accelerating the growth of our digital and offline space, while keeping the network as it is today.

With Possession and Olivia Palermo, Piaget has strengthened its women segment. What are the next steps?

We have a strong feminine DNA, it’s not something new. However, today we want to focus more on this: accelerating the jewelry segment. We are one of the most unique “maisons” that can talk to men and women via watches and jewelry, but also via a fusion between watches and jewelry. This is another opportunity to express this know-how.

Image courtesy of Piaget 

Piaget Society: what is the concept about?

This is not a project. It is an authentic relationship that has been formed naturally between Piaget and personalities from across the world, friends of the brand, artists, and musicians. This community shares experiences about arts and culture, music or cinema, while questioning the future. For Piaget, it is another opportunity to express the audacity of our creations. It is like a family that shares these values and shares their joie-de-vivre, and all our other Sunny Side of Life values like audacity, self-surpassing, allure or freedom.

We all gather during specific events, such as the one in Monaco that we held this year or the one in Rome for the launch of our new High Jewellery collection, Sunlight Journey, where many celebrities attended such as: Olivia Palermo and husband Johannes Huebl, Coco Rocha, Juliette Binoche, Barbara Palvin, Shanina Shaik, Cheyenne Tozzi and Claudia Cardinale. Clients, collectors, celebrities, brand enthusiasts… the “Piaget Society” is like one big family sharing all these values.

Article via Luxury Society

Feature Editor

Dolce Vita Diamond, Editorial Team

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