Over 400 people have protested in the town of Le Sentier, situated on the border between France and Switzerland, on November 24 against Richemont’s plans to cut the workforce of the Vacheron Constantin and Piaget luxury watch brands.

In October 2016, the Swiss watch exports have recorded the biggest monthly drop in seven years, with declining demand in major markets; a threat to small Swiss towns as well as Geneva, which employ an estimated 60,000 workers in the sector.

Representatives from the local labour union have asked Richemont to consider other measures such as partial unemployment, but the company is said to have declined the option due to the unlikely strong rebound in demand for gold and jewellery watches.

Earlier in November, Richemont announced a restructuring strategy whereby it would no longer have a Chief Executive Officer, but a group of senior figures to head the company. The recently moderate sales performance has led the company to buy back excess inventory from retailers in some regions. Read more here.

Source: Business of Fashion