Anne Klein II: heading for a big time

E. Gluck Corp., the fashion watch firm that holds the license for Anne Klein watches, expects to generate sales of about $15 million in 1992 with its new Anne Klein II watch line.

Mark Odenheimer, vice president of the Anne Klein and Anne Klein II divisions, said the new line has the potential to rack up much greater sales than Gluck’s established Anne Klein watches.

Gluck has been producing Anne Klein watches for nearly 18 years, and is a leading name in the bracelet watch category for department stores. According to industry sources, the Anne Klein watch volume is about $30 million.

Gluck, based in Long Island City, N.Y., has an annual volume of almost $150 million.

The Anne Klein II watch line is being launched in January market for spring delivery and will retail for about half the price of the Anne Klein line.

Price is a big factor in today’s economy,” said Odenheimer. “With Anne Klein II, we were able to come with lower prices without jeopardizing the Anne Klein business for us or the stores.

The firm expects to reach some retailers that it has not been able to sell with the higher-price Anne Klein line. Also, in many department stores, the Anne Klein watches are sold in leased fine jewelrydepartments. Odenheimer said the new line will be merchandised in the bridge fashion watch area.

He said since that the Anne Klein II apparel is more widely distributed than Anne Klein, there is already a broad consumer audience that will recognize the name.

The $55 to $85 retail price range Anne Klein II is targeting is already a crowded market. The top players are Guess, Swatch Watch and Fossil, each of which do more than $50 million at wholesale.

Odenheimer said Anne Klein II is taking a different direction.

A lot of fashion watches at these prices connote trendy, young and unisex. Few people think of classic at these price points. We felt there was a gap in the fashion watch market for femininewatches at these prices.”

“Another positive thing,” Odenheimer pointed out, “is that in these tough economic times, fashionwatches are seeing a lot of action at retail and sales are ahead of last year.”

The Anne Klein II watch line, wholesaling from about $27 to $42, features all strap watches and about 150 different styles. The established Anne Klein line offers primarily bracelet watches at $95 to $195 retail. Both lines are made of Swiss and Japanese movements and other components from around the world.

The new line has been in the works for nearly a year. The Anne Klein II design studio designed some styles and had input on the entire collection.

Odenheimer said a lot of attention was paid to details. Several bands feature padding, quilting and unique stitching detail, and the crowns and hands also come in different styles. A lot of cases hage different finishes, such as brushed and matte metal, and many are two-tone metals. In the sport group, some styles have calendars and remote sweeps. One group features cut color crystals, which is a novel idea in the watch market.

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