Luxury brand Bulgari has become the latest company to exit Baselworld, with the Italian jeweller citing "travel concerns" and its intention to focus more on roadshows as the main reason.
The company however remains open to joining Baselworld 2021 depending on the concept and cost, commented Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari.
“Considering the socioeconomic situation and growing travel uncertainties among international visitors, Bulgari has decided not to participate in Baselworld 2020,” noted Babin. “This decision has not been easy but the best option for Bulgari is to go directly to the markets.”
The brand, a subsidiary of luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, cited the success of a recent event in Dubai, where it met key clients and introduced its latest collections, adding that it wants to do similar roadshows in its major markets.
The spread of the novel coronavirus may have been a crucial factor in Bulgari’s decision to leave Baselworld. Diamond miner Alrosa earlier moved its Hong Kong auctions to a different location, citing concerns over the spread of the virus. Organisers of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show and the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, and the SEASONS | Spring – Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair meanwhile postponed their events to a later date as Hong Kong battles with a rising number of coronavirus cases in the city.
The Swatch Group also reportedly cancelled its Time to Move watch summit, originally slated on March 4 to 6 in Zurich.
Baselworld for its part said it is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation. “To date, all conferences and shows scheduled to be held in Europe around the same timeframe as Baselworld 2020 are going ahead as planned with no cancellations currently on record,” noted Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld.
The novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has so far infected more than 60,000 people worldwide, mostly in China. The death toll has reached more than 1,300, with majority of the cases recorded in China.