Fossil Group to launch wearables for 8 brands

Eden Estopace
Enterprise Innovation

Eight brands from the Fossil Group - Chaps, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Misfit, and Skagen - will each launch wearables this year.

The company said more than 100 wearables products, including display and non-display watches, will be introduced in 40 countries and more than 20 languages before the holiday season.

Fossil Group said it will support the wearables with unique and branded apps across all brands, three product categories, and two operating systems. This is part of a corporate initiative to bring a fashion-first focus, innovation and an increased variety of products to the wearables industry.

“One of the distinct advantages of a fashion company over traditional consumer electronics manufacturers is our product cycle. We demonstrate remarkable speed to market, from development to launch, in order to meet the retail industry’s seasonal new product deadlines,” said Greg McKelvey, chief strategy and digital officer, Fossil Group.

The Fossil executive said the industry has been slow to adapt to growing consumer desires for new styles and options for wearables, but with the diversity major fashion brands offer, customers will be delighted shopping for a wearable that fits their personal style.

Since acquiring Misfit in November 2015, Fossil Group has increased capabilities for the development and production of the technology supporting its wearables products.

Its wearable technology platform includes proprietary power management technology that enables coin cell battery-powered non-display watches and trackers to be deployed across the entire Fossil Group brand portfolio. Without the need for daily, weekly or even monthly charging, the new devices function much more like traditional watches and lifestyle accessories than as typical consumer electronic products that require daily maintenance.

The company also has strong partnerships with third-party technology partners, including Google and their Android Wear platform, to deliver on the company’s short- and long-term wearables strategy.

Research firm IDC estimates that shipments for wearable devices will reach 237.1 million by 2020, which it said could be attributed to more vendors offering new wearables products and higher consumer awareness and demand for such devices.

Aside from technology firms, fashion houses and luxury brands are also now entering the wearables space as part of a broader strategy to vary product offerings and cater to taste and preferences in the digital age.

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