F J Benjamin wins rights to retail Casio watches in Indonesia

Performers at a media event for Casio in Empirica, a nightlife and events venue in Jakarta, in August. More than 1,000 people attended the event.
Performers at a media event for Casio in Empirica, a nightlife and events venue in Jakarta, in August. More than 1,000 people attended the event.PHOTO: GILANG AGUNG PERSADA

On the back of a win for exclusive distribution rights to upscale brand Marc Jacobs in the region, Singapore-listed fashion and lifestyle group F J Benjamin Holdings recently celebrated the rights to retail several watch brands under Japanese giant Casio in Indonesia.

The brands include G-Shock, which features rugged models; Baby-G, which tends to appeal to younger females, and the higher- end Edifice models.

F J Benjamin chief executive Nash Benjamin told The Straits Times: "This is a collaboration with Casio. It also distributes its products to many retailers in Indonesia, but they don't have the full line which we do as exclusive retailer for all the categories."

He was speaking before a media event for Casio in Empirica - a nightlife and events venue in Jakarta - at the end of August. More than 1,000 people attended the event.

He expects the watches to be sold at about 60 sales outlets in the first year. Gilang Agung Persada, F J Benjamin's associate in Indonesia, is setting up G-Shock boutiques and stand-alone counters in malls across Indonesia, besides selling Casio brands in 30 stores under its two multi-label watch chains - Watch Zone and Watch Engine.

A new G-Shock boutique opened at the end of August at the new St Moritz mall complex, which also houses high-end apartments.

Mr Benjamin said F J Benjamin got in touch with Casio as it had an interest in G-Shock. "Casio came to Indonesia, saw our network of retail stores and was satisfied that we could do a good job."

It comes as no surprise that the Japanese giant would choose to work with F J Benjamin, as it sees potential in Asia. Mr Shigenori Itoh, Casio's senior executive managing officer and senior general manager of global marketing, had told The Straits Times in August that the company has enjoyed "double-digit growth in Asia continuously for the past three years", declining to reveal sales figures.

The distribution rights are just the tip of the iceberg of F J Benjamin's watch business in Indonesia.

"We're growing the chains here, and in the next four to five years, we could have up to 70 or 80 or maybe even 100 stores," said Mr Benjamin. "The market is big, there's a very young population and their disposable income keeps growing. Indonesia is a very strong growth market."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2016, with the headline 'F J Benjamin wins rights to retail Casio watches in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe