Has the outreach to women from watch stores changed?
REED Anyone on my team will tell you gone are the days of the ladies’ tea events, which are lovely and it’s still an area of focus for a handful of brands, but we push back extensively. We’re inclusive. We call ourselves a very democratic group: Come in, bring your significant other, your pets, your kids, come in and shop and have a look at things. We’re kid-friendly.
Then, from a marketing perspective, we’ve eliminated the gender conversation entirely. So we’ve moved to millimeter size and we track sales based on the millimeter size, not on male/female. We’re looking to convert our e-commerce site. It’s happening.
On “Tell the Time,” do you have a sense of how much of your audience is male versus female?
LI Yes, I do. It definitely skews a little bit more male because I do cover watches. But I would say it’s about 60 percent male, 40 percent female right now.
With that in mind, do you feel that there’s still a perception that the watch world is male-dominated?
LI Yes, without a doubt — especially from people looking in from the outside. I have friends of mine who, obviously as I’ve started doing this more, they’ve gotten interested in watches. But they’re, I don’t know if intimidated is the right word here, but they’re definitely a little bit more reserved because they’re like, ‘OK, well, all I see are the same watches on guys. I don’t see it as often on women. I don’t even know how I would think about entering the space.’
The watch community, especially in New York, I can say, is very, very supportive once you’re actually in it. But again, from the outside looking in, you’re kind of like, ‘I don’t know, how do I even come in here?’ Again, it’s old guys in a room sometimes and still, really truly, you could be one of three women in a room sometimes.