American watchmaker Fossil revealed its plan for the future, and it involves a lot of wearables. In the second quarter earnings call, the company said it would embark on an “unprecedented launch” of wearables.
In the next three months, Fossil CEO Kosta Kartsotis said it would launch eight wearables in three categories—hybrid, smartwatch, and activity tracker—that will become the primary growth leader for the company.
Fossil plans to sell wearables of all shapes and prices, from smartwatches costing over $400 to smaller fitness trackers costing less than $100.
“We are well on our way to launching connected accessories across more of the brands in our portfolio and are on track to deliver this product in the third quarter,” Kartsotis said. “Weaker performance in our wholesale channel, particularly in the US, where the business is most challenged, is likely to continue. However, we believe the innovative products launched later in the year can begin to re-energize the channel.”
Fossil has already announced two of the planned devices, the Q Wander and Q Marshal, which are available to pre-order with an August 29 release date. The two smartwatches run Android Wear and have minimal internal differences. Fossil wants customers to choose the watch based on the design, similar to how we choose fashion accessories.
To emphasize the design options, Fossil is importing some well known designer brands to the wearables market later this year. Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Armani, Diesel, Misfit, and Chaps by Ralph Lauren will all design smartwatches, fitness trackers, or hybrids, to be released in the September to November period.
Fossil investors have changed their tune
Investors blamed wearables for Fossil’s poor performance in Q1 this year, cutting the stock price by 30% after the announcement.
But those investors seem to be happy with the company’s wearables focus now, according to MarketWatch the stock climbed nine percent after the earnings call. That is despite revenue falling from $740 million last year to $685 million in the three month period this year.
Android Wear hasn’t been a great success for OEMs, none of the manufacturers are in the top five for sales volume. Even Samsung, which has launched a variety of wearables in the last year, came in sixth.