Phillips is New President of Taramax USA

Watch industry veteran Dennis Phillips has been named to the new post of president of Taramax USA, which distributes Fendi watches, effective July 29. The announcement was made by Tom Venables, CEO of Taramax USA and chairman of its Swiss parent firm, Taramax SA, at the JA New York Show. Venables formerly held the post of president.

The selection of Phillips for the new post follows Taramax’s new distribution policy, which began in January, of distributing Fendi timepieces exclusively through select U.S. independent jewelry and watch retailers.

Phillips, who was formerly president of Ebel USA, will oversee expansion of Fendi’s distribution network of fine jewelers, now at about 300 stores, to more than 700 in the next five years. Phillips will also direct an expanded and reorganized sales staff. Four regional managers will start on Aug. 5. District managers and account representatives will be added. Eventually, the staff will have 12 to 15 people, says Venables.

“Dennis is the perfect fit for us,” he told JCK. “We have our organization and operations in place [for the new focus on jewelers]. Now, we needed someone, like Dennis, who can direct this new channel of distribution, someone who has established well relationships with retail jewelers, and can establish a relationship between them and Taramax USA. He’s going to head this company and provide the direction needed to support [the new distribution strategy].”

Taramax is the exclusive manufacturer and worldwide distributor of Fendi timepieces. Its manufacturing facilities are locate din Neuchatel, Switzerland, and its USA offices and distribution center in Spring Lake, N. J. Luxury brand Fendi was established in 1925; 70% of the company is now owned by LVMH, the French luxury goods conglomerate. Venables said that Taramax is talking with LVMH about “possible relationship” with other LVMH brands but there is nothing definitive at this time.