Well, that might be a bit harsh, but I think the biggest takeaway from this whole thing is richemont is clearly under the impression that this downturn will reverse itself eventually. What they've done is reduce the number of shares in the market thus driving up the price of the remaining shares. In the meantime they've dipped into their 5B+ coffers to give investors a higher dividend. The fact that they're doing this indicates they're trying to make their position look as rosy as possible. However continuous drops in profit margins as has been happening for the better part of 2 years now doesn't strike me as something that can be wished away, but time will tell.
I don't suspect prices on watches will drop dramatically anytime soon. The price, for luxury items in general, is what often drives the majority of the exclusivity of a luxury brand. Dropping prices in the retail market signify serious problems not just with richemont but within the Swiss watch industry in general. But as mentioned richemont is under the impression that this downturn is temporary and the ship will right itself eventually. In the meantime, as the article states, there are other options being considered. Cutting down supply, cutting payroll, etc are all routes to take to weather the storm.
IMHO - I genuinely don't think this is a temporary downturn. While I do think sales will increase in time I don't think the industry will ever see the numbers it used to. My feeling is that, in the past, when an individual made the decision to buy a proper watch the only real option was to buy a Swiss watch. However society has clearly deemed the smartwatch (specifically the Apple Watch) to be perfectly acceptable as a proper watch. When u consider how much people these days (especially the younger generations) are dependent on their phones, it only makes sense the smartwatch becomes acceptable as an option for a proper watch. Again, this is my opinion. But I genuinely think richemont and others aren't looking at this for what it is.