Watches of Switzerland on how its multichannel model helped it report strong full-year sales and profit growth

Image: Screenshot of watches-of-switzerland.co.uk

Image: Screenshot of watches-of-switzerland.co.uk

Watches of Switzerland today reports sales up by 37% and profits up by 98% as demand for luxury watches and jewellery continued in its latest financial year. Ecommerce sales grew by a further 5% of top of its pandemic peaks, taking its total growth over two years to 128%. 

The retailer has reported group revenue of £1.2bn in the year to May 1 2022. That’s 37% up on the £905m it reported a year earlier. Luxury watch sales grew by 36% on the previous year, and jewellery sales by 86%, following the opening of its first BVLGARI mono-brand boutique.

Pre-tax profits grew by 98% at the same time, to £126m. 

“We enter FY23 with strong momentum with consumer demand continuing to outpace supply and in this environment we are benefitting from our strength both in showrooms and online,” says Watches of Switzerland chief executive Brian Duffy. “Watches of Switzerland is uniquely positioned within a large and growing market, and we look to the future with confidence as we focus on capitalising on the considerable sustainable growth opportunities available to us.”

The retailer ended the year with 23 multi-brand showrooms and 17 single brand boutiques in the US and says that US online sales performed well, as US sales grew by 48% to £428m. .

Watches of Switzerland sales grew by 36% to £810m in the UK, where it ended the year with 93 multi-brand showrooms and 38 mono-brand boutiques. It has now opened its first mono-brand boutique in Europe, a Breitling showroom in Stockholm, and plans a further five openings in Sweden, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland in the current financial year.

Multichannel strategy

The company says that all three of the years since it listed on the stockmarket have been affected by the pandemic, showroom closures and supply disruption. Despite this, it says, it has used a multichannel business model and technology – including its new in-showroom Xenia client experience programme and its luxury watch and jewellery virtual boutique – to bridge the gap between online and showrooms and offer a new level of customer service. 

It has also invested in performance marketing across channels, supported by traditional media and in-person clienteling and events. 

Sustainability

The retailer is now committed to net zero emissions by 2050, and has set near-term targets aimed at 1.5°C. It has invested in a pre-owned business and in repairs and aftersales service.

Watches of Switzerland is ranked Top350 in RXUK Top500 research.

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