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Watches of Switzerland expands into Europe through single-brand boutiques in key markets

Watches of Switzerland sells both under its own name and those of the brands that it works with. Image: screenshot of

Watches of Switzerland is to expand into the European market by opening single brand boutiques in Sweden, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.

The move is part of the luxury watch retailer’s multichannel growth strategy, and came as the retailer reported strong sales growth in the third, Christmas, quarter of its financial year.

Watches of Switzerland, a Top350 retailer in RXUK Top500 2022 research, today reported group revenue of £348.1m in the 13 weeks to January 30 2021. That’s 27.7% up on the previous year, and 35% up on the year before that, its third-quarter trading update showed.

The luxury watch retailer currently sells in two markets. In the UK, sales of £223.5m were 20.1% up on last year, and 22.0% up on the year before.

In the US, where it sells as Mayors as well as through the boutiques it runs on behalf of luxury watch brands, sales of £124.6m were 44% up on the same time last year, and 67% up on the year before.

Sales of luxury watches still account for most of its sales, which grew by 21% on last year to £279.8m. But the fastest growth was in luxury jewellery (+88.4% to £41.8m), perhaps reflecting Christmas purchases and gifts.

Watches of Switzerland chief executive Brian Duffy says: “We have announced today our entry into the European market with mono-brand boutiques agreed in Sweden, Denmark and Republic of Ireland providing our group with further geographic diversification in line with our long range plan.”

He adds that demand outstrips supply, putting the retailer in a strong position.

“Strong trading to date, revised pricing by certain brands and visibility of supply for calendar 2022 all support our expectation to perform towards the top end of our full year guidance. Demand in our category continues to outstrip supply and we remain confident in the future of our business and achieving the goals laid out in our long range plan,” says Duffy.

In the first nine months of the year, Watches of Switzerland sales have come in at £934.3m, 36% up on last year and 36.1% up on the previous year. UK sales of £642.2m were 33.7% up on last year, and 28.2% up on the previous year. In the US, sales of £292.1m 41.4% up on last year and 57.4% up on two years ago.

Employees have all been awarded 50 free shares and access to its employee share save schemes, while the retailer also donate £3m to The Watches of Switzerland Foundation to support local communities in the UK and US.

Watches of Switzerland, based near Leicester, sells in the UK both online and through 21 outlets, including city centre showrooms and airport stores.

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