Watches of Switzerland has reported a strong start to its latest financial year, with ecommerce and US sales particularly buoyant.
Group revenue for the 13 weeks (Q1 FY23) to 31 July 2022 rose to £391m, 31% above the £297m for the same period of the previous year. UK and Europe revenue increased 8% to £239m. The US market saw 100% growth to £152m. The US remains a major focus for the company’s growth ambitions going forward and it will continue to focus on attracting new clients and growing market share in the US as well as in Europe where the company has seen “positive early results”.
“Within a large, diffuse and growing market, we are benefitting from our distinctive business model – namely our investment in leading store design, the strength of our brand partnerships, our international scale, our bold marketing campaigns, our advanced systems technology, and our dedication to client experience,” says Watches of Switzerland Group CEO Brian Duffy.
Luxury watches remain the core product category for the group accounting for 87% of revenue during the financial quarter. Sales increased 32% to £342m. “The first quarter continued with strong momentum throughout, and we carry this positive momentum into the second quarter,” says Duffy.
Ecommerce sales increased 14% over the same three months of 2021 and the group will continue to invest in its multichannel strategy. Watches of Switzerland operates seven ecommerce sites for its prestigious brands in the UK and the US. These include Watches of Switzerland (UK and US), Mappin & Webb (UK), Goldsmiths (UK), Mayors (US) and Betteridge (US). It also has 173 showrooms and 58 mono-brand boutiques in partnership with Rolex, OMEGA, TAG Heuer, Breitling, TUDOR, Audemars Piguet, Grand Seiko, BVLGARI and FOPE. Its in-showroom Xenia client experience programme has been rolled out to all stores and, as reported previously, its luxury watch and jewellery virtual boutique is an effective bridge between online and showrooms offering a new level of customer service. Watches of Switzerland has also invested in performance marketing across channels, supported by traditional media and in-person clienteling and events.