Watches of Switzerland to invest in “higher returning” UK market

28th June 2024 | Jack Oliver

The Watches of Switzerland Group, the UK’s largest luxury watch retailer, has said it intends to reallocate investment from the European market into the “higher returning” regions of the UK and the United States.

This comes as the retail group releases its final results for the 2024 financial year, a period during which it continued the rollout of its showroom development programme.

This included the expansion of the Patel Philippe space in the Regent Street Watches of Switzerland store, and the continued rollout of the Goldsmiths Luxury concept, with seven showrooms refurbished or expanded including in Liverpool, Birmingham Bullring, and the Trafford Centre, Manchester.

The group also opened one multi-brand Goldsmiths showroom in Bromley, along with eight mono-brand boutiques.

Other highlights included the launch of the Mappin & Webb contemporary concept in Glasgow, York, Guernsey, and Bluewater.

The Watches of Switzerland Group said it had also made progress on important projects, including the flagship Rolex boutique on London’s Old Bond Street, and the Audemars Piguet Townhouse and Mappin & Webb luxury jewellery boutique in Manchester, all opening in the 2025 financial year.

The group also completed the acquisition of 15 luxury watch showrooms from Ernest Jones, which have since been rebranded. Early trading from these showrooms has been in line with expectations.

The group ended the financial year – which covered the period ending 28 April – with 99 multi-brand showrooms and 68 mono-brand boutiques in the UK and Europe, up year-on-year from 89 and 57 respectively.

During the 2024 financial year, The Watches of Switzerland Group recorded a UK and Europe revenue of £846m, a year-on-year decline of 5%. The group said this was impacted by macroeconomic conditions in the UK.

It added that UK performance continues to be driven by a domestic clientele, with minimal return of tourist spending due to lack of VAT-free shopping.

Brian Duffy, chief executive officer of the Watches of Switzerland Group, said: “I am proud of the performance that our team delivered this year in what was undoubtedly a more challenging market. We cemented our position as a leading international luxury watch and jewellery retailer and delivered further market share gains in both the UK and US, driven by our proven, differentiated business model. In particular, our US business went from strength to strength, growing 11% and will soon represent half of group sales.

“The UK market is starting to show signs of stabilisation. In FY24, UK and Europe sales were down 5% impacted by significant price increases overall at a time of reduced consumer confidence influencing discretionary spending, and we see these pressures easing in FY25.”


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