W Bruford managing director Ashley Pugh said he is feeling cautiously optimistic about 2013. (ITP) W Bruford managing director Ashley Pugh said he is feeling cautiously optimistic about 2013. (ITP)

Omega, Breitling and Longines were key watch brands for retailer W Bruford this Christmas.

Festive sales at the W Bruford group - which includes retail outlets W Bruford and Inspired by Brufords - were down 9% this year, with the retailer claiming that like for likes suffered due to tough comparables from the year before.

Managing director Ashley Pugh said: "Brufords was down against a record Christmas [in 2011] with two sales last year accounting for over 20% of total turnover. These were high-value sales, difficult to repeat.

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"If they were taken out of the equation then we would have been looking at almost level, which in truth I would have accepted given the climate."

W Bruford's fashion-focused retail outlet Inspired by Brufords, which carries watch brands including Ice-Watch, Casion, Juicy Couture and Skagen, enjoyed a strong Christmas with sales up 9% on the year before.  

In the run up to the festive period W Bruford invested about 5% of the month’s turnover in marketing activities. It ran advertising campaigns through local radio, newspapers and magazines and also in-store events and ran product promotions.

The retailer avoided discounting over the period.

Speaking of the year ahead, Puigh said: "How am I feeling about this year? Cautiously optimistic is probably the best way to describe things. I think it is going to be tough and we are going to be controlling everything very closely - stock, expenses and costs, etc. We have no plans to cut back but if the year doesn't seem to be going well we have the option each quarter to review."