Chinese watch market dips in Q1

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By Deepa Narwani

In the first quarter of 2012, the performance of watches in China experienced a dip in sales as the overall market entered a low season.

According to retail analyst GfK’s newsletter, in the first quarter of the year the sales units of the total Chinese watch market amounted to CNY 730,000 (£73,596), down 16% from Q4 2011, while the value figure stood at CNY 6.8 billion (£685,342,898), a drop of 18%.

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In terms of units, watches with rose gold cases almost doubled compared to previous periods. Additionally, from the second half of last year, the demand for leather strap watches demonstrated an increasing trend almost every month.

Women’s watches, which accounted for 35% of the market value share, witnessed a gradual increase, despite the total market entering the low season.

Gfk global production manager Jonathan Hedges said: “In spite of this decrease, healthy growth was seen in January as consumer spending was boosted by the Chinese Spring Festival. Throughout this holiday period customers purchased valuable items for their family, friends or business partners, with many department stores and brands using promotions to enhance sales.

“All in all, GfK expects that the Chinese watch market will continue to grow this year as competition becomes fierce.”

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