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Citizen partners benefit from one-stop-shop for Swiss, Japanese and American watch brands

Mark Robinson – Group Managing Director Citizen Watch UK Ltd

Citizen Watch UK wants its current retailer network to forge deeper partnerships now that the company can offer all of its owned brands from a one-stop-shop head office and logistics hub in Wokingham.

In the past 10 years, the parent organisation Citizen Watch Company has acquired Bulova and its sub-brands from the United States, and Frederique Constant and Alpina from Switzerland.

That gives retail partners options to source a wide range of watches at price points ranging from under £200 up to over £20,000.

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“We are now a one-stop-shop. That is the way we want to position ourselves. We want to offer our retailers a full line service, which could be Swiss brands [Frederique Constant and Alpina], Citizen, Bulova, Caravelle and Harley Davidson.  We now have a watch for every occasion and every customer. The beauty of bringing all the brands under one roof is that we have the capabilities of Citizen as a group, and also we become a multi-brand partner for our retailers,” says Mark Robinson, group managing director for Citizen Watch UK in an interview with WatchPro that appears in the May edition of the magazine.

The company has already more than doubled the number of doors in the UK for Frederique Constant since it was taken in-house by Citizen last year.

“We have gone from around 30-40 doors to over 80 doors. That is working with the right partners in the right locations to give the brand the visibility we need, and also working with those retailers to ensure that the sell through is there,” Mr Robinson reveals.

However, the number of shops stocking Citizen may actually fall, Mr Robinson predicts. “If anything, we will be reducing the doors for Citizen. There is a natural direction because we are seeing some doors close, and some distribution is fading away as we go forward. Bulova we will look to increase; Frederique Constant we will continue to increase; and Alpina we will increase. Our focus last year was with Frederique Constant, and most of this year will be the same, but we are formulating a plan for Alpina at the moment,” he describes.

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Rob Corder

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