EXCLUSIVE: Aurum Holdings expects to hit sales of $1 billion this year

The recently re-opened Mappin & Webb in Glasgow could provide a template for optimising Major Jeweler outlets in the United States.The recently re-opened Mappin & Webb in Glasgow could provide a template for optimising Major Jeweler outlets in the United States.

Aurum Holdings expects turnover to top $1 billion this year as its booming UK business is joined by 17 Majors Jewelers boutiques in the United States.

In an interview to be published in WatchPro‘s October edition, Brian Duffy, chief executive of Aurum Holdings, also thinks the company can become the biggest retailer of Swiss watches in the United States as it expands its network of Watches of Switzerland stores.

The first Watches of Switzerland store will open early next year within Hudson Yards, a multi-billion dollar development comprising offices, apartments and a major retail hub in Manhattan, New York.

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A second store in New York is also in the planning stage, according to Mr Duffy. Las Vegas and California are the other two markets where Aurum Holdings thinks it needs Watches of Switzerland outlets, he said.

Aurum Holdings finalised the acquisition of Mayors Jewelers from Canada’s Birks Group for £81 million in August.

It gives Aurum an instant chain of 17 prestige jewellers in Florida and Georgia, USA, 15 of which have Rolex, plus the resources of a headquarters office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and a brand new distribution and service centre hub capable of supporting a nationwide network of shops.

WatchPro understands that Aurum Holdings’ turnover from Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watch Shop and Watches of Switzerland in the UK was £565 million ($734m) in 2016, although accounts have not yet been filed.

Turnover of the Majors stores is not disclosed by its former owner Birks Group. However, they can be estimated based on total sales across the United States and Canada. Birks Group reported sales of $286.9 from 46 luxury jewellers across North America. On a pro rata basis, 17 Majors stores would have notched sales of $106 million in 2016.

To hit $1 billion in 2017, the UK business of Aurum Holdings will need to notch considerable growth because there will only be around five months of sales from Majors in the calendar year, although this will include Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Assuming a contribution of around $60 million from Majors to Aurum Holdings sales in 2017, the UK business would need to grow at around 20% to hit the $1 billion forecast, WatchPro estimates.

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