HOT 100 2014: Jonathan Hedges, GfK

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The watch division at retail analyst GfK is thriving, something that Jonathan Hedges, the man central to its development and success, says is impressive in what has been a tough climate for the research sector.

While other divisions within GfK have been cutting back, the team dedicated to monitoring the UK watch industry has just celebrated another record-breaking year.

“Watches go from strength-to-strength within GfK,” says Jonathan. “2013 was a record year once again for [the GfK] Watches [division] in regard to revenue turnover and now sees Watches as an established part of the GfK business.”

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GfK secures the data it needs to offer an analytic insight into the market by working closely with the UK’s watch retailers, and Jonathan says that the addition this year of even more stores to the programme ensures that the company’s data is “more robust than ever”.

Next on the horizon for Jonathan is to build up his division of the company by moving into new categories, with a particular focus on the fashion industry. But he promises that the glamour of the fashion world will not lure him too far away from the industry that has been his main focus for the past five years. “I love working in the world of watches and I am hugely passionate about the industry,” he affirms. “I want to see GfK become firmly entrenched within it as a key industry benchmark standard.”

But it can’t all be glamour. And when Jonathan is not rubbing shoulders with the watch elite or the fashion pack, you’ll find him getting grubby in the garden or adding some finishing touches to the house renovation he’s been working on for the past 18 months; his other labour of love.

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