HOT 100 2014: Lloyd and Stuart, Watchfinder

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Watchfinder has got to be one of the most exciting watch businesses to explode onto the retail scene in the UK for quite some time, and Lloyd Amsdon and Stuart Hennell are busy ensuring that it stays so.

Although the pre-owned watch retailer has been toiling away for more than a decade, it feels as though the past few years have brought with it nothing but high-profile success after high-profile success.

“Turnover increased by 55% in 2013, taking the business to £25 million, with total turnover broaching £100 million in the first quarter of 2014,” confirms Lloyd, who adds that Watchfinder employees have been busy with some growing of their own with eight babies born to staff in the past year.

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A key new venture for the business has been the opening of its first retail store in London, and the company’s physical retail environment is mimicking the success of its online predecessor by adding £4 million to the group’s turnover in its first year of trading. “It has given us the confidence to aggressively pursue our UK growth strategy with two further stores to open in 2014 – one in Mayfair and a second in the North of England,” reveals Stuart.

As well as increasing its stock of pre-owned watches to more than 80 brands, Watchfinder has also been busy ramping up its state-of-the-art service center, which employs 21 staff servicing 600 watches a month.

In short, Watchfinder is a horological powerhouse, particularly online, a fact it demonstrated aptly through a partnership with watch exhibition SalonQP last year. “Acting as Official Ticketing in 2013 our web platform’s reach was put to the test and came up trumps, selling 75% of tickets to the event – validating our 4 million visitors a year,” says Lloyd.

Looking to the future, Lloyd and Stuart have a united view that the future is all about continued growth and securing enough funding to make sure that their dreams of expansion continue to come true.

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