HOT 100 RETAIL TITANS: Danny Toffel, MD, Watches2u

Watches2U.com currently offers over 4,000 styles of men’s watches and over 3,000 for women. The site has over 52,000 likes on Facebook and over 13,500 Twitter followers. It is fair to say that Danny Toffell, the company’s managing director, understands ecommerce.

What does a poker-loving ecommerce genius do when he’s ahead? He doubles-down by launching a second online store, Chriselli.com, which expands his reach into jewellery, sunglasses and accessories.

Chriselli.com, named after Danny’s two young daughters Chrissy and Ellie, is more of a lifestyle site. It adds accessories from the likes of Fossil and Armani to the watches that are already being sourced from the same brands and sells them to the same young demographic.

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The technology, structures and business relationships created on Chriselli.com will later be deployed back on Watches2U. Prescription glasses and sunglasses are being added this year, Danny reveals.

It looks simple to the consumer, however the back end systems are anything but. “We keep investing in new technology and further improving our bespoke software, which makes our system one of the most advanced ecommerce systems in the sector. By constantly finding new, innovative ways of serving our customers and improving our internal processes we’ve been able to generate incremental business in a very difficult and competitive marketplace,” Danny explains.

“We closely monitor how ecommerce is evolving and how other businesses operate, and when we come up with ideas that we think could make our platform better, we try to figure out ways to build those features onto our system,” he adds.

Calculating risk is at the heart of most technology entrepreneurs, and Danny is far from alone in using that talent on the poker table. “I have been playing semi-professionally for a few years now with some substantial tournament cashes and am actually in Las Vegas for the best part of a month whilst I am typing this,” he admits.

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