The London Watch Show (LWS) will return to Freemasons’ Hall next year, the exhibition’s organiser has confirmed.
The two-day event will take place on July 6 to 7, opening on a Sunday in order to make it easier for retailers to fit the show into their busy schedules.
London Watch Show event director Daniel Malins said: “We have been speaking to exhibitors, retailers and other industry experts and the overwhelming feeling was that we should stick to dates at the beginning of July for the London Watch Show, but that opening on a Sunday would increase attendance from the store owners and managers.”
This year’s inaugural LWS, which is organised by the team behind WatchPro, was attended by 700 industry professionals and hosted 48 watch brands. The show welcomed a range of retail buyers, including representatives from Wave, Gallio Jewellers, WatchWarehouse, DM London, QVC, Signet, Identity the Jewellers, Pressleys, Charles Fish, John Pass Jewellers, Selfridges, Amazon and Debenhams.
The event has already become a fixture in the diaries of retailers who attended this year and opening on a Sunday will allow more retailers to find time to visit the show. Speaking about the importance of the LWS, Alexander Rose, managing director of watch and jewellery retailer Beards said that the timing of the event is ideal. He stated: “July suits us well because we will have finished Basel and Geneva and have some foresight on what we are expecting from those shows. It is also good to adjust and adapt before we get into Christmas again. It also helps reinvigorate the trade at a typically quieter time of year.”
Having attended the show last year, Fish Brothers marketing director Jane Paine is upbeat about next year. She said: “We pride ourselves on offering both strong, established brands and also emerging ones both in store and online. It’s very handy to have the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with some of these up and coming new brands at the London Watch Show, and in some cases, to speak directly to the brand owners and to hear directly the stories that are behind how their brands were created.”
The decision to stay at Freemasons’ Hall has also pleased retailers. Jenny Smith from online and bricks-and-mortar retailer WatchWarehouse said: “The Freemasons’ hall has a strong heritage and is beautifully constructed with the finest Art Deco interior, which creates a great atmospheric surrounding. The timing of the event is key as it allows retailers to see the scope that the industry has to offer in plenty of time for the busy Christmas sales period.”
Exhibitors at this year’s event have also responded positively to decisions about 2014’s show. Daniel Ozel of Unique Jewelry, UK distributor of watch brand Festina, commented: “The Freemasons’ Hall is such an iconic building and also very central in London. We were impressed by the show layout and the stand designs and the whole show feeling.” He added: “This year was quite good already with a lot of good quality buyers and big players. Also there was good press attendance.”
Accurist chief executive Jonathan Crocker is one of the many exhibitors who recognises the importance of exhibiting at the LWS and is looking ahead to 2014 with anticipation. He said: “Seeing the brands on offer in one place on a standard footprint is a fantastic way to evaluate one brand’s benefits versus another. The concise nature of the show allows brands to mobilise economically and pin-point the salient USP’s for presentation and, in turn, allows retailers to make informed buying decisions with efficiency.”
This article was taken from the October 2013 issue of WatchPro magazine. To view a digital version of the issue click here.