Retailer Rudells has spoken about following its recent launch of a smart phone app with the possible introduction of a new concept that will allow customers to actually see their watches being serviced in the retailer’s watch workshops via a YouTube web link. Meanwhile, the retailer reports a record year in 2012.
Now in its 75th year, the retailer, which has shops in Wolverhampton and Brimingham, is embracing technological opportunities, not only with the possible YouTube service but also with the recent introduction of a mobile phone app. The app provides users with the Rudells experience, allowing them to browse the retailer’s catlogue and also get a taste of its watch workshops.
Rudells managing director Jon Weston suggested to WatchPro that the YouTube service would be the next introduction at the store. He said: "We also have a new concept that incorporates our watch workshops. This will enable clients to actually view their timepiece being servicedvia a web link through YouTube. I’m very excited about this."
It has been a busy year for the retailer, with the introduction of a Rolex corner and a Patek Philippe wall installed in the Wolverhampton showroom in January. Weston said to WatchPro: "The impact has been very positive, sales have increased nicely and we are now looking to install a larger salon area for each of these brands at our Harborne showroom."
Weston confirmed that they will be focusing more on luxury watches because he believes the middle sector will be tough for some time yet. "We have been exceptionally pleased with our sales for Patek Philippe this year and we look forward to continuing this in 2013. Sadly, we do not get asked very often for watches under £300 today."
The premium strategy is working well for the retailer. "I’m happy to share with you that we had a record sales year for Rudells last year," said Weston. "We achieved double-digit percentage increase on last year, which was also a record. The only negative side is that footfall has decreased slightly and our margins are getting tighter and tighter with branded products. As the phrase goes, we are working a lot harder for the same amount of profit."
Efforts include the exciting new developments, which will no doubt continue to strengthen Rudell’s position as both a traditional and innovative retailer.
Weston was recently named as a Bremont Retail Titans in the inaugural WatchPro Hot 100, a project that celebrates the indivduals behind the British watch industry.
The retailer’s watch brands include Rolex, Chopard, Ebel, Gucci, Breitling, Bremont, Cartier, Longines, Omega, Patek Philippe, MontBlanc, Raymond Weil and Tag Heuer