Timex strengthens focus on UK channel development

Timex Group is rebooting its British operation with the appointment of Gavin Crilly-McKean as managing director of Timex UK.

Crilly-McKean has spent 20 years in the watch industry, and was MD for Timex in the UK from 2009-2012 before being promoted to the group’s Netherland’s office to head the whole of Europe Middle East and Africa.

In a strategy briefing with WatchPro, Crilly-McKean described how Versace, Versus and Ferragamo, all from within Timex’s Vertime Luxury Group, will be promoted to jewellers and other luxury goods specialists that have the expertise to sell watches at price points north of £500.

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At the same time Timex will pursue a multi-pronged distribution policy aimed at appealing to specific lifestyle segments. The target age is under-30, but different Timex collections will tap into special interests, particularly running and triathlon.

Digital sales are seen as key for the Timex brand, and the company hopes that at least 50% of sales globally will be via e-commerce. That figure is likely to be higher in the most advanced markets like the UK.

Asos and Amazon are key to this plan, and it is already working. “Timex is the number one selling brand at Asos right now,” WatchPro was told.

Timex used to offer a dizzying 600 different styles or SKUs. This has already been trimmed to 300, and the aim now is to ensure the right product finds its way into the right channel, be that fashion stores, sports outlets or jewellers.

Versace and Versus were left high and dry after its UK distributor Nuval went into administration in January 2014, resulting in Timex spending most of last year clearing out the channel. With Versace and its diffusion line Versus riding high in the UK fashion world, the watch company hopes its licensed watches will benefit.

“We are going to focus on leading independents because these retailers have the expertise we need. We want to be very specific with the channel for each brand,” Crilly-McKean said.

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