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C.W. Sellors powers through peak pandemic year

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C.W. Sellors in Ashbourne.

There are two truths we hold to be self evident in the watch trade: you need Rolex to bring in the right types of customers and you need to prune your list of brands to fit with the demand of those customers.

C.W. Sellors sees it differently, and has powered to turnover of over £20 million in the year to the end of April without the crown above its door and with a portfolio of almost 100 watch brands and 17 jewellery makers.

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Another assumption is that watch sales outside the major city centres and shopping malls are all but dead.

C.W. Sellors has nine stores including high street shops in Buxton, Bakewell, Ludlow and Matlock along with more prime locations such as Leeds.

Ecommerce is vital, of course, and the business runs both the cwsellors.co.uk site and jurawatches.co.uk.

When the pandemic hit in March last year, C.W. Sellors, like all retailers, closed its stores, but quickly moved to make its ecommerce operation compliant with covid regulations and traded throughout.

In accounts filed for that financial year, ending April 2020, a report states that the company quickly accessed the furlough Job Retention Scheme, retailer business support grants and a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

That has paid off with a record 2021 financial year, with sales rising 35% to £20.7 million and operating profit up by 147% to £2.1 million; almost as much profit as the previous four years combined.

Owner Chris Sellors says in a report accompanying the 2021 accounts that growth was particularly strong online and that new brand partnerships, such as taking on IWC in the prior year, were driving sales.

The business also opened a specialist watch store under the Jura Watches name.

 

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