Fashion watch sales, which have been falling ever since the 2014 spike associated with a surge for Michael Kors timepieces, may have found a floor.
Beaverbrooks says the sector is still well down from its peak, but holiday trading for key brands was encouraging.
“We have started to see some signs of fashion watches coming back — nowhere to the extent that it was — but certainly some of the newer fashion brands are doing better,” says Anna Blackburn, managing director of Beaverbrooks.
Fossil Group’s Michael Kors and Armani watches; Zeon’s Vivienne Westwood watches; and Movado Group’s Hugo Boss and Olivia Burton, were all described as good earners doing well by Ms Blackburn.
2017 was a year in which Fossil Group launched a slew of connected hybrids and full touchscreen smartwatches across its stable of brands, and backed the new products with extensive advertising campaigns.
The tactic appears to have encouraged sales for the key Michael Kors and Armani brands, although not necessarily for the smartwatches that appeared in the advertising.
“There is a good business there. It is a small and growing area. I believe it will grow but there has been a disproportionate focus. For us, Fossil is Armani and Michael Kors, which are solid fashion brands for us,” Ms Blackburn describes.
Beaverbrooks will report a year of growth in turnover and profits for its financial year that ends on February 28, the company’s chairman Mark Adlestone tells WatchPro. The figures will be unveiled in the February edition of the magazine as part of a Big Interview with Mr Adlestone and Ms Blackburn.
That growth contrasts with Beaverbrooks’ direct competitor, Ernest Jones, which saw sales for the nine weeks to December 30, 2017, drop by 10.5%, according to a trading report from parent group Signet Jewelers.