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Fossil Group parts ways with its UK managing director

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Richard Collins has announced on his own LinkedIn account that he is saying goodbye to Fossil Group after more than 16 years with the company.

Mr Collins joined the Milton Keynes-based operation in 2004 as an account merchandising manager, and rose to become managing director in 2016.

“It’s been an epic ride and I have achieved so much thanks to the unwavering support of my amazing colleagues and the true partnership of my customers. I’m immensely proud of the culture we have created in the UK — so much creativity, laughter, resilience and success — I know you will all thrive in the coming years,” he says.

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It certainly has been a ride for Fossil Group during Mr Collins’ tenure.

Sales rocketed to £152 million in 2014 as the group’s Michael Kors watches became a must-have fashion item after exploding across reality television shows and social media.

By the following year, sales were down to £138 million and in the most recent published accounts, which are for the year to December 2018, turnover had dropped to £91 million.

The years since 2014 have seen the market for watches priced at less than £500 under severe pressure as younger customers’ taste switched towards smartwatches from the likes of Apple and Samsung, or away from wearing watches at all.

Fossil Group was not alone in being buffeted by these headwinds. Overall, the total value of sales for watches priced at under £500 dropped from around £500 million per year in 2013 to £330 million in 2019.

Mr Collins says he is now looking forward to his next adventure. “I’m looking forward to experiencing new markets, engaging with new colleagues and leveraging my experience to help my next Company ‘WOW’ their customers. If you are looking for a results driven Managing / Commercial Director then please get in touch via LinkedIn. #newopportunity  #valueadd  #lookingforward  #availablenow,” he writes.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder