GfK shows watch market growth in 2019 fizzling to nothing


With growth in half of the 10 months dropping into negative territory this year, GfK data shows that retail sales for watches at all price points are now flat for the year-to-date, or at least up by just 0.4%.

It has been a roller-coaster year, with wholesalers stockpiling watches in the first quarter of 2019 ahead of the first deadline at the end of March for Britain to leave the EU.


Those watches have kept British retailers comparatively well stocked, in comparison to similar stores in other parts of the world, and the continuing weakness of the pound has made this country a popular destination for visitors from overseas to shop, particularly those from outside the European Union that can claim back their VAT.

Retailers speaking to WatchPro have said that summer was strong for business, as long as there were in the right locations in tourist-friendly cities and selling watches from the most desirable luxury watch brands.



A slew of significant price rises from those luxury brands has taken the froth off the market and retailers are now reporting additional headwinds as people delay spending until after the General Election.

Overall, the value of watch sales dropped by 3.6% in October. London sales were down 10% year-on-year, while the rest of Great Britain saw sales values rise by 2.9%.

The total volume of watches sold in October was down by 9.2%, but the average selling price has risen by 6.2% over the last 12 months, supporting the overall value of the watch market.

The upper end of the market is still the place to be, with the value of sales in October falling by 0.9% but the year-to-date remaining 4.7% ahead.


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