Britain’s booming watch market has been notching slower rates of growth since April last year, but continues to outpace the wider retail sector thanks to the enduring strength of luxury sales.
The two speed market continued into June, according to data from retail analyst GfK, with the value of sales for watch priced at over £1000 rising by 10.8%.
This compares to the continuing weakness of the sub-£500 watch segment, which saw the year-on-year value of sales drop by around 10%.
The volume of watches sold in Great Britain declined by 7%, but an annual rise in the average price paid for each watch of 11.7% meant that the market at all price points rose by 3.9% in June.
For the first six months of 2018, the entire GB watch market is 3.8% bigger than the same period in 2017.
Specialist watch shops, jewellers, department stores and fashion outlets will be wondering which way to turn to ignite sales for cheaper watches, which have been in decline every month since August 2016, when WatchPro first started tracking the segment using GfK data.
Moving online might be necessary to stand still, but is unlikely to provide substantial growth. The value of watches at all price points sold online in the first six months of 2018 is down 1% on the same period in 2017.
The benefit of a London location on growth has dwindled versus the rest of Great Britain. For much of last year, growth in London was double the rest of the country, but since the start of 2018 both have been growing at single digit percentage rates.