The opening of an Ice-Watch kiosk in Derby’s Westfield mall caused a disagreement between retailer Identity the Jewellers and Ice-Watch on Twitter earlier today.
An online exchange took place between Ice-Watch Derby, a new Twitter account made for an Ice-Watch kiosk that will open in a permanent position in Derby’s Westfield mall in September, and that of Identity the Jewellers, a jewellery and watch retailer than runs a store in the mall.
There was confusion between the two companies as Ice-Watch Derby claimed to be opening the first Ice-Watch kiosk in the Derby, while Identity claimed to have already done so several months before.
@IceWatchUK Tweeted earlier today: “EVERYONE should follow our FIRST Kiosk in Derby”.
Identity the Jewellers, which ran an Ice-Watch kiosk in the mall for several months last year, wrote: “Let’s not lie @IceWatchDerby you aren’t the "FIRST kiosk in Derby" Hope you don’t lie to the public as you try to sell #unreliable”.
Stuart Kenrick, general sales manager at Ice-Watch’s UK distributor Peers Hardy, told WatchPro that Identity had run a trial kiosk for Ice-Watch near its store in Westfield Derby for six months.
He said the trial was an early concept to the upcoming Ice-Watch kiosk and that it was closed due to a change in the lease which caused a disagreement between the shopping centre and Identity.
According to Andrew Warner of Identity the Jewellers, the kiosk was an idea that it had put to Peers Hardy. Warner says it ran the kiosk for almost a year. Identity closed the kiosk after it took on an offer from Westfield Derby to take up the lease of a new shop that had come up at a similar cost as the Ice-Watch kiosk.
Identity moved its watch brands into the store and is celebrating the first birthday of the Identity watch store today.
Earlier today on Twitter Identity the Jewellers explained that it was the first official stockist of Ice-Watch timepieces in Derby, opening an account 11 months ago.
Ice-Watch Derby’s Twitter account replied that the new watch kiosk had a different concept and theme, and that it will showcase all of the brand’s new products with new materials and timepieces water resistant to 10ATM, something the Ice-Watch says it has not shown in a kiosk before.
Identity replied that it had formerly run a kiosk space for the brand and offered the new retailer good luck with their venture. Ice-Watch Derby returned the wishes of good luck.
“The new kiosk is being run by someone who believes in the brand, is young, energetic and excited about Ice-Watch,” Kenrick explained.
“We made our decision based solely on what would be good for the brand and its business. Identity said they did not believe the kiosk would be beneficial to their business at this time, so we had meetings with several other people interested in taking it on.”
Warner told WatchPro that Stuart Kendrick and the Ice-Watch rep Identity had worked with came to visit Identity about 10 days ago. Kendrick had sat them down to explain that Ice-Watch would be opening a kiosk upstairs and that it would cease supplying its watches to Identity, giving it a one-month grace period to sell-through current stock.
Warner said that he and his family were shocked and that they had only recently spoken with the brand at a Houlden Group meeting and had placed some new orders.
He also said that he had it in writing from Peers Hardy that if it were to open a new kiosk in Derby it would approach Identity first, plans and costing of which Warner says he never received despite, though he says he had shown interest in a new kiosk space.
Warner added that relations are now difficult with the brand. “We feel more than shortchanged by this but it has meant that we can bring in other brands as we are getting approached all the time,” he explained.
The new kiosk will open on September 1 and is positioned on an upper floor of the Westfield Derby mall, opposite Topshop and close to All Saints and Zara, something Kenrick says makes it ideal for its target consumer.
Ice-Watch launched its first shop-in-shop kiosk at Inspired by Brufords in Eastbourne recently. Since then 14 retailers have applied to have the shop-in-shop Ice-Watch furniture in-store, with a forecasted 50 shop-in-shop areas due to be rolled out in the next 12 months.
The brand will also continue its kiosk drive across other shopping centres in the UK, with a focus on independent retailers to run the stores, in particular those who have worked with franchised jewellery brands or have previously run their own concept stores.