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Peter Jackson questions the wisdom of watch brands competing with their retail partners

PJ PRESTON

Peter Jackson The Jeweller, which has shopping centre stores in Preston, Blackburn, Bury and Carlisle, wants watch brands to consider the impact that their monobrand stores have on other retail partners.

The business’s eponymous owner, Peter Jackson, tells WatchPro in our Big Interview for July, that the trend for major watchmakers to open their own stores, or branded stores with franchise partners, is a growing challenge.

“I have always believed in a golden rule of business that brands should not compete with their own customers, which in most cases is retailers like us, but it is happening everywhere now,” Mr Jackson says.

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“Some of them are saying that they will open their own stores at the same time as working with channel partners, others are inviting people to work with them to open monobrand stores in partnership. For me, the latter is a better model. When you see a brand that has its own store a short distance away from one of its customers, I do question the wisdom of that,” he adds.

Peter Jackson The Jeweller operates mainly at the affordable luxury end of the watch and jewellery market, with TAG Heuer its biggest brand. The Swiss watchmaker has opened a monobrand boutique in partnership with Aurum Holdings in central Manchester.

Peter Jackson The Jeweller closed its shop in Southport, under 50 miles away from Manchester, in 2017. David M Robinson also withdrew from the town earlier this year, and is doubling the size of its central Manchester boutique.

The other growing challenge for jewellers like Peter Jackson is the way customers spend more of their disposable income on experiences instead of products like watches and jewellery.

“People are spending more money than ever before, so the business is there but we have to work in different ways to get that business. We have to recognise that our competitors are not just other jewellers. It would be great if the industry could get together to promote the idea to consumers that spending money on jewellery and watches is just as enjoyable and rewarding as spending money on holidays, cars and eating out,” Mr Jackson suggests.

1 Comment

  1. Peter, From across the pond I agree 100%, I was on the Wholesale side and we began building a Brand back in 1988, there had been loose Distributor Distribution, Grey Market (that filtered in from the Caribbean and Duty Free), the original 6of us took different paths, mine was the Better Independent, looking to elevate our image by the Retail Partners Inventory and customer. I had done business with a Market Dominant Chain that was also a Rolex Dealer and expanded there, where there was no conflict in a “selective distribution”, As business grew, there was then the call for more, Department Stores, etc., then as the Millennia approached Internet Stores, Brands own Digital Boutiques, and of course B&M Boutiques, when one was proposed in Beverly Hill’s I refused, saying when you do it in NYC, then come to me, as my business was the Brands benchmark in both yearly increase and volume. By ’97, I could see the pattern and made the hard decision to move on. There will be a thinning of the heard, and any Brand that has anything going for them, common sense would direct them to be the Jewelers Brand, be religious, and that means support and partnership. I wish you well.

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Rob Corder

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