Pricing ‘sweet spot’ catches UK watch market by surprise

Customers look into the window of a jewe

A surge in demand for watches priced between £500 and £1,000 could provide an unlikely sales boost for UK retailers that get their product mix right, it has emerged.

This price bracket has traditionally been the smallest area of the UK watch market, with relatively less product and brand offerings available as suppliers have focused on pushing into the luxury sector.

However, new data from GfK made available to WatchPro this week reveals a “significant development” in the performance of this category over the last four months.

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Since September 2015, sales values have risen by a “market-leading” 20% year-on-year and bucked the overall market trend of declining volumes by registering 17% unit growth in the same period.

While it must be stressed that the £500-£1,000 price point accounts for a small part of the total market, the appetite for watches that fall into this range suggests a trend that retailers would be ill-advised to ignore.

“This sector might only be worth 5% of the total sales market value but continued growth rates like this over the coming 12 months could put this price point firmly on the road to even greater opportunity in the future,” predicts GfK’s Jonathan Hedges.

The UK watch market is currently worth £1.3 billion. As we revealed yesterday, overall shipments of watches in 2015 fell 2% year-on-year, but strong growth in the luxury segment led to the value of the market increasing.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour