Glasgow (and Scotland) has its first Rolex boutique after a multibrand Watches of Switzerland store was converted to a single brand showroom for Switzerland’s biggest watchmaker.
The store is located at the top of the pedestrianised Buchanan Street opposite Buchanan Galleries, a mid-market shopping centre anchored by John Lewis (pictured top: Photo credit Finlay McWalter).
It will be run by Marcus Robertson (pictured top), who takes the role of store manager.
The Watches of Switzerland Group, which will operate the boutique, will be hoping that Rolex has the pulling power to draw affluent shoppers away from the southern end of Buchanan Street where the historic Argyll Arcade houses Laings, Mappin & Webb, Chisholm Hunter and Rox and upmarket department store Frasers offers brands like Prada and Chanel.
The Rolex store opens today with 133 sqm of retail space over two floors. A bronze and glass façade opens into the store with finishes in limestone, marble, bronze, walnut and leather.
“This store opening is an extremely positive move for our group and testament to our relationship with Rolex which dates back to 1919 when we were the first appointed Rolex retailer in the UK so it is fitting that we’re opening the only dedicated Boutique in Scotland,” says The Watches of Switzerland Group CEO Brian Duffy.
Glasgow city centre already has two Rolex stockists, Laings and Mappin & Webb, but WoSG is promising that the boutique will have the largest choice.
“This new Rolex store is set to be a superb addition to Glasgow’s retail scene and positive step forward in the current climate showing confidence in the market. Rolex enthusiasts will now benefit from accessing the largest collection of Rolex timepieces in the city with the same shared world class service associated with the brand and our group,” Mr Duffy promises.
Shortages of the most in demand Rolex watches have continued into the post-lock-down months, according to authorised dealers speaking to WatchPro, so competition among Glasgow’s retailers for allocations will be fierce.
WoSG has consistently maintained that the only proven way to secure better allocations with Rolex has been to invest in new and improved store presentation for the brand.
Rolex in Glasgow will open with an appointment-only service, an increasingly common strategy for luxury watch shops and jewellers since reopening.
“As we navigate the phased return to store retailing, we will be operating on a by-appointment-only basis in this new Rolex boutique to help manage in-store footfall and ensure the safety and comfort of colleagues and customers. Online consultations via clients’ preferred video conferencing platform and deliveries are also being offered until we can fully open our stores again,” explains Mr Duffy.