Gcjobvld rox thrill room
The first floor Thrill Room at Rox's Glasgow flagship was a pioneering move into hospitality at the heart of retail when it opened over a decade ago.

Rox sales dip in first full year without Audemars Piguet

Economic headwinds lead to a fall in turnover and profits but 2022-23 was still the second best in its history for Rox.

Glasgow-based Rox has battled to represent the biggest watch brands throughout its comparatively short history, but competition from Scottish neighbours including Laings, Chisholm Hunter and James Porter, with centuries of trading between them, has always made it tough to build a blockbuster portfolio, despite its success with Audemars Piguet and Hublot.

At the end of 2021, Audemars Piguet pulled the plug on its partnership with Rox as part of its global strategy to sell only from AP-branded showrooms.

It remains an authorised dealer for Bulgari, Chopard, Gucci, Hublot, TAG heuer, Tudor and Zenith watches.

Accounts for the financial year ending March 31, 2023, show the first full year without AP, and show sales dipping by 14.5% to £16 million despite opening a monobrand Hublot boutique in August, 2022, and a jewellery-only boutique in Battersea Power station in October of that year.

Rox turnover

Rox has become more weighted towards jewellery in recent years. In FY22, watches made up 29% of turnover, but this dipped to 22% in its most recent financial year.

A director’s report accompanying the results says the sale of luxury watches dropped in FY23 in part because of the Audemars Piguet agency coming to an end in the previous year, but also because demand for luxury watches generally started to slow in the second half of the year.

GfK data shows this trend for the whole of Great Britain, with growth in negative territory from May to December 2023.

Gfk growth in sales all price points

Sales of Rox’s own-label diamond engagement rings and diamond jewellery were flat on the prior year, and the directors do not anticipate an immediate upturn this year.

Rox says that margins have been improving for jewellery, but the company still recorded an operating loss of £704,944 compared to an operating profit of £1.5 million in FY22.

Rox operating profit

“The company made a loss due to lower than expected sales in the watch category and the costs associated with the opening of two new shops,” the company explains.

“We continue to focus on providing customers with an extraordinary shopping experience while remaining at the forefront of luxury jewellery retail,” the company’s statement concludes.

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