Rox is reporting that Christmas trading was up 11% in the six weeks to Christmas day.
The Glasgow-headquartered jeweller, which has two stores in its home city, along with boutiques in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Leeds, tells WatchPro that an increase in average transactions values, particularly for luxury watches, compensated for fewer people coming into its shops.
“Overall very positive. I am pleased to say that overall like-for-like sales were up 11% in the six weeks to Christmas Day. Footfall was down but our average transaction increased so sales were on the rise,” Rox managing director Kyron Keogh reveals.
Rox has climbed the ladder from a fashion watch retailer in its early years to a luxury emporium stocking brands including Hublot, Audemars Piguet, Arnold & Son and Tudor, despite its flagship Glasgow boutique neighbouring Mappin & Webb and Laings of Glasgow in the same arcade.
The hard work is paying off with rising average transaction values. “In line with the rest of the UK, our luxury watch category was particularly strong. We don’t see anywhere near the level of international business that London gets, however, the category outperformed every other category for us this Christmas,” Mr Keogh describes.
The most challenging store for Rox is in Aberdeen, where low oil prices have affected the city’s economy. “Our store in Aberdeen has had a hard time over the last 18 months due to the oil crisis and sales up there dropped slightly again this Christmas, but all other boutiques performed very well,” Mr Keogh says.
Looking to the new year, the company is taking a conservative approach to sales forecasts in an increasingly challenging business environment. “Despite a good Christmas behind us, we are cautious for 2017. The retail sector as a whole has a tsunami of operating cost increases coming its way with living wage reform and a hike in business rates. This, coupled with uncertainty over Brexit and how if may affect consumer confidence, makes for a rather unpredictable 2017,” Mr Keogh predicts.