Retailers working in the luxury watch sector are editing the number of brands they stock and devoting more space to shop-in-shops that have a better product range sold within an environment that tells each watchmaker’s story.
It is not just the top end of the Swiss watch market that is adopting this tactic, the same method is being increasingly used by the likes of Citizen Watch UK, Seiko, Casio, Fossil and Movado.
Independent and multiple jewellers, along with department stores, are willing participants. They are pruning under-performing brands to create more space for their bestsellers.
Steve Brydon, general manager of Movado Group UK, is working to ensure his biggest watch brands — currently Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger and Lacoste — have their elbows out when it comes to grabbing space in stores.
In an interview with WatchPro to be published in August, he says his team are rolling out Hugo Boss, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger shop-in-shops with H. Samuel.
“[East London shopping centre] Westfield Stratford is up and running and doing really well, as is Arndale in Manchester. We opened one in Milton Keynes two weeks,” he says.
“It undoubtedly works, and H. Samuel likes how the activity attracts younger customers, millennial customers. The right shop-in-shop can contribute to keeping stores open, which in the current market is a big deal. It is great for us because we can tell the brand story in a much grander way. We can run movies, etc. through those installations,” he adds.
Movado Group UK is sticking with a long-held view that its watch brands will fail without strong partnerships with retail partners across physical and online stores.
Even though Movado has its own ecommerce sites for brands, and its partners sell its watches online, Mr Brydon believes a strong presence at high street and shopping centre stores is vital.
“While the web is important and is around 30% of all sales now, we must not forget that 70% of sales are still made in stores. We have to protect and nurture that business because it gives us great visibility,” he states.