Watch sales in Great Britain bounce back to growth in April


Watch sales in Great Britain bounced back from a dip in March to grow at 3.6%, year-on-year in April.

That will be welcome news for wholesalers and retailers in the country, which appear to have been stockpiling watches in the first quarter of 2019.

According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, exports to the UK rocketed by 52% in the first three months of the year. It is thought the massive rise is due to fears over Brexit chaos that might have crashed the pound and made imports more expensive.


With all those watches in stock or on order, Britain needs a strong year of sales, and the April growth will be of some comfort.

Growth was not even across the country, with London sales falling in April by 4.4% while sales in the rest of Great Britain were up 12.4%, according to data from retail analyst GfK.



Yet again, it is more expensive watches, priced at above £1000, that account for all of the growth with sales up 9.3% while the value of watches priced at under £1000 were down by around 10%.

To get some idea of the sweet spot for luxury watches, The Watches of Switzerland Group in its prospectus ahead of its initial public offering next month states that its average selling price for all watches in the UK is £3,827, u from £3,509 in 2018.



Performance for watches priced at £500-£1000 were down a startling 21.8% in April, while the mass market sub-£100 price point was showing signs of finding a floor with a decline of just 3.4%.

Predictions of all watches being sold via ecommerce in the near future appear premature, with the value of all watches sold online extending a period of slow decline that stretches back to December 2017.




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