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Watches of Switzerland Group issues five-year plan for sales to double to £3 billion

Long tem plan is underpinned by a strong pipeline of Rolex projects, growing pre-owned watch sales, unspecified mergers and acquisitions and a growing jewellery offer.

The Watches of Switzerland Group has shared a long range plan that shows global turnover and profits more than doubling by 2028.

The five-year plan is for sales to reach £3 billion in FY28 is underpinned by a strong pipeline of Rolex projects, other longstanding brand partnerships, leading multichannel capabilities, sophisticated marketing, and exceptional client service elevating the luxury experience truly sets us apart, Brian Duffy, WoSG CEO says.

It will also require operational leverage and accelerating new showroom projects and M&A activity, he adds.

In the UK, the plan involves opening a major Rolex-only showroom on London’s Old Bond Street and an AP House for Audemars Piguet in Manchester.

Having joined the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned programme in the United States in July, and in the UK in September, the group believes the second hand Rolex business will grow to the point where it represents 20% of the value of new Rolex sales in the US and 10% in the UK by FY28.

At the same time, WoSG’s own certified pre-owned watch business, which now excludes Rolex, is expected to grow by 35% per year in the United States and 25% in the UK.

In the United States, the group’s second hand watch business has been overseen by Analog:Shift, a specialist in pre-owned and vintage which it acquired in 2020.

In the five-year plan, Analog:Shift will expand its remit to cover the UK.

Analog:Shift’s non-Rolex used watch business is expected to deliver annual sales growth of more than 35% in the USA and 25% in the UK through to 2028.

There will also be a greater emphasis on jewellery, which the company admits is “currently underdeveloped”.

The group recently bought 14 multibrand Ernest Jones stores, which will be converted to Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb stores, which have a more balanced jewellery and watch offer than Watches of Switzerland showrooms or the burgeoning network of monobrand watch stores for the likes of Omega, TAG Heuer, Breitling and Tudor.

“We see significant growth potential in the luxury branded jewellery market and we are now perfectly positioned to apply our market leading luxury watch model and expertise in elevating luxury brands to this growing category, which we expect to comprise a substantially larger share of our total revenue as we expand our offer and leverage partnerships with US megabrands,” Mr Duffy says.

In its 2023 financial year, which ended in April, jewellery sales totalled £119 million, less than 9% of group turnover.

The company will open a Mappin & Webb dedicated to luxury branded jewellery in 2025 in Manchester, which will include De Beers’ first boutique outside of London.

Watches of Switzerland Group has ambitions to conquer Europe, but its five-year plan has a modest goal of generating just 4-6% from the Continent by 2018; £120-£180 million from a total of £3 billion.

The United States is expected to be by far its fastest growing market, with annual growth of 20-25%. UK annual growth is expected to be 8-10%.

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