The extensive physical coverage of luxury watch and jewelery retailer, Watches of Switzerland Group, includes some 130 showrooms in the UK, around 40 in the US and less than a handful in the Nordics, made up both mixed showrooms and monobrand boutiques.
In addition to its multi-brand showrooms – the eponymous Swiss Watches, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths in the UK, and Mayors and Betteridge in the US – its portfolio includes more than 50 mono-brand boutiques in partnership with prestigious brands Omega, Rolex, TAG Heuer , Tudor, Breitling, Audemars Piguet, Grand Seiko, Bulgari and Fope. The group also operates stores at Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Indeed, the luxury brand has made great strides in replicating its success in the domestic market in the United States, where it was launched in 2018, and now under the leadership of CEO Brian Duffy, it continues its expansion into the market. European.
Seven transactional websites in the UK and US are also key to its multi-channel strategy, with its online presence having been strengthened by the introduction of a next day delivery option, a “by appointment staff” and the Luxury Watch and Jewelery Virtual Boutique.
The group’s performance has been strong in recent years and total sales hit the £1 billion mark in the last financial year (financial year 2021), increasing by more than a third (+36.8%) to reach 1 £.24 billion, with 85% of sales coming from luxury. watches, while pre-tax profit nearly doubled to £126.2m with a pre-tax margin of 10.2%.
Through its brands, the group’s history dates back to 1775. The history of its eponymous brand, Watches of Switzerland, began in 1924 with a man named Maurice Lane selling watches by mail order. It was originally known as G&M Lane & Co.
The group continued to be called Aurum Holdings until it changed its name to the Watches of Switzerland group in September 2018 and, after a five-year transformation program, in June 2019 it debuted on the London Stock Exchange where it was valued at £647 million. Prior to its IPO, the company was owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management.
Innovation score: 3