Watches of Switzerland acquires 5 stores as US expansion continues – JCK


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Watches of Switzerland is strengthening its presence in the United States by acquiring four jewelry stores and a watch store, in what it calls its “biggest expansion” since entering the US market in 2017.

The five stores are: a Ben Bridge Jeweler store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis; Timeless Luxury Watches in Plano, Texas; and three Betteridge Jewelers stores — in Greenwich, Connecticut; Vail, Colorado; and Aspen, Colorado.

Together, the five stores acquired generate annual sales of approximately $ 100 million and employ 75 people.

Watches of Switzerland also plans to open a new location in Kenwood, Ohio, in 2022.

These five acquisitions bring the company’s total in the United States to 36 stores in 12 states, of which 14 are single-brand stores. In addition to its six Watches of Switzerland brand stores (including its two new ones), it also owns the 13-store Mayors jewelry chain, which it bought in 2017, as well as used watch retailer Analog Shift. , which he acquired in 2020.

The Ben Bridge store in the Mall of America and Timeless Luxury Watches have already been rebranded to Watches of Switzerland stores. The acquisition of three Betteridge jewelers will be finalized in the coming months; the stores will keep their name for the time being.

“We haven’t made any assumptions about the company as to what we’re going to do with it,” said David Hurley, executive vice president of Watches of Switzerland USA. “We want to listen and learn, like when we took over the mayors. “

As part of the deal, Terry Betteridge, CEO of the family chain – and the fourth generation of his family to run it – will act as an advisor to the three acquired sites. A Betteridge store in Palm Beach, Florida is not included in this agreement and will remain under the control of the Betteridge family. (This store was once owned by another historic jeweler, Greenleaf & Crosby; Betteridge acquired it in 2006.)

betteridge
Betteridge Jewelers’ flagship store in Greenwich, Connecticut, above, will be the largest Watches of Switzerland store in North America by square footage.

Hurley expects Watches of Switzerland, which went public in 2019 on the London Stock Exchange, to continue to grow.

“If there are the right opportunities, we will look to make further acquisitions in the United States,” he said. “We believe in the American market. We still believe that the US market, especially the watch industry, is under-penetrated relative to the potential that we see.

“We are by no means perfect today, we have a lot to learn, we are only in 12 states. When we acquire companies like Betteridge, we learn more.

In its latest financial results, for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 (ended October 31), Watches of Switzerland recorded 167.6 million pounds (approximately $ 227.2 million) in sales in the United States, or an increase of 50.2% over the previous year and an increase of 66%. increase over the same pre-COVID period two years ago.

Top: The old Timeless store in Plano, TX after the rebranding (photos courtesy of Watches of Switzerland)

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About Robert L. Thomas

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