Revenue at Watches of Switzerland rose in the second fiscal quarter amid a strong performance in the US and the acquisition of 19 Ernest Jones watch showrooms.
Group sales grew 1% year on year to GBP 379 million ($472.3 million) in the three months ending October 29, the UK-based company reported last week. Revenue in the US increased 4% to GBP 165 million ($205.6 million) as consumer demand returned and the company opened six new watch boutiques. Sales in the UK and Europe were flat at GBP 214 million ($266.7 million).
The retailer also benefited from the purchase of 19 Ernest Jones luxury watch shops from Signet Jewelers. Those comprise 14 multi-brand showrooms, which will be rebranded as either Goldsmiths or Mappin & Webb, and five mono-brand boutiques. The new acquisition offset the temporary closure of several of Watches of Switzerland’s other high-turnover stores, which it was upgrading during the period, it noted.
“We sustained strong momentum in the US,” said Watches of Switzerland CEO Brian Duffy. “The UK performance was delivered despite the impact of several…Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb showrooms being closed for upgrade. We have been focused on developing our network of luxury showrooms across the UK, US and Europe in the period. In October 2023, we agreed to acquire 19 luxury showrooms…from Ernest Jones in the UK.”
In the first half of the year, luxury-watch sales were flat at GBP 670 million ($834.9 million), representing 88% of overall revenue. Sales of jewelry dropped 17% year on year to GBP 47 million ($58.6 million), reflecting dulled consumer sentiment and a repositioning in the US to full-price sales, the company noted. Group revenue was flat at GBP 761 million ($948.3 million).
Watches of Switzerland maintained its annual sales forecast of GBP 1.65 billion to GBP 1.7 billion ($2.06 billion to $2.12 billion). The fiscal year runs through April 2024.
Main image: A Watches of Switzerland store in Soho, New York. (Watches of Switzerland)