×
141
Fashion Jobs
HTNK
Enterprise New Business Manager (UK)
Permanent · LONDON
BIMBA Y LOLA
Sales Assistant
Permanent · LONDON
BIMBA Y LOLA
Part Time Sales Assistant
Permanent · LONDON
PINK PANTY
Web Manager
Permanent · LONDON
SHISEIDO
Bareminerals Account Manager - Hoopers, Wilmslow (Maternity Cover) (37.5)
Permanent · Manchester
SHISEIDO
Bareminerals Account Manager - Debenhams, Dundee (37.5)
Permanent · Dundee
SHISEIDO
Bareminerals Account Manager - Debenhams, Winchester (Maternity Cover)
Permanent · Hampshire
KIMAI
Marketing Manager
Permanent · LONDON
FOREO
Senior Creative PR Storyteller
Permanent · LONDON
MICHAEL KORS (UK) LIMITED
Ecommerce Operations Manager, Emea
Permanent · London
SHISEIDO
Account Manager - Debenhams
Permanent · BURY SAINT EDMUNDS
SHISEIDO
Bareminerals Account Manager - Debenhams, Ipswich (37.5)
Permanent · Ipswich
SHISEIDO
Shisiedo Group Fragrance Account Manager - John Lewis, Brent Cross (22.5)
Permanent · London
CLAUDIE PIERLOT UK
Store Manager - 40h - Birmingham m/f H/F
Permanent · BIRMINGHAM
CLAUDIE PIERLOT UK
Sales Assistant - 24h - Bicester Village m/f H/F
Fixed-term · BICESTER
CLAUDIE PIERLOT UK
Stock Controller - 40h - Selfridges London m/f H/F
Permanent · LONDRES
CLAUDIE PIERLOT UK
Sales Assistant - 30h - Harrods m/f H/F
Fixed-term · LONDRES
GARETH PUGH STUDIO
f/t Design Internship
Internship · LONDON
L.CUPPINI
Intern at Start-up Fashion Brand
Internship · LONDON
BA&SH
Assistant Store Manager f/m - Full Time - Kings Road
Permanent · LONDON
NIKE
Nike Operations/Back of House Lead (Department Manager)
Permanent · Leeds
THE POSITIVE COMPANY
Graphic Design Internship
Internship · LONDON

Watches of Switzerland hit by Covid-19, but demand still strong

Published
May 14, 2020
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Luxury watch and jewellery retailer Watches of Switzerland Group issued an encouraging update on Thursday and also told us that it has the money to get through a prolonged period of weak sales.


Watches of Switzerland


It has entered into a new £45 million facility agreement as part of the UK government’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. And it said its total available facilities in place as of May 13 are around £265 million. 

All of which is good news. But what’s happening to the business now and what happened in its latest year? Well, most of that seemed positive too.

The company said that in the year to April 26 (FY20), group revenue rose 5.9% to £819.3 million, ahead of its recently revised guidance range. It saw strong trading pre-lockdown (the first 46 weeks to March 15), with group revenue up 15.8% (the UK rising 9.4% and the US surging 36.4%). This was driven by luxury watches that were up 19.3%. In fact, “demand for key luxury watch brands continued to exceed supply throughout the year”.

But Covid-19 related closures of all stores in the UK and US understandably “impacted momentum” in the final six weeks of FY20. With those six weeks included, the numbers for the full year were pulled down noticeably. UK sales for the 52 weeks to April 26 rose only 0.6% to £591.6 million and US sales were up a healthy 22.9% to £227.7 million, but that was much lower than the close-to-40% it had achieved before the pandemic hit. 

At least the company made up for some of the store losses of March and April as its e-commerce sales rose 45.8% in the six weeks to April 26.
CEO Brian Duffy said the firm had been on track to deliver double-digit sales growth before the lockdown, “reflecting our strong brand partnerships, favourable market conditions and accelerating momentum in the US”.

But it’s encouraging that “despite the current challenges, demand for luxury watches has remained strong,” he added. “Through our longstanding partnerships with the most prestigious Swiss watch brands, we have further enhanced the online customer experience with the introduction of additional brands which we had previously only transacted in our stores”.

The company has also identified cost savings and, as well as strengthening its cash reserves as mention earlier, it has been able to “maintain full salary entitlement for all our colleagues”.

And it said it’s “working hard behind the scenes to ensure that when our stores do re-open, they do so safely and in line with best practice so that our customers and colleagues will be able to shop and work confidently in a safe and healthy environment”.  

Store re-openings are already proceeding in Florida and Georgia in the US, and to date, “the experience of those colleagues and customers has been positive”. That said, post-lockdown, the company is “anticipating a prolonged period of lower traffic, particularly in airports.” That means “e-commerce, CRM and ‘clienteling’ continuing to gain importance,” something many of the firm’s retail peers are going to have to face up to in the months ahead too.

Copyright © 2020 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.