Advertise with

Luxury watch distribution is undergoing major changes, with many small, family-owned businesses unable to keep up with challenges of e-commerce.
Luxury watch distribution is undergoing major changes, with many small, family-owned businesses unable to keep up with challenges of e-commerce.

Watches of Switzerland sets its sights on more US acquisitions


By Silke Kotrowitz - Mar 25th, 09:38

Watches of Switzerland expects to make further acquisitions in the US, which it first entered in 2017 with the purchase of jeweller Mayors, its CEO said.  

Owned by US-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Watches of Switzerland has since opened several stores, including in Las Vegas and New York.

“Could we add other businesses? Very easily,” Brian Duffy said at this week’s Baselworld watch fair.

The Watches of Switzerland group, which sells brands such as Rolex, Richemont’s Cartier and Swatch Group’s Omega, as well as more than 130 showrooms, is the biggest watch retailer in Britain and a candidate for a stock market listing.

Luxury watch distribution is undergoing major changes, with many small, family-owned businesses unable to keep up with the challenges of e-commerce, while watch brands are shutting down shops which do not meet their standards.

“If it’s a quality business, the right location of stores and support from the brands, it would be obvious that we’d be open to it. Probably over a couple of years ahead, we’ll do some deals in the area,” Duffy said.

Watches of Switzerland, which spans its eponymous stores as well as Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths, Mayors, Watchshop and Watch Lab competes with rivals such as Lucerne-based Bucherer, which in 2018 bought US jeweller Tourneau.

In 2018 the company, which has been under Apollo’s control for more than six years, flagged that its owners were working with advisers on strategic options, including a potential initial public offering (IPO).

Duffy said that an IPO if it happened, would most likely be on the London Stock Exchange.

“It would be good for our group with its size and scale to have public ownership, reduced leverage and great governance and accountability, sources of capital if that's ever necessary,” he said, without giving further detail.

Apollo declined to comment. The group’s revenue grew 21% to £685m in 2017/2018, and its operating profit rose by more than a third to £37m million pounds, about twice the levels when Apollo bought it in 2013.
Business Live 

Related News

HEINEKEN SA sows seeds for greater economic participation through barley farming
19/06/2019 - 11:17
By 2021, HEINEKEN South Africa intends to reduce their South African malt imports significantly, as the barley that the local HEINEKEN brewery requires will be locally grown, through the company’s Barley Emerging Farmers Economic Development (BE-FED) project.

The impact of compliance on cloud and the payroll
19/06/2019 - 09:38
At a time when so much attention is placed on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union and the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia) in South Africa, companies must consider a plethora of permutations when it comes to the hosting of their data. Ian McAlister, General Manager of HR (human resources) and payroll specialists CRS Technologies South Africa, believes this is especially critical when it comes to sensitive HR and payroll data.

H&M’s sales growth fails to ease investors concerns about margin pressure
18/06/2019 - 15:41
Fashion retailer H&M reported sales grew for a fourth straight quarter, but also hinted it had needed to invest more to boost its online business, disappointing investors already concerned about margin pressure.

The problem with influencer marketing
13/06/2019 - 15:16
Brands looking to embark on or develop an influencer marketing strategy need to think carefully about their choice of person and how believable the message is. That warning has been sounded by Anne Dolinschek, founder of specialist agency Nflu#ntial.

SA stokvels collectively save R44bn annually
11/06/2019 - 16:04
A total of R44 billion is collectively saved in 820 000 stokvels in South Africa annually, with more than 11 million South Africans being members of stokvels, according to Nedbank research.