Having seen a dramatic decline in sales in 2020, the watches category is set to register strong growth in 2021. The marked fall in the number of inbound tourists, especially from China, had a considerable negative impact on category sales, as visitors from China represent a key consumer group in higher-end segments.
Watches has also managed to maintain demand by adapting to the strong rise in interest in e-commerce and online marketing channels during the COVID-19 crisis. With consumers spending considerably more time at home and with their digital engagement enhanced by the need to turn to online resources for work, study, socialising and entertainment, as well as shopping, digital channels have become a key way for brands to maintain contact with consumers and generate sales.
Swatch Group (Australia) Pty Ltd remained the largest player in watches in 2020, thanks to the popularity of its Swatch and Omega brands. However, it experienced considerable share erosion during the year as the balance of sales shifted towards higher-end brands, such as Rolex, the largest brand in the market, which significantly extended its lead.
E-commerce has seen its position in watches significantly reinforced by the COVID-19 crisis and the investments made by major players in the development of their online activity provide a strong foundation for further development, especially as many more consumers have become familiar with purchasing products online across a wide range of product categories. The distribution network for watches is weak in Australia, as only a few luxury timepieces brands have flagship stores.
Pre-owned watches are growing in popularity and demand, particularly in light of the weakened consumer spending power caused by COVID-19. Retailers such as The Watch Collector, watchtime.
Smartwatches are gaining in popularity in the Australian market and this trend is expected to continue to gain traction over the forecast period. Advances in technology are always welcomed as a global trend, especially those which enhance, enrich, or make people’s lives easier.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Watches industry in Australia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Watches research and analysis database.
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