In early 2020, couples postponed or cancelled weddings as COVID-19 created considerable uncertainty around the world. However, by 2021 people have been becoming accustomed to the new normal which includes social distancing and pared down life events such as smaller weddings with close relatives rather than large scale attendances.
During 2021, a growing trend is being seen in which department stores, a major retail channel for watches, is seeing recent sales growth of luxury brands largely driven by male consumers. Department stores are increasingly planning marketing strategies and events targeting male consumers, especially millennials and generation Z.
Foreign brands are entering the South Korean market in response to demand from young consumers who are looking for reasonably-priced fashion watches. Swedish watch brand Danielle Wellington, which entered South Korea via a local partner Starluxe Corp in 2013, established a local branch in response to rising sales over the last few years of the review period.
Demand for watches is set to experience steady growth over the forecast period as South Korean consumers will increasingly come to regard watches as a status symbol as well as an investment. Although high-end watches are usually planned purchases for occasions such as weddings, consumers are currently tending to make purchases regardless of such events.
Consumer-to-consumer channels are becoming popular as consumers are much more inclined to buy second-hand luxury items than they have in the past. Watches are among the most popular items on resell platforms with luxury watches holding their value and appeal for longer than apparel or bags.
As the COVID-19 vaccine has started to be distributed globally, it is expected that overseas travel will resume in the near future. This is likely to have a negative impact on sales of watches via the domestic retail channel as South Korean consumers will return to duty free shops or choose to purchase watches in overseas destinations.
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This report originates from Passport, our Watches research and analysis database.
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