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Watches in Western Europe

January 2020

Value sales of watches in Western Europe declined in 2019, dragged down by a weak performance by the basic and mid segments, as consumers move to smartwatches and/or hybrid ones. A positive showing by high-end watches across countries in 2019 and over the forecast period will set the growth path for watches overall in Western Europe.

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Key Findings

Stagnating economic performances slow down growth

Struggling economies across the region are impacting watches sales significantly, due to increasing fears of recession in major markets like Germany and Italy.

International tourists drive sales in major markets

Western Europe has a long-standing reputation in luxury timepieces. Tourist purchasing accounts for a large proportion of total market value, and in recent years, arrivals have been increasing. Fears of terrorism, which caused declines in the past, have reduced, and there has been a greater focus on Chinese and other Asian customers, with efforts to make the purchase process more user-friendly.

Hybrid watches take sales from the low and mid-range segments

Regional sales of basic and mid watches declined over 2014-2019, while sales in the high segment grew. This trend was a result of the appearance of smart and hybrid watches, which have taken sales from the lower priced segments.

Internet retailing increases price pressure

Internet retailing has a lower share in watches than in many other industries, mostly as the items tend to have fairly high unit prices, and consumers prefer to see and touch the items before purchasing. Nevertheless, the channel’s share of sales value is increasing year-on-year, with no sign of this growth slowing. With an increasing number of retailers focusing on e-commerce, prices are under pressure, with some brands seeing their prices cut significantly, with a negative impact on their shares and on overall industry value.

Fashion brands increase their presence

Watch brands whose core business is designer apparel, such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton, have tended to perform well, as a result of more collections being released, meeting consumers’ desire to change their look regularly.

 

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Regional Overview

Watches: Western Europe in a global context
Stable outlook ahead
Polarisation in performance of watches by price segment
UK leads growth, driven by high priced watches
Polarisation by price apparent across the region
High-priced watches taking share from mid-priced and basic watches
Non-store retailing growing steadily, driven by internet retailing
Mixed performance within Western European retailing

Leading Companies and Brands

Market consolidation is taking place
Luxury brands leverage major companies growth
Market concentration and the risk to future operations
Relative stability among the top brands

Forecast Projections

All regional markets forecast to grow over 2019-2024
Improving circumstances expected to be reflected in sales

Country Snapshots

UK: market context
UK: competitive and retail landscape
Italy: market context
Italy: competitive and retail landscape
Switzerland: market context
Switzerland: competitive and retail landscape
France: market context
France: competitive and retail landscape
Germany: market context
Germany: competitive and retail landscape
Spain: market context
Spain: competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: market context
Netherlands: competitive and retail landscape
Sweden: market context
Sweden: Competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: market context
Turkey: competitive and retail landscape

Appendix: Competitor Analytics

Competitor Analytics tool
Overview
Competitors
Market overlap
Treemap
Overlap matrices

Appendix: Industry Forecast Model

About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Growth decomposition explained
Significance and applications for growth decomposition
Key applications for Industry Forecast Models

Appendix: Via Pricing

About Via Pricing from Euromonitor International
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