Signet Jeweler’s UK operation is only major multiple in reverse this decade

Total sales for the UK’s top 10 watch and jewellery retail groups have been growing at an average of 7% for the past six years.

But UK Jewelry, the Signet Jewelers-owned operation that comprises Ernest Jones and H.Samuel, is the biggest loser in the top 10, with UK sales dropping by 10% from £476.73 million in 2011-12 to £431.40 in 2016-17.

A WatchPro State of the Nation’s Retailers tracks the turnover and operating profit of the 10 biggest UK groups from 2011-2017, and discovers that total sales have risen by almost 40% since 2011 to £1.62 billion in the 2016-17 financial year.

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Watchfinder, a specialist in pre-owned watches, is by far the fastest growing business, with sales rising by 554% over the past six years from £13.25 million in 2011-12 to 86.65 million in 2016-17.

Aurum Holdings, whose brands include Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths, Watchshop, Mappin & Webb and The Watch Lab, has increased sales by 88% over the past six years to £565 million in 2016-17 and is now comfortably the largest group in the UK.

It hopes to become the largest retailer of luxury Swiss watches in the United States with Watches of Switzerland stores in New York, California and Las Vegas on top of the Mayors shops it acquired in Florida and Georgia.

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