Sam Rose has steered watch strap and accessories supplier LBS London through a simply breathtaking boom over the last few years.
“It’s been busy,” he admits. “We have opened over 600 new accounts in two years, which is fantastic. Our product lines have increased, offering many more options to our customers and also our new catalogues have helped showcase our new items.”
The justifiably proud Sam credits the company’s straight-to-market model. “Unlike our main competitors we don’t have reps or agents working for us, meaning there are no middlemen taking a slice of the cost and so our prices are the most competitive. As people are scrutinising costs they are finding the huge savings we can offer, and are able to pass that to the customer, increasing sales.”
He says the business experienced year-on-year growth since 2009 and he is currently forecasting another 23% increase in sales. The highlight though? “Being asked to be in this publication, of course. OK, apart from that I would say the expansion of our office in which we doubled the size of our distribution centre.” He now has 20 staff at the head office in Hertfordshire, proving just how far LBS London has come since its Hatton Garden roots where it was started by Sam’s father over 30 years ago.
“My father was a manufacturing jeweller in Hatton Garden and after a couple of frightening armed robberies he decided to focus on watch straps and batteries. He passed away suddenly in 1997 and the business was carried on by some amazing people who are still with us to this day. I joined the business four years later straight from school and have never looked back.”
Outside of watch straps, Sam, despite being a pretty laid-back chap, is actually rather adventurous. He is a qualified open water scuba diver and says he is happiest when indulging his petrol head tendencies around the mountains of Europe. So he can allow himself a wry smile when he notes the UK public is actually catching some of that adventurous spirit in their strap choices, and he’s adding wider range of colours and materials to the ever-expanding range.
With success and adventure on the horizon Rose says he is very much looking forward to the year ahead.
LBS London sales director Sam Rose was a London Watch Show Power Player in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.