The challenges facing distributors and licensees of mass market fashion watches are laid bare today with results from both Inter City Group Holdings and Peers Hardy showing falling sales in 2018.
Peers Hardy saw UK sales fall by 15% to £16.1 million. Sales to Europe and the rest of the world were down by 0.8% to £12 million.
The company’s products include watches and, in some cases, jewellery under brands Henry London, Radley, Sara Miller, Orla Kiely Time, Lola Rose, Halcyon Days, CLUSE, Paul Hewitt and Kahuna, as well as children’s watches from Tikkers, Disney and Peppa Pig.
Inter City Group’s UK sales were down by 4% to £17.3 million. Turnover from Europe and the rest of the world was down almost 26% to £4.9 million. Inter City Group Holdings is the UK subsidiary of ILG of Switzerland AG, which is not required to publish accounts that can be seen by the public.
Inter City Group, which operates under the name Inter City Watch Company in the UK, sells watches, accessories, eyewear and fragrances under license from brands including Ben Sherman, Missguided, Daisy Dixon, Police, Superdry, Timberland. It also distributes Swiss watch brands Hanowa and Swiss Military plus luxury watch houses Aigner, Cerruti and Saint Honore.
Both groups posted losses in 2018. A loss of £420,000 for Peers Hardy and £1.3 million for Inter City Group.
The UK market for watches priced at under £500 has been declining since the spike in 2014 caused by the Michael Kors fashion watch craze (see GfK graphic at the top).