As part of WatchPro’s focus on the children’s watch sector, Lorus brand manager Graham Turner shares his views on kids wanting to look cool, making watches more rugged and the rising demand for digital watches.
WatchPro: How has the market changed for Lorus and its children’s watches over the past year?
Graham Turner: Nothing stands still so we are always refining new designs to be a little sharper and more interesting, this keeps the market fresh.
WP: There are new players coming onto the market – what impact do you think this will have?
GT: There will always be new players coming into any successful market, this just keep us alert and fresh in our ideas.
WP: Are any trends developing in the kids market this year?
GT: Watches need to be tougher, to cope with more active lifestyle; water resistance is becoming essential and illuminated dials.
WP: What kind of product developments is Lorus working on?
GT: The fundamentals of a child’s watch remain unchanged from the past: clear dials, generally analogue, although the demand for digital models is increasing. Most of all durability and value for money are key. We continue to develop watches that meet what the parents need and what the children want.
WP: Are kids’ watches becoming a more serious segment of the market?
GT: It has always had an important place in our brand mix and this has remained the same for us. Perhaps other brands are looking upon it more seriously than in the past, I don’t know.
WP: What are retailers’ attitudes to selling children’s watches? Does there need to be more education in this area? Do you think there is scope for growth?
GT: Attitudes vary amongst retailers; some really see the value in having a broad offering all year round and allocate retail space, while others just want to make the most of seasonal uplifts. Those that don’t make a consistent effort with children’s watches are missing out on the business uplift that can be made from these watches. It is not that retailers need educating; they have to balance the demands on their business and select the brands which will suit their demographic best of all. But of course there is scope for growth, in all areas of the watch business not just kids.
WP: Would you say that children’s watches are a growth sector of the market?
GT: There are definitely opportunities to grow the children’s sector, specifically in the nine to 16 age group. This would be through a widening of product offerings to pick up on trends, colours or styles. As a manufacturer of a multi-faceted brand like Lorus our aim is to provide children with a happy and memorable experience with our brand, providing desirable watches. We hope that they will take the brand with them when they move onto a grown up. Lorus and for the more distant future we want them to remember that Lorus will be the selection of choice for their children.
WP: How are children’s watches changing as kids are growing up quicker?
GT: Kids are not growing up any quicker, but there habits are evolving, most want to be cool in front of their friends whilst others want lots of features and functions.
WP: Do character watches still sell well or is it about creating scaled down versions of adult models?
GT: Character watchers are like flowers, they come into bloom and then fade, of course there will be huge demand whilst the particular character is in vogue and popular, this is great as there are defining moments when we are growing up. The trend towards the mini-me versions is not so strong at the moment but who’s to say this will not change, of course it will develop.
WP: Has the explosion of coloured watches had an impact on the market?
GT: Everyone has a favourite colour and brands have to cater for this, but each year there will be a particular colour which is really popular. This is especially true for children who might want different watches for different looks and to show a bit of the personality off.