Family-run jeweller Steffans is set to make its mark in a new area of the market by opening its first standalone watch boutique in a space adjacent to its flagship jewellery store in Northampton.
Steff Suter, founder of the store, told WatchPro that having pursued the branded jewellery market for some time now with success, he now hopes to break into the watch market as the go-to retailer both online and as a brick-and-mortar store.
“We have done the branded jewellery thing for some time so wanted a new focus,” said Suter. “We’re bringing in Vivienne Westwood watches and less common brands. For example I saw one the other day called Seagull 1963 which I don’t think is in the UK yet.”
Suter says he is looking for alternative brands, something a little “off the wall”, to match the kind of consumer currently shopping in the Steffans stores and online.
The new watch boutique, which Suter has just picked up the keys for, is described as having high ceiling and being on the corner of its current Northampton jewellery store. Suter plans to open the store at the start of the Olympic Games and says he will hopefully hang mannequins from the ceiling wearing swimwear and watches as a way of building publicity about the event and the store.
At present the retailer is receiving around 4,000 page views a day on its site and has said that it search results for watches are getting stronger.
It is also taking a leaf out of the book of retail sites such as Bicester where the public and tourists flock to buy discounted branded and designer goods such as handbags, shoes and clothing and has recently launched an up to 50% off sale for branded watches by ToyWatch, Hugo Boss and Raymond Weil.
Suter said: “Without a doubt people are reluctant to spend without getting a bargain and so we’re holding a sale to help some brands shift some extra stock while also being a teaser for our customers about the new route we’re going down.”
He added that the sale drive will help bring more people to the site and will familiarise them with its brand offer, that currently includes TAG Heuer, Rado, Bell & Ross, Gucci, Skagen TW Steel and a number of fashion brands, as well as pre-owned luxury timepieces.