Watch distributor Veritime, headed up by former Nuval managing director Neil Duckworth, is starting to break ground with new watch brands in the UK thanks to two major multiple retail deals.
Veritime was founded by Duckworth in November and now represents watch brands Morellato-owned Philip Watch, Nina Ricci, Christian Lacroix and Orefici.
The distributor has just struck strategic deals with Beaverbrooks and Signet that will take Philip Watch into six Beaverbrooks store next month, and Nina Ricci and Christian Lacroix ladies watches into 20 H Samuel shops by June.
Duckworth said that he has faced some reticence from independent watch retailers about taking on new brands and hopes that the deals with Beaverbrooks and H Samuel will help to give other confidence in the brands.
He added: “The indies are now starting to take note. We need to keep pushing as we have a couple of brands that offer something unique – something that sells and gives them good margins.
“[The independent retailers] all say we don’t need any new brands, we’re destocking, and I always say that’s sensible, you need to destock and as a retailer you need to be ruthless on cutting back on brands, and have less brands and stock them in greater depths.”
Duckworth has focused the majority of Veritime’s offer on watches that sit below the £500 mark and is only asking retailers to buy in small quantities of about 25 watches, which makes testing out new brands lower risk. “[The watches are ] low investment, bang on the money for what’s trendy and fashionable and [the retailers] get a cracking margin,” said Duckworth.