Watch sales through brick and mortar stores drop by 97% in April

New Bond Street, London. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Watch sales in April through brick and mortar stores plummeted by 98.1% in London and 96.1% in the rest of Great Britain, according to GfK’s latest retail sales report.

Britain went into a hard lock down on March 23, and stores will not begin to reopen until next month.

Online sales have risen by a healthy 38.4% in April, trimming the overall drop in sales across all channels to 82.3%.

The Watches of Switzerland Group reported yesterday that ecommerce sales had risen by 82.8% in April.

However, the group has previously reported that Rolex accounts for over half of its total turnover, and Rolex watches cannot be sold online.

Patek Philippe has allowed its authorized dealers to sell online for the first time during the pandemic, but the initiative is not thought to have moved the needle significantly.

GfK’s data may be missing some sales activity through clienteling, where a retailer’s sales team directly contacts their best customers over WhatsApp or phone, to sell them watches.

Ecommerce sales directly from the watch brands’ websites are also outside the data collection.



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