Watch sales volumes drop 30% during Olympic Games


GfK watch sales data for the first three quarters of 2012 has revealed a drop in the volume of watches sold, as average sales prices have leapt up.

The findings reveal that sales have been mixed for Q1 to Q3, with the volume of watches sold in 2012 down 11% in the year to date, falling 10% when comparing Q3 2012 with the same period in 2011.

GfK says the decline in unit sales has coincided with the increasing price tickets of timepieces, however the increase in value has allowed the market growth to creep up 1.6% this year.


The Olympic and Paralympic Games left London watch retailers wanting, however. Despite millions of shoppers visiting the capital there was no increase in the sale of watches in London specifically.

Volumes of watch sales in London declined by 30% between June and September this year, compared to the same period in 2011, and value declined 10.7%.

To fit with changing prices, the average sale price increased by 28% during this time, as the sale of gold watches increased by 6% in value, a product type that GfK says has been particularly popular with visitors from Asia.

Jonathan Hedges, GfK’s global product manager, said: “Overall it would appear that such a major global event had a negative impact of the UK watch market – particularly in London, which on average contributes around 35% of the value of the market.

“However, between July and September, this share dropped to 31%. This would suggest that the everyday customer was put off travelling and shopping in London due to potential congestion, and the visiting population did not make up the difference in regard to spending power.”



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