The first Watches of Switzerland showroom at Gatwick Airport opened today in the North Terminal.
Airside locations have become a strong focus for the group in recent years. It already has three multibrand stores and an additional three Rolex boutiques at Heathrow Airport terminals where non-EU passengers can buy goods without 20% VAT.
The current weakness of the pound is already giving UK luxury goods retailers a price advantage over key markets like the United States, Middle East and Europe. Taking off VAT makes the saving even greater.
A white gold Rolex Day-Date, currently priced at $37,750 in the United States is selling for £28,850 at authorized dealers in the UK. At today’s exchange rate that is $35,250, a $2,500 saving.
Knock off the 20% VAT and the UK price drops to £23,080 or $28,200, a massive $9,550 saving over buying the same watch in America.
First class return flights across the Atlantic can be bought for less.
The Watches of Switzerland Group says it secured the 74.8 sqm Gatwick position after a competitive tender process.
“Our presence at Gatwick Airport is a further step in our ambition to grow within luxury travel retail, providing excellent marketing visibility to a wide international audience” says Watches of Switzerland Retail Director Matt Shields. “The new showroom will further enhance Gatwick Airport’s discerning passenger experience by offering the very best and latest in luxury watches,” he adds.
The new showroom will stock Omega, TAG Heuer, Breitling, Zenith, Tudor, Tissot, Oris, Bremont and Baume and Mercier.