Italian wooden watch brand WeWood has announced plans to make its mark in the UK, having scored distribution through 2techvisuals.
The brand has already won stockists in 37 countries since it launched in Italy in 2010 and is now determined to win accounts and sales in the UK after success in the US and Australian markets.
Natalie Cromie of WeWood UK will be working together with Annette Lees, director of 2techvisuals, on the distribution and presence of the brand in the UK market. WeWood watches have so far been available for about 12 weeks in the UK, and the brand has already won a number of online watch retailers including Watches2U and Tic Watches. It is also selling through WeWood’s own UK site.
The brand now plans to win bricks-and-mortar retailers, with Cromie explaining that WeWood is targeting a specific list of retailers that it hopes to partner with, while Lees name checks the likes of luxury retailer Fenwicks and Urban Outfitters as retailers that the brand’s collection would sit well in.
“There are 18 different styles with three more set to come out in the UK, including a new wood type,” explains Cromie. “The collections include models with a date, smaller 30mm women’s models, sportier timepieces and those set with Swarovski crystals in the dial.”
Cromie and Lees said that while the brand wants to ensure its message of being eco-friendly is out there – the watches are made from recycled, untreated, non-dyed woods and for every watch sold a tree is planted through a partnership with American Forests – it also wants to ensure the wider USPs of the product are recognised.
“They retail from £89 to £99, a price point that we think is key,” says Cromie. The watches are also particularly lightweight, and house Miyota movements.
The brand is offering specially-made teak POS for particular retail packages, that slots together and arrives flat pack, while the watches are packaged in recycled boxes to tie into the natural theme of the brand.
With steel and ceramic watches far more hard wearing than wood, the brand recommends that the watches are not worn swimming or in the shower, and has confronted concerns about wear and tear by offering two year warranties. WeWood UK will also be the first port of call should any problems arise, meaning that UK-based retailers will not have to ship repairs back to the Italy HQ.
Cromie and Lees are now set to target their “perfect list” of retailers, adding that they do not want to spread WeWood too thinly or risk it becoming a fad in the UK. “We believe there is longevity in the product ,” Cromie explains. “We did start late in the UK which meant we missed a number of limited editions such as a digital version that was massively popular, but we’re hoping that the UK market might get them still.”
WeWood was previously trialled in the UK but plans to develop it here were put on ice when the timepieces took off in the US and Australian markets. Now the brand has a standalone store in Los Angeles.
“The watches are unique and newsworthy, but there’s no point getting them out there without having places to buy them,” says Lees, who will also help to win the brand consumer press coverage. “We’re also potentially looking at trade shows for the year ahead.”
WeWood was founded by an Italian company that specialises in eco-friendly products. It also produces a range of footwear called Hey Dude Shoes, which includes boots and deck shoes.
At present the brand is driving awareness using social media to reach out to consumers. The watches have also been spotted on the wrists of the band The Black Eyed Peas, and British actor Colin Firth.
This feature was taken from the November issue of WatchPro.