Wrapping Holiday Sales

October 1998

Timepieces:News

Wrapping Holiday Sales

Once the proven inventory is strong and balanced, retailers try new lines and watch accessories

The last quarter of the year, when traffic swells with holiday shoppers, is the perfect time to show your attention to timepieces.

At Seidlers, a three-store chain in Boston, MA, watch and jewelry buyer Dan Schwartz plans to add more watch faces to the showcases this year. "It's a good time to test a few new styles, even new brands, to see how customers react," he says. "With gift-giving so strong this time of year, I'll add pricier pieces." He also expects the high-end Swiss Parmigiani Fleurier line to do well when it arrives new to his store this fall.

Balance & Boxes
Watch sales have been extremely good this year for Greg Emerick, watch buyer for Mann's Jewelers in Rochester, NY. He wants to keep the momentum through the holidays by stock-balancing and arranging for a deeper inventory of best-selling lines now. "They need to be here now because there's no time to start the reordering process during the holidays," he says.

He also plans to install each watch brand's newest in-case merchandising displays. "Remaining up-to-date is important so customers know you work actively with the supplier. It creates confidence in you as their retailer."

In fact, Rolex and Cartier representatives have already redesigned their showcase displays at Emerick's store. Sales reps from his other brands were contacted last month and planned to customize their showcase displays per Emerick's request.

New Items
Like Schwartz, Emerick added a new line this fall: Franck Muller. He even sold several before the line hit the showcase. "I know my customers, and I attempt to look where their interests are," he says. "Often the first fine watch leads to years of collecting that same brand or others."

While it's been a banner year for luxury watches overall, says Emerick, he's seen particular interest in a new item in his store the past few months: automatic watch winders and storage boxes. "I placed several eye-catching vintage pieces in the winders, placed them operating in a wall unit and sold four single-winders plus one multiwinder in the first month we carried them." Since each single-winder sells for $795, these types of "add-on" sales add up quickly, he says.

His next goal is expanding his repair staff to maintain the service level his growing clientele expects. "I have two watchmakers," he says, "and am searching for a third."

– by Michael Thompson

 

 

 



Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


 

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