Watches of Switzerland to Expand in EU Through M&A, Boutiques

Watches of Switzerland Group Plc said it plans to enter the European market for luxury timepieces through acquisitions and new boutiques after spending years focusing on boosting its foothold in the U.K. and the U.S.

Watches of Switzerland, the U.K.’s largest watch retailer, said the region also offers growth potential in travel retail and e-commerce as it unveiled a five-year plan for the period through fiscal 2026.

The plans are a signal that demand for luxury goods will remain strong as the sector recovers from the pandemic slump, even as international tourism has yet to return. The company will follow the strategy it used in the U.S., where it bought U.S. retailers like Mayors, expanded in e-commerce and revamped brick-and-mortar stores.

The company said it expects the U.K. to make up as much as 48% of total revenue, similar to the U.S., while the European Union will represent between 5% and 8%.

Separately, the company said full-year sales rose 13% to 905.1 million pounds ($1.25 billion) at constant currencies.

“The luxury watch market remains predominantly supply-driven with demand exceeding product availability for key brands and models,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Duffy said in the statement.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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