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Press Releases

21 February 2013
Watch market: colorful is most important
The watch market continues positive sales trend

Nuremberg, 21 February 2013 – After years of restraint, for the first time Germans purchased more wristwatches than in the previous year in 2011. This trend continued in 2012. According to GfK, the number of watches sold increased by almost 7 percent last year, which resulted in a sales rise of 9 percent. In the UK and the Netherlands, a trend towards more expensive watches is evident.

In the first nine months of 2012, the German watch market clearly devel-oped positively, with double-digit growth in both value and volume sales. However, between October and December, sales were not quite able to follow on from the very good performance of the previous year. As a result, the double-digit growth rate of the first three quarters was not sustained for the year as a whole.

One in two watches were sold by jewelers and specialist watch retailers. This sales channel therefore continues to be the most favored among con-sumers. On average, Germans spent €291 on a wristwatch at jewelers. For fashion wristwatches, customers primarily shop at non-specialist retailers, which includes department stores, warehouses, mail-order, supermarkets and cash & carries, where the average amount spent on a watch is €74.

In 2012, unisex watches in all colors of the rainbow were most popular. Both new and established brands offered a wide selection of brightly col-ored plastic watches. The comparably low price tempts customers to sometimes buy a watch spontaneously. Consequently, sales in the segment of watches costing between €75 and €150 achieved above-average increases of 17 percent. The strong media presence of some brands had a positive effect on the industry in Germany. As a result, watches are now also being perceived as a fashion accessory again among the younger generation and are being bought to match an outfit.

UK and the Netherlands: buying more expensive watches

As in previous years, the number of watches being sold continued to de-cline in the UK, while value sales (in £) rose. However, at just under 1 per-cent, the year-on-year increase in value sales was low in 2012. Above all, the price segment of watches costing £500 to £1,500 became less im-portant. The development in the Netherlands was similar. The number of watches sold was lower than in the previous year, but value sales improved in comparison with 2011, rising more than 3 percent. This is attributable to an increase in the average price. Non-specialist retailers, in particular, in-creased their sales of more expensive watches last year.

The method

As part of its retail panel, GfK regularly collects data on the sales of wrist-watches from jewelers, watch specialist retailers and general stores in five European countries, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and the Netherlands.

Further information: Laura Kestel, tel: +49 911 395-4527

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovat-ing and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.37 billion.

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