The breaking news this month as reported by Rob Corder of watchpro.com, is the surprise decrease of Swiss imports to China falling behind the UK for the second month this year. News that the UK overtook China to become the fourth largest global marketplace in the world for Swiss watches, follows recent scare stories of a global slump in watch sales.
Swiss Watch Import Recovery
If one thing is true, it’s that markets go through boom and bust on a regular basis and that’s why we have the expression about the ‘Bubble Bursting’. Over the last few years, the watch industry and in particular the Luxury Swiss watch industry has been in the doldrums to a certain extent. It may not be time to panic, after all, the market is worth CHF 1.7 billion for Hong Kong alone.
The big news, however, is the rise of Swiss imports to the UK, making the small island nation the fourth largest importer of Swiss Luxury watches pushing China into fifth place for the second time this year.
Swiss Luxury- Shaky Recovery
Analyses tells us that UK retailers of luxury Swiss watches saw CHF 327 millions worth of sales between July to September 2016, while sales to China peaked at CHF 320 million for China for the same time.
Amazingly the UK saw a year-by-year growth of 32.4% putting it firmly in the global top 10 of fastest growing markets.
This news comes as global exports of Swiss Luxury watches fell by 5.7% in September 2016 despite what looks like strong performances by the USA and Japan, and as usual, Hong Kong remains the world’s ‘Top Dog’ enjoying imports worth CHF 1.7 billion this year.
Sadly, we can see the general worldwide slump in Swiss Luxury is not fully resolved with sales overall down 10.2% to CHF 14.2 billion compared to 2015.
Swiss Boost For UK
One possibility for growth in the UK is an unexpected benefit from the falling value of the pound leaving numerous models 25% cheaper than Dollar based markets.
This isn’t the end of the story, though, because from here it just becomes murky as it’s been mooted talk of a ‘Hard Brexit’ has hit consumer confidence in all markets, not just the Swiss Luxury market.
Perhaps the coming months towards Christmas will shine more light on the stability of this particular market, as millions of potential buying customers begin looking for Christmas gifts for loved once.
Basically, with everything going on and all the uncertainty there is no way of knowing the outcome. The USA is going through a traumatic Presidential election and the UK is a divided Kingdom over Brexit. How the markets in Europe, UK, and USA will react in the long term is impossible to analyses with any accuracy.
Only time will tell.
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