As the economy fluctuates, so does disposable income, consumer confidence, and the demand for discretionary jewelry. So how do the world’s leading watch and jewelry retailers, manufacturers, and distributors combat industry declines to stay ahead?
They rely on The NPD Group’s robust retail tracking service and unmatched watch and jewelry industry expertise to track market trends, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth.
We collect actual point-of-sale data from thousands of retail doors in the U.S, including department, national chain, mass merchant, pure play, warehouse club, military, jewelry chain, and independent retail doors. Our team collects this information in a secure and anonymous format, so that the performance of any individual jeweler is never revealed.
Our industry experts then compile, analyze, and deliver the data in a web-based tool (or custom report) that details the performance of traditional watches, smart watches, and branded jewelry. Leverage trends in watch sales, pricing, discounting, inventory, and per door metrics, and deep dive by channel, category, brand, attribute, DMA, retailer, and more.
Annual U.S. Fine Watch Market Report
Answer your fine watch market related questions with detailed information on the U.S. watch industry and the fine watch brands market. This report from LGI, an NPD Group company, is the most comprehensive, data-driven analysis of the U.S. fine watch market. It includes insight on sales and inventory trends, detailed information by gender, watch retailing and distribution data, brand rankings, and detailed brand profiles.
The Watch Collector Report
Get quantitative and qualitative consumer feedback based on survey responses from over 500 watch collectors who own more than 2,750 watches with a retail value exceeding $65 million. This report is designed to deepen manufacturers’, retailers’, and collectors’ knowledge based on detail on the profiles, preferences, and purchasing behavior of timepiece collectors.
Retail Tracking Service for Watch Brands
Our Retail Tracking Service provides the point-of-sale (POS) information and insight necessary for the watch industry to make fact-based decisions that drive sales. It’s the industry’s most comprehensive source for detail on watch market trends and unmatched industry expertise. Analyze brand, item, subcategory and attribute level information of watches across the total market and all individual channels, including jewelry chain, independent, department/national chain, and other. Watch companies, manufacturers, financial analysts, and retailers can use our watch pricing, discounting, inventory and per door metrics to identify and monetize opportunities, allocate resources, evaluate performance and understand competitive threats and opportunities.
Retail Tracking Service for Watch Retailers
Get detailed, monthly, point-of-sale (POS) watch market information to help you make more proactive decisions when purchasing and pricing watches and evaluate how you compare to the rest of the market. It’s the industry’s most comprehensive source for detail on watch market trends and unmatched industry expertise. Analyze brand, item, subcategory and attribute level information of watches across the total market and all individual channels, including jewelry chain, independent, department/national chain, and other. Retailers can use our watch pricing, inventory and per door metrics to identify and monetize opportunities, allocate resources, evaluate performance and understand competitive threats and opportunities.
Branded Jewelry Report
Rely on LGI, an NPD Group company, as your source for information on the branded jewelry market, key segments, brands, and specific SKUs. Whether to address tactical decision-making or to develop long-term strategy, look to this detail on what is selling – models, styles, price points, materials – and when.
In addition to retail and brand tracking services, custom market studies provide an even deeper dive into the U.S. fine watch and branded jewelry markets. Custom market research lets you answer your most pressing business questions, whether you want to know in which cities your brand and products resonate most, the watch characteristics consumers seek, or which competing models are top-sellers in the market.
NPD’s Analytic Solutions group includes senior leaders with extensive experience developing and delivering analytic solutions that help clients predict areas of risk and growth to improve marketing and product development. By combining NPD’s unique data assets and industry expertise with state-of-the-discipline research techniques and proprietary solutions, our Analytic Solutions team is able to answer clients’ most pressing business questions.
Now our market-leading information is available weekly, enabling you to more closely monitor performance and improve business results.
After three years of flagging sales in the United States, the women’s watch segment is again on the rise, in part due to a concerted effort by leading watch makers to focus attention and marketing dollars on the women’s market. Women’s watch sales grew 2 percent, year over year, between January and May 2018, rising to nearly 7 million units, according to global information provider The NPD Group.
leading global information company, announced that Reginald Brack has joined as the company’s watch and luxury industry analyst. In this role, Reginald, or “Reg”, will utilize his more than 10 years of experience in the watch industry, entrepreneurial nature and business development skills, as well as NPD’s rich data resources to help inform our clients’ business decisions.
Less than half of U.S. consumers wear watches, whether daily, occasionally, or limited to special occasions, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. According to the Consumer Watch Report, a recent report from NPD and their partner, CivicScience, Baby Boomers tend to be daily watch wearers, making them a core consumer for the market, but this segment is displaying the most vulnerability and erosion in sales. On the other hand, the greatest opportunity for growth lies with members of the Millennial generation.
Global information company The NPD Group has expanded its Retail Tracking Service to deliver the most comprehensive view of the U.S. watch market available. NPD’s data on watches now provides insight into hundreds of brands and tens of thousands of models including smart watches, ranging from ‘main street’ to luxury.
The NPD Group announced it is reorganizing its Softlines Sector to include Luxury tracking services, which were previously operated independently. NPD’s Luxury services -- including sales tracking for Watches, Designer Jewelry, and Diamonds -- will move into NPD’s Softlines business group, led by Diane Nicholson. The reorganization follows the departure of former NPD Luxury President Fred Levin, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
E-commerce is new to the luxury watch industry, while it’s a more mature industry in footwear, accounting for 30% of footwear sales. Learn how retailers are responding as consumers become more accustomed to buying almost everything online.
Industry analysts Beth Goldstein and Reginald Brack explore sustainability in fashion footwear, accessories and watches. Learn about the latest insights and trends related to sustainable fashion.
In the future, brands and retailers will adapt to increased consumer demand for more seamless experiences. See how this will impact every aspect of their lives—from the kitchen to the gym.
Manufacturers and retailers are facing challenges to find growth in the U.S. watch category as unit and dollar sales have declined in each of the last two years. Yet consumer purchased more than 43 million watches in 2016. There are patterns emerging to help the industry provide what consumers want to buy.
It's a challenging moment for the watch business in the U.S. - sales have been soft over the past year, and just third of consumers say they wear a watch daily. See what we see in our new Consumer Watch Report.
Did you know more than half of Americans did not wear a watch in 2016? And that oval diamonds were the year’s fastest-growing shape sold in the 1-carat range? To grow your business in this competitive market, it’s critical to understand consumer trends in the watch and diamond industries.
Our futures are no longer dictated by the sex organs we’re born with. Girls can be anything they want to be, whether a professional rugby player, engineer, CEO of a startup, or President of the United States. Boys can be artists, dancers, full-time fathers, and nurses. A macho male Olympian can transition into a beautiful woman. A graceful female model can develop facial hair and big muscles. The boys-don’t-cry era is behind us, and gender and sexuality are no longer the black and white concepts they were years ago.
E-commerce is growing in the fashion and beauty world. Last year, 23 percent of footwear sales, 20 percent of accessory sales, 16 percent of apparel sales, and 11 percent of U.S. beauty sales took place online. And these rates have continued on an upward trajectory.
Insights and Opinions from our Analysts and Experts
The watch category registered its highest first-half sales in three years, with sales up eight percent versus last year. The back half of the year is generally larger than the first, so we are bullish on this peak holiday season once again bringing a strong finish to 2018.
Sales are being driven by higher price points, with watches over $3,000 up double digits year-to-date. Retailers carrying higher end brands can plan on robust sales through the holidays.
For those consumers wishing to purchase any Rolex or Patek steel Sport model, you’re not alone. This will be ‘The Year of Relationship Retail’, meaning if you don’t already have a strong relationship with an authorized retailer of either brand, you can forget obtaining one of these models at retail during the holidays. Neither brand sells direct-to-consumer nor online, so your only hope is having that relationship with a retailer in the all-important independent channel.
With increased casualization in apparel, consumers are buying watches they can wear from the beach to the boardroom. Sport watches will rule the holidays, as they continue to outperform dress models.
Cartier, currently the top selling women’s model in four out of five price bands, will remain in high demand. The brand’s efficient replenishment and distribution will only help them realize robust sales through the holiday.
One Watch Fits All
Unisex models will be popular, with more and more couples looking for watches they can share. With this ‘sizes, not sexes’ trend comes a better value proposition, and couples have been enjoying models with easy-change mechanisms that allow them to size their bracelets and change to straps with no tools, and without having to visit a watchmaker.
Blue the New Black
Blue dials continue to be popular and gain momentum, so bet that blue will remain the new black this holiday.
When I visited Macy’s Herald Square this week, I was struck again by how watch offerings have evolved – even in the past year alone. Yes, change is definitely afoot in the department store watch category, led by major product launches in the smart watch sub-category. In fact, during the three months ending July 2018, total smart watch sales revenue in U.S. department stores increased by 159 percent. In that time, smart watches captured 9.5 percent of total watch category sales revenue, up from 3.5 percent during the same time period a year ago.
One smart watch brand pushing department store smart watch sales upward is Fitbit. This leader in fitness trackers had not introduced a smart watch to the market, until it debuted its first smart watch last October. U.S. department store sales revenue from Fitbit’s two product offerings pushed ahead of brands like Michele, Gucci and Armitron, during the three-months ending July 2018. By combining innovation in function and design with smart pricing, Fitbit has grown its share, while also contributing to shoring up overall department store smart watch sales.
Michael Kors has been in the watch business since 2004, when the company first partnered with leading watchmaker Fossil to create its eponymous watch line. The company’s branded watches quickly became a huge seller in department stores, coveted by fashion-forward men and women. In recent years, its watch sales have begun to slow, but adding smart watches to the mixhas helped keep the brand ticking.
Fossil group was founded in 1984, and the company now produces many of its own brands, including Fossil, Relic, Abacus, Michele Watch, Skagen Denmark, Misfit, WSI, and Zodiac Watches. The company also manufactures watches and other licensed accessories for companies like Michael Kors, Mark Jacobs, Diesel and others. Fossil was one of the early quartz fashion brands that garnered a loyal collector following – even to the point where the tins they were sold in became collectors items. Like many watch makers, over the years their branded analog watch sales have faltered a bit, but their smart watches are working to stem the decline.
In addition to adding a new techy-cool vibe to the watch market, smart watches help department stores increase customer engagement. They’re bringing people into stores to see the latest models in person. And even when the latest Fitbit, Michael Kors or Fossil smart watch line has sold out – which can sometimes happen in a fast-growing emerging category – they are still bringing customers into brick-and-mortar stores and shoring up department store watch sales.
Information in this blog post comes from NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, which provides point-of-sale (POS) information and insight for the watch industry in the United States. This service analyzes brand-, item-, subcategory-, and attribute-level information of watches across the total market and individual channels, including jewelry chain, independent, department store/national chains and mass/other.
People into street wear know that the 24-year-old brand Supreme releases, or “drops,” new product every Thursday at 11am. Most of their products sell out in minutes or even seconds.
While luxury watch brands release new product only once per year, the nature of their very tight distribution has become almost like “secret drops” for a few brands. Many legacy watch models are in such demand and short supply that by the time they reach retailers, they have already been pre-allocated to existing customers on wait lists.
In the 110 years Rolex has existed, we’ve never seen demand permeate through not only their steel sport models, but also virtually every steel model. The same goes for Patek Philippe, where their entire classic Nautilus line never sees the light of day in a display case when it is distributed, because the products are already spoken for. That overwhelming demand has spread to their entire 20-year-old Aquanaut line, which collectors on watch forums once nicknamed “The Wart,” because they viewed its design with disdain. Those days are long gone.
It doesn’t take a hard look into the major price bands to identify similar examples. In the $1,000 to $5,000 range, Cartier dominates the top-ten best sellers, with its briskly selling core Panthere and Tank models. In the $5,000 to $10,000 band, the TAG Heuer Monaco -- another classic -- joins its mainstay peers, like the Cartier Ballon Bleu, IWC Portugueser and Panerai Luminor. The fastest growth segment of $10,000 to 25,000 watches is all about legacy models in the top ten, with the aforementioned Aquanaut at leading, followed by Breitling’s Chronomat, Omega’s Speedmaster “Grey Side of the Moon” and JLC’s classic Reverso.
Some special-edition legacy models, like Omega’s “SpeedyTuesday” – which was created for the brand’s Instagram followers and is available only online – continue to sell out within minutes of being released. Now Macy’s has gone so far as to create “The Watch Destination,” with brand exclusives “dropping” weekly, just like street wear.
So while Generation Z chases the latest Supreme product drops, other consumers are following the same pattern with high-end legacy watches. Who knew the Generation Gap could blur so easily?
A new trend in luxury watches is emerging: non-gender specificity. Historically watches have been labeled “men’s” and “women’s”, but several factors are changing this dynamic, resulting in a merchandizing opportunity for retailers.
Women have been gravitating towards “men’s” watches, both in size and style. In the second half of 2017 the men’s segment was up 7 percent compared to the prior year, and the women’s segment was down 4 percent. Rolex has been one player in the growth category for men’s, but a decliner in the women’s category. Women have not stopped buying Rolex, they are now buying the brand’s 36mm and larger pieces, including sport models, generally labeled men’s for Rolex and other brands.
Brands have been embracing gender neutrality: Gucci, Chanel, Tudor, Montblanc, Zenith to name a few. And, top names in the industry are talking about it…
“With the Calibre 3, we have fully
embraced gender fluidity.”
– Nicolas Beau, Chanel’s global head of watches and fine jewelry business development
“I think today we should not talk about women’s watches,
or men’s watches.”
– Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith
“There are two sizes. I don’t
necessarily believe in a woman’s watch and a man’s watch. A Cartier Tank is a
Cartier Tank, and you buy it in different sizes. An Hermès Arceau is an Hermès
Arceau, and you buy it in different sizes. Maybe it’s a different strap.”
– Tom Ford
Gender-neutral watches also present a value proposition for consumers – couples sharing watches. Brands are designing models now with the end user in mind, with easy change/adjust straps and bracelets, eliminating the need to visit a watchmaker to size the bracelet or change a strap, enabling couples to change back and forth creating a two-for-one value.
Just as fast fashion retailers are promoting inclusivity by avoiding gender stereotypes, luxury brands and retailers will enjoy a more fluid customer experience and ultimately attract a larger customer base by promoting gender neutrality in their merchandising strategy moving forward, and making it easier for the consumer to find the watch they want, in the size they seek.