New York City — As part of its continued development of the North American market and in line with its long range plan released in July 2021, The Watches of Switzerland Group is planning its largest expansion plan since its entry into the U.S. in 2017.
Focused around building its presence in key markets and becoming the clear leader in the U.S. market, the Group has acquired properties held by three of the country’s leading timepiece retailers, including Ben Bridge at the Mall of America outside Minneapolis-St. Paul, Timeless Luxury Watches located just north of Dallas in Plano, Texas, and the Betteridge boutiques in Greenwich, Conn., Vail and Aspen, Colo. Each location offers exceptional opportunities for expanded growth, along with a valuable influx of existing watch clientele. The businesses will in turn benefit from The Watches of Switzerland Group’s approach to creating immersive retail environments, supported with dynamic marketing, experiential activations and social engagement.
“Since the acquisition of Mayors in 2017, followed quickly by the opening of Watches of Switzerland SoHo, The Group has shown its acute command of the U.S. market and deep understanding of its discerning and diverse consumers,” says David Hurley, executive vice president of The Watches of Switzerland Group USA. “As leaders in the industry, we understand the responsibility that comes with that role and look forward to expanding our team in North America while investing in the growth of each of these new markets and communities.”
As part of the Group’s expansion strategy, Ben Bridge and Timeless locations will be converted to Watches of Switzerland boutiques, while the Betteridge locations in Greenwich, Vail and Aspen will continue to operate under the current name for the immediate future. The Betteridge store in Greenwich, Conn., will become the largest (in terms of square footage) boutique in The Group’s North American portfolio. As the Group looks to become stewards of the multi-generational Betteridge family business, Terry Betteridge will take on an advisory role in conjunction with the three acquired locations. His insight as a fourth-generation jeweler will help ensure success, as the boutiques will continue to carry jewelry from leading brands including Chanel, Buccellati, Verdura and Marco Bicego.
“In many ways this seems like a return to our roots for Betteridge, with my family coming to the U.S. from England in 1892, bringing with them generations’ worth of metal working skills,” says Terry Betteridge. “I’m honored to be able to bring the experts of my house, the craftsmen and generational tradition of excellence, to join Watches of Switzerland. Being a valued part of their global network will allow for the greater world to experience what makes Betteridge so special.”
The new acquisitions, combined with existing Watches of Switzerland and Mayors boutiques, give The Watches of Switzerland Group a market-leading position in the U.S., with a strategic retail foothold in the Northeast, South, Midwest and Mountain regions and operations in four new states. Through these five acquisitions and the opening of Watches of Switzerland in Kenwood, Ohio, the Group will be increasing U.S. personnel by 75 through retention and new hires.
“After 3 years of strong foundational growth in the U.S. market, these acquisitions and new openings are directly in-line with the projections we forecasted in our long range plan,” states Brian Duffy, CEO of Watches of Switzerland Group. “Through focused investment on new projects and acquisitions, we continue our geographical diversification in order to solidify our position as the preeminent leader in the U.S. market.”
The Watches of Switzerland Group is the UK’s largest luxury watch retailer, operating in both the UK and U.S., comprising four prestigious brands — Watches of Switzerland (UK and U.S.), Mappin & Webb (UK), Goldsmiths (UK) and Mayors (U.S.), with complementary jewelry offering.
As of October 31, 2021, the Watches of Switzerland Group has 158 stores across the UK and U.S. including 46 dedicated mono-brand stores in these two markets and has a leading presence in Heathrow Airport. The Watches of Switzerland Group is the UK’s largest retailer for Rolex, Cartier, OMEGA, TAG Heuer and Breitling watches. For more information, visit https://www.thewosgroupplc.com.
SOURCE: Watches of Switzerland