British watchmaker Accurist has set up a new travel retail division to focus on a market which the company believes offers great potential for the brand and, in particular, its ‘Charmed by Accurist’ collection.
Accurist has been quietly building distribution for its Charmed collection on the ground and inflight over the past year or so. Such has been the reaction to the range that the company believes the time is now right to approach the category with a dedicated and focused team.
“Accurist is a hugely successful family-owned brand in the UK with a heritage that goes back to 1946 and an interesting history that includes being the official watch of the first Concorde pilots, the first sponsor of the British speaking clock, and the official timekeeper of the Millennium countdown clock,” said Sales Director Paul Halliday.
‘CLASSIC BRITISH BRAND…’
“It’s always been very much a British classic brand with an extremely good reputation for reliability and quality. Last year we felt the time was right to push the boundaries and look to extend our sales into new areas; travel retail being one of these. We knew the competition was intense, however, and needed the right product – something that said ‘this is different, this is unique’. Charmed by Accurist has proven to be the perfect offer.”
Charmed by Accurist started life as a range of two watches, each designed to be embellished with favourite beads and charms. However, now the trend is for a ‘complete’ watch – as a gift or colour way for an outfit, but still with the ability to interchange beads. There are now 12 models available, mostly with Swarovski crystal stone set and mother of pearl dials. In addition there is a sterling silver ‘Precious’ version available.
Supported by a significant media print and TV advertising campaign, the collection has, according to the company, been ‘outstandingly successful’ in the UK domestic market. Best sellers are ‘Cherry Blossom’ and ‘Pretty in Pink’. This has carried through into travel retail with British Airways being the first to list its exclusive model last year, retailing at £99 ($158.50).
“Six months ago we realised that we were really missing an opportunity and set out to build on that listing,” said Halliday. “We’re now listed in World Duty Free in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Jersey – all taking a selection of the Charmed designs, and Monarch has just started listing an exclusive pink version which we’ve created for the airline. We were delighted to create this unique design, along with its own inflight box, and to help sales we also put together a training pack for onboard staff.
“We’ve also secured listings with Harding Brothers for some of its British-based cruise ships and are waiting on confirmation of a number of additional inflight listings.”
Crucially, Accurist does not believe the appeal of Charmed is restricted to British-based travel retail locations and airlines.
“The Charmed collection sells itself and we’re confident that its appeal will extend to an international audience. It’s different to anything else currently on the market, with travel retail price points that are affordable and perfect for the impulse buy audience,” continued Halliday.
“We know it’s a highly competitive market but we are extremely excited about the opportunities ahead. We’ll be announcing the launch of new models very soon, while within our standard Accurist collection we’re bringing out new ranges which we believe also have real potential in the category.”