'Luxury watches business growing at 30%'

'Luxury watches business growing at 30%'

'Luxury watches business growing at 30%'

 Slowdown seems to have skipped uber-rich Indians fond of luxury watches, notwithstanding buyers of other goods and services either postponing their decisions, as witnessed in declining sales in the automobile sector.

“The market is consistently growing at about 25 to 30 per cent annually, especially in the prestige and luxury segments,” the Chief Financial Officer of Ethos, C Rajasekhar told Deccan Herald. The retail arm of KDDL, Ethos sells luxury watches in India and opened its 41st outlet in Bangalore recently.

He estimated the market size of luxury watches in India at about Rs 2,200 crore. The market, comprising fashion at the lower end and luxury at the higher end, is predominantly patronized by New Delhi and Mumbai, together accounting for about 60 per cent of the sales, with Bangalore coming third, he said.

“It is more skewed towards New Delhi, because of such stores having evolved much earlier and also political gifting,” Rajasekhar said.

While watches in the luxury segment are sold at prices above Rs 2 lakh, the middle segment comprises watches in the price range of Rs 7,000 to Rs 10,000 with some sold at close to Rs 2 lakh, he added.

Titan also perceives watches in the price range of Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 as fast-growing segment. In an interaction in August this year, the CEO for watches and accessories division at Titan, H G Raghunath, said, “The compounded annual growth rate of the premium segment for us was about 65 per cent in the last five years. Last year, it was 20 per cent.”

The premium watches segment contributed about Rs 300 crore to its total sales of Rs 1,650 crore last fiscal, he added. It sold 100 gold-crafted watches that cost up to Rs 2,75,000 per piece, Raghunath said.

To perk up sales of expensive watches – priced at Rs 9,000 and above - at its chain of 51 Helios stores, Titan introduced equated monthly instalement (EMI) in October this year.
“Some people aspire to own such watches and at the same time consider them expensive, so we introduced it,” Chief Marketing Officer of Titan's watches and accessories division, Ronnie Talati said. However, at one of its Helios store, it could sell only one watch under EMI scheme till recently, for Rs 10,000.

Ethos hopes to end financial year 2013-14 with turnover of Rs 200 crore, 25 per cent growth on year-on-year basis over the previous financial year.