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Luxury sales on the up, say retailers

Jewellery retailers are reporting strong sales of luxury watch and jewellery brands, propelled by consumers willing to pay for quality and an increasing tourist spend.

This follows findings from the UK Luxury Benchmark Study, a survey of 80 senior luxury executives on the UK market, published this week by British luxury group Walpole and Ledbury Research. The research indicates that the UK luxury goods market could grow 10% from £6bn in 2010 to £6.5bn in 2011 and that by 2015, it will have grown a further 57% to stand at £9.4bn.

Looking forward, 91% of those surveyed said they were confident about the future, and forecasted sales growth in 2011. The research found that the tourist spend rose 40% between 2009 and 2010, and now accounts for £1 in every £4 spent on luxury goods in the UK.

Mike Oldroyd, regional manager for the South East at multiple jeweller Fraser Hart Fields, said: “I certainly feel Walpole’s optimism reflects our own. Our business in the luxury brand sector continues to grow formidably. While our traditional customer base within the UK is still very much in evidence, overseas visitors are choosing to spend more on luxury brands with Fraser Hart in increasing numbers. I guess our confidence reflects that of our brand partners too. We see no reason why the growth in this area will not continue over the next few years as more and more travellers come to the UK.”

He added: “Interestingly, we are seeing increases across all our store formats, regardless of geographic location, but the stronger, luxury branded business tends to be within the South East.”

Peter Jackson, owner of five-strong Northern jewellery chain Peter Jackson the Jeweller, echoed this. He said: “We’re finding that customers are being more careful and considered in their purchases, and investing in luxury brands or bespoke designs, with lesser known branded products struggling. I feel very confident about our sales of luxury brands going forward.”


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