TV ads helped December watch sales climb 6%

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Watch sales buoyed in final month despite overall Q4 decline

Watch sales in the UK were given a boost in December, shooting up 6% to £124.9m on the previous year despite the fourth quarter as a whole being down on 2008 by 1%.

The figures released by analyst GfK showed that strong promotional activity helped to increase sales in December, which accounted for 19.3% of annual watch sales estimated to be worth £646.5m.

Many watch brands and retailers introduced TV ad campaigns during weeks 49, 50 and 51 of the final quarter of 2009. GfK said the ads created a significant sales uplift with watch sales rocketing 26% between weeks 50 and 51.

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GfK analyst Jonathan Hedges said: “Advertising can clearly generate a strong return on investment, if implemented and targeted correctly. This was done by several leading brands which were able to increase their sales by over £1m compared to the same period in 2008.”

On average through the year, men’s watches account for 62% of the total market value but the gender divide disappeared in December with the sales value of men’s and women’s watches splitting evenly in the month.

Unit sales of women’s watches rose significantly during December as gift shopping increased. In October men’s watches were on average £61 higher, but in December this gap had fallen to £40 with the average price of women’s watch rising from £40 to £50 during the same period.

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