London and New York could provide key opportunities for luxury watch brands seeking expansion in 2018.
Real estate advisor Savills reported new luxury watch store openings fell globally in 2017, with 37 compared to 44 in 2016. The year also saw openings move away from the traditional Asia Pacific markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, instead focusing more on core destination markets such as North America and Europe.
Anthony Selwyn, head of London retail at Savills, said that changes in the luxury market mean there may not be the same level of watch brand store openings going forward, but “rather a focus on key destination markets”.
The firm reports that the greatest increases in total luxury watch store openings in 2017 were North America (19 new stores) and Europe (15 new stores), marking year-on-year increases of 138% and 25% respectively.
Marie Hickey, Savills retail research director, said: “Geographically, luxury watch store openings appear to be undergoing a shift. In North America watch brands have begun to focus on more emerging markets, with five openings in Toronto and three in Vancouver last year. In fact, Toronto was the top city globally for luxury watch store openings in 2017.”