The following characteristics of our Group are considered a key differentiator to our competitors and create a high barrier to entry for new entrants into the market.
How the Group creates value
We collaborate with brand partners to elevate and expand distribution and partner on demand forecasting, product launches, showroom projects, online, clienteling, marketing and learning and development for our colleagues.
Our well-invested showrooms are luxurious, open, welcoming, contemporary, spacious, non-intimidating and browsable. The design concept is regularly assessed in order to ensure we continue to appeal to a broad customer demographic and drive high levels of productivity across our estate.
Our showroom colleagues provide expertise and knowledge to ensure an exceptional client experience through extensive learning and development.
During the year we launched our industry leading Xenia Client Experience Programme.
We deliver bold impactful marketing focused on digital communications, CRM, PR, client experiences and co-operative activity with brand partners. Our editorial content across watches and jewellery provides an authoritative voice within our market.
Our multi-channel model spans a well-invested showroom network, with flagships, regional showrooms, travel retail and mono-brand boutiques complemented by market-leading ecommerce platforms. The Group has a truly multi-channel approach, which includes click & collect, and an in-person or virtual appointment system.
In FY22 we launched our Luxury Watch and Jewellery Virtual Boutique, a team of fully trained sales professionals who provide the full range of client service through our ecommerce channel.
Technology: Our leading-edge IT systems are based on a single SAP platform powering store points of sale, CRM, reporting solutions, live inventory availability and operations. The single platform enables rapid expansion capabilities in new markets or through acquisition.
Merchandising: Dynamic inventory management optimises stock availability, enhances store productivity and in the UK, allows for nationwide coverage, giving us a key competitive advantage.
Retail operations: We aim to continually drive productivity and profitability, with a high level of accountability and performance management.
High barriers to entry created through national coverage in the UK with a portfolio of 131 stores and a growing presence in the US with 40 stores (as at 1 May 2022).
Fully resourced: Experts in our category through investments focused on Learning and Development and technical capability.
Financial performance: We run all showrooms to be profitable, leveraging showroom and central overheads through topline growth, strict investment criteria on projects or acquisitions.
Cash generation: The strong, consistent cash generation, fuelled by strict working capital management, with sufficient liquidity to fund growth and to provide for potential acquisition opportunities.
We take a disciplined and data-led approach to capital allocation, aiming to deliver long term sustainable earnings growth whilst retaining financial capability to invest in our business and to execute our strategic priorities.
The Group invests in colleagues through significant training and development. During FY22 the Group gifted 50 free shares to all colleagues as a thank you for their continued dedication and also launched a share save scheme, allowing colleagues to share in the continued success of the business. The launch of our 'Workplace' communication platform will further enhance colleague collaboration and engagement.
During FY22, the Group launched The Watches of Switzerland Group Foundation which supports a number of charities, with an emphasis on helping poor and vulnerable people out of poverty. £4.5 million was paid to the Foundation in FY22, of which £1.5 million was accrued in FY21.
The Group has an ESG Committee, which ensures ESG priorities are governed at the highest level of the business. Additionally, a highly experienced Head of ESG was recruited. We support a more circular economy through our repairs and pre-owned business and have set targets in relation to our environmental impact.