As part of its continued development of the North American market and in line with its Long Range Plan released in July 2021, The Watches of Switzerland Group (The Group) is announcing its largest expansion plan since its entry into the US in 2017. Focused around building its presence in key markets and becoming the clear leader in the US market, The Group has acquired marquis properties held by three of the country’s leading timepiece retailers, including Ben Bridge at the renowned Mall of America outside Minneapolis-St.Paul, Timeless Luxury Watches located just north of Dallas in Plano Texas, and the Betteridge boutiques in Greenwich, Connecticut, Vail and Aspen, Colorado.
Each location offers exceptional opportunities for expanded growth, along with a valuable influx of existing watch clientele. The businesses will, in turn, benefit from The Watches of Switzerland Group’s unique and specialized approach to sales and customer service that includes creating immersive retail environments, supported with dynamic marketing, experiential activations and social engagement, along with its significant network of global resources that includes Watches of Switzerland, Analog Shift, Mayors, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths.
"Since the acquisition of Mayors in 2017, followed quickly by the opening of Watches of Switzerland SoHo, The Group has shown its acute command of the US market and deep understanding of its discerning and diverse consumers. As leaders in the industry, we understand the responsibility that comes with that role and look forward to expanding our team in North America while investing in the growth of each of these new markets and communities."
As part of The Group’s expansion strategy, Ben Bridge and Timeless locations will be converted to Watches of Switzerland boutiques, while the Betteridge locations in Greenwich, Vail and Aspen will continue to operate under the current name for the immediate future (Note: the Palm Beach Betteridge boutique remains under the family’s control). The Betteridge, Greenwich CT location will become the largest (square footage) boutique in The Group’s North American portfolio. As The Group looks to become stewards of the multi-generational Betteridge family business, Terry Betteridge will take on an advisory role in conjunction with the 3 acquired locations. His insight as a fourth-generation jeweler will help ensure success, as the boutiques will continue to carry jewelry from leading brands including Chanel, Buccellati, Verdura, and Marco Bicego.
"In many ways this seems like a return to our roots for Betteridge, with my family coming to the US from England in 1892, bringing with them generations worth of metal working skills. I’m honored to be able to bring the experts of my house, the craftsmen and generational tradition of excellence, to join Watches of Switzerland. Being a valued part of their global network will allow for the greater world to experience what makes Betteridge so special."
The new acquisitions, combined with existing Watches of Switzerland and Mayors boutiques, give The Watches of Switzerland Group a market-leading position in the US, with a strategic retail foothold in the Northeast, South, Midwest and Mountain regions and operations in four new states. Through these five acquisitions and the opening of Watches of Switzerland in Kenwood, Ohio, The Group will be increasing US personnel by 75 through retention and new hires.
"After three years of strong foundational growth in the US market, these acquisitions and new openings are directly in-line with the projections we forecasted in our Long Range Plan. Through focused investment on new projects and acquisitions, we continue our geographical diversification in order to solidify our position as the preeminent leader in the US market."