London & New York offer greatest opportunities for luxury watch store openings – Savills

26 January 2018

London and New York could provide key opportunities for luxury watch brands seeking expansion in 2018 and beyond, according to international real estate advisor Savills, with 44% of brands that operate standalone boutiques globally not yet present in either city.  By contrast, the firm says 73% of such brands already have a boutique in Paris.

Overall, Savills reports that total new luxury watch store openings fell globally in 2017, with 37 compared to 44 in 2016.  The year also saw openings veer away from the traditional Asia Pacific markets (such as Hong Kong and Singapore) to focus more on core ‘destination’ markets in North America and Europe.  For example, Tag Heuer opened in London and Blancpain in New York in 2017.     

Anthony Selwyn, head of London & international retail at Savills, comments: “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.  In particular, those where ‘gaps’ remain could provide opportunities for expansion even in the more developed markets such as London and New York."

These ‘gaps’ are partly historical, says Savills, for example in that a number of the leading brands are French.  However, the greater presence in Paris also reflects the city’s high number of Chinese tourists, which have made it an attractive location for brands to develop their own stores.  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, retail research director at Savills, adds: “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.”


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Key Contacts

Anthony Selwyn

Anthony Selwyn

Head of London and International Retail
Central London Retail

Head Office London

+44 (0) 20 7758 3880


Marie Hickey

Marie Hickey

Commercial Research

Head Office London

+44 (0) 20 3320 8288