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Articles from WATCHES (799 Articles), WATCH BANDS / ACCESSORIES (41 Articles)

Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington launched at the Melbourne Trade Fair this weekend.
Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington launched at the Melbourne Trade Fair this weekend.
 










New watch juggernaut to grace Aussie stores

Fresh from selling $1 million worth of products last December online, little-known boutique Swedish watch brand Daniel Wellington is headed for Australian bricks and mortar jewellery stores.
Announced at the Australian Jewellery Fair Melbourne on the weekend, West End Collection was chosen as the local supplier by company founder and watch creator Filip Tysander.

Not content with those startling online figures, the company is now looking at expanding sales through bricks and mortar, as well as online stores, in Australia.

And to encourage the uptake of sales through Australian jewellers, the company said the watches would be no cheaper online, even absorbing the additional 10 per cent GST incurred by Australian retailers.

Anders Hedman, sales manager for Daniel Wellington
Anders Hedman, sales manager for Daniel Wellington
Sales manager Anders Hedman, who will be based in Melbourne for the next 12 months in a support role for the brand, explained the watch’s pedigree.

“The company’s founder and watchmaker, Filip Tysander, was travelling the globe when he met a distinguished English gentleman called Daniel Wellington.

“Filip liked the gent’s Rolex and the way he wore it with a NATO (military style)  strap. It looked relaxed yet maintained its stylish appeal. He went back to Sweden, where he had a small watch company, and began to make a thinner, cleaner and much less expensive version with interchangeable coloured NATO straps,” he said.

In just 18 months the brand has grown rapidly online and has recently ventured into Canada, the US and now Australia. Asia will also be a target for Daniel Wellington watches.

Hedman said his job would be mainly working with online shops while West End would focus on bricks and mortar retail distribution.

Small range, big opportunities
Presently, the watch is available in two sizes: 36mm and 40mm but, with ten different coloured NATO straps and a leather band option, at first glance the collection looks much greater.

Hedman suggested the NATO straps were ideal for daytime wear but that the leather option would suit formal dinners or business meetings.

He added that the watch had wide demographic appeal but suited the 25-year-old plus age group that wanted a classic-looking watch but didn’t have $4,000 for a Rolex.

West End Collection managing director John Rose said that Tysander sought out his company on a recent visit to Australia. Rose met the watch founder and recognised the Daniel Wellington watch the same as that worn by one of his sales staff.

Daniel Wellington watches have ten interchangeable NATO strap options
Daniel Wellington watches have ten interchangeable NATO strap options
Knowing that the staff member was very familiar with social media marketing, Rose understood the brand’s meteoric rise.

“The online brand imagery is very important. The photo shoots are absolutely perfect. They create a special feeling around the watch brand through their imagery and the packaging. 

“We had a few meetings and I was taken by the simplicity of design, the slim aspect, and even that rose gold is red-hot at the moment,” said Rose.

“For a brand that wasn’t really in any stores, it’s phenomenal.”

Rose said that Tysander had noticed Australians were among a large number of purchasers via the web and remarked: “we have to get to Australia”.

He met with Tysander just after Christmas and business moved very quickly from there.

“I think we’re very lucky to get such a good product, which will be a major focus of ours over the next 12 months or so.

“For retailers, these watches work well. There’s no dead stock. If the ‘blue look’ doesn’t sell, just change the NATO strap to red. You don’t have to carry a lot of stock. It’s a small range that sells well.”

Rose said straps could also be upsold to customers and repeat customers.

John Rose, managing director of West End Collection
John Rose, managing director of West End Collection
Controlling distribution
“The first thing I said to Filip was how are were going to control pricing [so that bricks and mortar stores were not disadvantaged]. He said it was all contractually controlled. Discount online sites won’t be selling the product. It’s a matter of controlling the distribution.”

Rose explained why the successful Swedish-based “internet company” would want to venture into bricks and mortar selling overseas.

“If you have a look at all the big international brands, Prada, Gucci, etc, their success is through their bricks and mortar. Their flagships are where they connect with the customers even though their websites sell billions of dollars of product.

“Filip’s plans are pretty grandiose but you can’t achieve them without a bricks and mortar presence,” Rose said.

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