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West End Collection has been appointed local distributor for Olivia Burton
West End Collection has been appointed local distributor for Olivia Burton

UK watch brand keeps fashionable eye on Australia

A UK watch business that is believed to have experienced significant success in international markets has set its sights on Australia and New Zealand, having appointed a distributor for the region.

Local supplier West End Collection has secured the distribution rights for Olivia Burton watches in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

The deal was negotiated during this year’s BaselWorld, with West End Collection general manager John Rose explaining he had monitored the fashion watch business’ progress over the past few years.

“Once being made aware of Olivia Burton [by other international suppliers], I followed them on social media and was very impressed with the unique look and feel of the brand as well as their consumer engagement,” he said.

“We then researched Olivia Burton's success in the UK and discovered that it was the number one brand in Harvey Nichols, Selfridges & Co, Goldsmiths Jewellers and Argento to name a few.

John Rose, West End Collection general manager
John Rose, West End Collection general manager

“This same trend was found in international markets, including Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and the US, where Olivia Burton had expanded into.”

Rose explained that Olivia Burton international brand manager Lara McManmon contacted him in the lead-up to BaselWorld after receiving enquiries from Australian retailers and consumers.

Competitive market

The fashion watch market is arguably concentrated; however, Rose believed the on-trend focus of the offering would help it stand out from competitors. A core element of the brand’s strategy is said to be the release of collections every two months to coincide with current trends.

“The unique prints and huge variety of colour offerings will capture the imagination of all age groups,” Rose said, adding, “The regular release of fashion-focused designs ensures that what is being seen on the international catwalks is directly transferred to their [Olivia Burton’s] watch design, keeping it current and on-trend.”

West End currently supplies a number of other watch brands such as Daniel Wellington and Christian Paul, which also fall into the fashion watch category.

Rather than competing against these brands, Rose said Olivia Burton would be a complementary addition, as it would attract a broader range of female customers.

He added the roll-out of the range would commence with a limited selection of retailers in July, followed by a “full presentation” at the Sydney International Jewellery Fair in August.

Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings founded London-based Olivia Burton in 2012. The offering, which comprises Miyota quartz movements, stainless steel and leather straps, is available in 27 countries.

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Saturday, 19 October, 2019 10:13pm
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