Priti Kay of www.watchhub.co.uk said: “The watch brands that dominate the watch market have, in most cases, spent many years and small fortunes carefully creating and crafting their brand. They associate discounts with a brand that is not in demand and understandably, this is not how the brands want to be viewed.”
To protect the brand image of the watches, brands have introduced contracts with the shops and websites that stock the product to maintain strict minimum standards.
Former solicitor and co-founder of www.watchhub.co.uk Robin Kamal said: “If independent watch retailers focus on prices at the expense of standards they are going to fall foul of the brands’ strict new minimum requirements, and these standards are going to get tougher to meet.”
Indeed, Robin believes the net effect will be that the big brands walk away from the independents and turn to the national jewellery chains.