Is time running out for the wristwatch?
Surveys and sales data show that young shoppers are shunning watches for snazzier time-telling gadgets, such as cellphones and iPods.
Last year, the number of people who bought watches not in the Rolex and Patek Philippe stratosphere dropped 12% from 2004, according to a leading market research group. The runaway favorite brand for teens, Fossil Inc. of Texas, acknowledged an 18.6% decline in wholesale U.S. sales of its namesake brand.
Oakley Inc., which is based in Orange County, said watch sales fell 11% last year as it phased out digital watches and styles that weren't selling well.
For many in the cellphone generation, watches now seem about as relevant as grandfather clocks.
Piper Jaffray's semiannual report on teen preferences finds that teenagers who said they never wore a watch rose to 59% from 48%. The number of teens who said they wore a watch daily declined to 13% in this spring's survey, compared with 18% of those polled in the fall.
And 82% said they didn't plan to buy a watch in the next six months, compared with 76% last fall.
The dismal poll results caused Piper Jaffray to maintain its "neutral-to-cautious stance" on Fossil's stock.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Posted by AKI SYSTEMS 2600 at 4/18/2006 10:13:00 AM