Major international watch brands like Fossil, Komono, Guess Watches, Festina, Diesel, Puma, Adidas, Garmin, Disney, Nixon and Pulsar continue to dominate this sector. Following these reports, Euromonitor presented a one percent growth forecast of watch sales in the five year period. Though the value growth will show a less steep growth curve, market demand still remains pretty strong.
Since the recession, watch manufacturers have targeted the younger segments of the South African society for increased market share prospects and new developments. Together, these aim at tapping the largely unexplored young generation demands.
Like the mid-age market, South African youngsters and kids too aspire to own a wristwatch to revamp up their style statement. Watches now possess the capacity to entrap a whole generation in their necessity and unique design offerings. The kids’ watches sector is thus a lucrative segment for all major players.
The kids’ watch segment does not follow the rough and sporty look of men’s watches nor the cute and glittery look of women watches. The kids’ segment is dominated by wrist wears which have the trending action heroes like batman, justice league, etc or exotic designs attributed to stories which have the potential to catch their imagination like stars, reindeers, etc which depicts the Scandinavian style wintertime.
The kids’ segment shows maximum market share in the hands of Swiss made designer watches, followed by leading world brands like Casio, Titan, Fossil to name a few. These are kept rather simple without much elegance hardwired in these watches. Big names in the men and women section like Citizen, Earnshaw, Reactor, etc do not yet have any footprint in this segment; but given the growth opportunities, it will only be a matter of time before the market gets competitive further.
According to young South African entrepreneur Amy de Castro, there is a huge opportunity for watchmakers to tap into the kids’ segment. There is a growing trend among kids and teens to wear wristwatches on all occasions; the watches seem to affect their personality and fashion tastes and choices. Retro modern styles offered by Fossil as well as modern, reliable Swiss watches with their exquisite appearances are prevalent in the kids’ section. Amy de Castro regrets that the bigger players acknowledged the lack of presence of any watch-making industries in South Africa despite the sector’s potential.
The kids’ watches sector in South Africa has already started a shift towards modern smart watches like hereO, a GPS watch designed for kids with family locator app. More traditional styles such as watches made from bamboo and other natural materials are also catching up. Smart watches like Apple watch, though still remain out of reach for the masses, have caught the imaginations of teens thanks to their immense opportunities in ease of communication via wireless transmissions and remote linking capabilities.