Conventional watch sales in the United States fell by the largest amount in seven years for the month of June. The likely culprit behind the plunge? Market research firm NPD Group points a finger at the Apple Watch!
Unit sales were down 14 percent year-over-year to about 927,500, the harshest decline since 2008, NPD told Bloomberg. Retail revenue slid by 11 percent to $375 million.
NPD’s Fred Levin notes that watches costing $1,000 and under were most likely to see their sales impacted by the debut of the Apple Watch, since that’s the price range most people have said they would pay for Apple’s wearable device. Sales of watches costing from $50 to $999 did fall in June, although the most pain was felt in the $100 to $150 range, which suffered a 24% sales drop for the month.
Retailers offered heavy discounts on lower-cost brands such as Times, Burberry, and Tissot, which all had a poor showing during the month.
Solid numbers reflecting the real impact of the Apple Watch are hard to come by, mostly because of Apple’s refusal to supply sales figures for the Watch. Other smartwatches could also be impacting sales of traditional wrist timepieces, as smartwatches form Pebble and others have been moderate successes.