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The UK’s fastest growing private companies: Hot 100 2015 – (28) Watch Shop

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Name: Watch Shop
Industry/sector: Retail and related services
Date founded: 1991
The boss: Kishore Naib
Location: South East
Latest turnover: £30.4m
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 52.03
Latest EBITDA: £4.6m

Watch Shop, a business with a simple but effective name, was founded in 1991 by father and son duo Sham and Kishore Naib. It started on the high street and as ecommerce took off, the operation was expanded to the web and is now “the UK’s most popular watch website”.

In addition to that tag, the Watch Shop was also the first independent watch retailer to advertise on TV and prides itself on having one of the most efficient shopping systems on the market.

Indeed, the live tracking system used on the website means that physical stock is accurately accounted for on the website and is ready for dispatch, unlike some rivals which accept payment and later realise the item is unavailable.

More than 100,000 watches are available from the company, with brands including Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein, Casio, Guess, Karen Millen, Michael Kors and lots more. Of key importance, the company is an official stockist for all goods, thus all products come directly from the manufacturer with correct instructions, packing and guarantees.

Last year marked a key milestone for the Watch Shop, when it was acquired by luxury jewellery firm Aurum Group – the owner of Goldsmiths and Watches of Switzerland.

Brian Duffy, chief executive of Aurum Group, said: “We are thrilled to acquire Watch Shop, a fantastic business and the market leader in this dynamic sector. We believe this is a perfect addition to Aurum’s growing portfolio of outstanding retail brands.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Sham and Kishore during the process, and we at Aurum look forward to working with them as colleagues going forward.”

Kishore Naib, added: “We believe Aurum to be the ideal acquirer for Watch Shop. The strength of Aurum and the synergy between the businesses will further enable Watch Shop to continue to grow into the household name which we always envisaged.”

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