Rock and a Hard Place

Rock and a Hard Place

Like many small businesses we're not immune to the difficult circumstances we're all currently experiencing. It’s not breaking news that in post-pandemic conditions the UK is struggling to get back on its feet, and I think we, as a population, are a little bit fatigued by it. We’re facing one of the most challenging moments in recent times and each day we’re confronted by the same outlook: gloomy.

Retail, and in particular small businesses like ours, are being badly hit because we operate with very little breathing space. It’s challenging and frustrating at times but we endure because we love what we do; knowing what our watches mean to those who buy them. It gives us placement - a grounding and stability - that we can hold on to as the big boat of life rocks from side to side.

Coming into 2022 we had renewed excitement; the world was opening up again and it looked like we had a bit more control over the Corona pandemic. It was exciting to invite customers back into our HQ in Scotland and it’s been wonderful - getting to chat to people about their worlds and how they’ve come across Marloe - it’s all food for the soul. We planned to have a few events and managed to hold a small get together at the University of Reading recently, again getting to meet lots of new people. It gave us a huge boost, for the prevailing sentiment was one of persistence - what you are doing is incredibly valuable to many people.

We are in an extremely fortunate place, to be doing what we love knowing that we have palpable excitement around what we do, and Marloe’s future looks genuinely exciting - our product pipeline features some of the best watches we’ve designed to date. We’ve just concluded a Series B funding drive to expand the business to include servicing, repairs and customisation in-house, as well as bringing in more people to drive growth. The Christmas season is upon us, our busiest time of the year, and Marloe, as a business, is looking healthy.

All this build up means there’s a “but” coming; despite trying our very best to keep prices stable throughout this huge uncertainty, change is coming. Our watch production has always been paid in either US Dollars or Swiss Francs, and the Pound has dropped significantly against both in recent months, with the value of the Pound remaining so for the foreseeable future. This means that the cost for us to buy our new watches is a lot more expensive than it was when we first signed off the projects for production - for example the Sceptre, at the time of sign-off, faced a USD value of 1.37 to the Pound. When we paid the invoice in September to release the Sceptre production, the rate was 1.08. It’s not something we speak of easily, for rising costs are something we are all having to deal with right now and it’s a genuine problem for so many.

We've spent a lot of time debating what to do because increasing the cost of our products is always going to disappoint customers - it's a frustrating decision to have to make. We are captive to the rise and fall of currency - it’s the situation we must adapt to and accept.

Therefore, from 1st January 2023 some of our products will be increasing in price. We will soon be opening pre-order for the Tay, Coniston Auto and Sceptre Black Edition, all at an 'introductory price' before the rise on January 1st - that way you still have time to secure your purchase at 2022 prices.

We will communicate the details of these price changes shortly, but for now we hope that everyone appreciates the complex situation we’re operating in, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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  • Whilst I agree with the comments about inflation, can you also add that Brexit now has the effect of adding import duty onto the price increase.
    Would welcome a response.

    Mike Kelly
  • I totally echo the comments already posted here… you are to be applauded for your openness,honesty and integrity… yes times are hard for everyone but you guys constantly strive to please your customers and keep quality high and prices as low as possible, we can never question your decisions because we accept they are absolutely necessary.. keep up the excellent work guys… we are 100% behind you 👌

    Alan lewis
  • Good to have advance notice. Think I might push the button on a Sceptre sooner rather than later.

    Andy West
  • This is part of the reason why I love this brand. It’s open and transparent, and it’s not afraid of a dialogue with its customers. Those are fine qualities. The other reasons are its attention to detail, it’s quirky Britishness and its occasional flashes of humour. Exchange rates be damned – I’m a happy repeat customer.

    Richard James Pendleton
  • I really feel for you and the company Oliver. It can’t have been a decision you took lightly, but like all the others who’ve commented I appreciate the honesty and explanation. Here’s to a successful end to 2022 and start to 2023 for you!

    Ben Maeder

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