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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  • Price increases due to legitimate monetary fluctuations are completely understandable, if not ideal. The REAL problem is the arbitrary greed-flation we’re seeing across the world. So many businesses are raising prices — and seeing windfall profits — simply because they believe they can. We are the lemmings in this sad story.

    Thanks for the explanation.

  • Thanks for the update, guys. I think everyone appreciates the pressures on small businesses right now, and understands where you’re coming from.

    Love what’s in the pipeline.


  • Absolutely no reason to explain the price rises, but that you have done so is part of the reason I love the brand. The other parts being the design, the quirky Britishness and the humour.


    Richard James Pendleton
  • Fully endorse others’ comments. Tough time for any business right now, especially small enterprises facing alot of competition.

    I’d like to see, as would others, where time allows, Marloe attending fairs and watch gatherings, physically, as that will undoubtedly aid their sales by meeting with existing fans and facilitating new fans and customers (and bringing in more revenue); that’ll be an investment in itself and other similar online brands attending fairs are existing mostly down to such marketing/promotional events/gatherings. Fans would love to meet and greet both Marloe and one another.

    The new models look exciting and I wish the brand every success going through the winter and in to 2023 and beyond.

    Martin Stone
  • You’ve written an honest and accurate appraisal of the appalling situation small businesses have been forced into by the useless mismanagement of the economy by the civil service and the non tory government.
    I own a marloe already and because of your honesty, I will now be buying another as a Christmas present to myself. I hope the company can survive and flourish..regards jon h

    jonathan hancock

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