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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21 comments

  • Was thinking of waiting to oder my next watch, thankyou for the heads up will be ordering sooner

    Neil

    Neil
  • I understand how difficult it is to operate a small business in this time. Inflation is rampant and we cut costs where necessary. I am thankful that MWC exists at all, given the market and devaluation of currency. Please know that I support your efforts and decision and will continue to look forward to each new watch release. Keep up the good work!

    John David Tucker (JT)
  • To be expected. A nice gesture with the preorder price offer. Thank you.

    Jason Lee Atkinson
  • Ian, you said it well. It’s only natural for you to increase prices because as you source those raw materials l, those prices have also increased. I appreciate you being honest and transparent with us. You didn’t have to, but you did. That speaks to your character, which by the way, goes a long way. The quality of your products, speak for themselves and clients will continue to purchase, as long as that quality remains. I don’t know how you do it, but you’ve managed to keep your prices affordable. That is something we all appreciate and applaud.

    Eric
  • I also think that no apology is needed considering the challenges everyone is facing at the moment. But, by being totally upfront and transparent on it, it just goes to show the ethics behind the company. Especially when the pre-orders will be honoured at todays RRP.

    It’s gestures like this that will go a long way with your customer base. And in turn I’m sure we will support you on the reasons as to why the tough decisions have to be taken.

    Can’t wait to see the new releases. A Coniston Mk2 will be coming my way for sure.

    All the best as always,

    Simon.

    Simon Dando

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