June 25, 2014 1:00 pm JST

Casio aims to double Africa watch sales to 200M by 2016

YUKA WAKAYAMA, Nikkei staff writer

Casio Computer opened a dedicated watch shop in Ethiopia's Bole International Airport on June 5.

TOKYO -- Casio Computer aims to double its watch sales in Africa to 200 million units by fiscal 2016. To achieve this goal, the Japanese company plans to have distributors in 80% of the continent's 54 countries and roughly double the number of Casio-only shops there to 20-30.

     On June 5, the company opened a Casio shop in Bole International Airport in Ethiopia. The store will focus mainly on the company's mid- and high-end brands, including G-Shock, Baby-G and Edifice. Casio sees the store as a good way to promote awareness of its brand because the airport is a busy regional hub.

     Casio says the pricing sweet spot for its watches in Africa is the 5,000 to 10,000 yen ($48.6-97.2) range. Still, the company plans to sell G-Shock and other lines priced in the 15,000 to 25,000 yen range at its Ethiopian shop, citing expected growth in demand for higher-end products due to rising economic levels.

     Casio has been selling watches in Africa since April 2013, with distributors in 23 countries, including Ethiopia. In addition to its 12 dedicated Casio shops, it sells its watches at shopping centers in stores carrying other brands as well.

     The company plans to increase the number of dedicated shops, mainly in countries with relatively high income levels, such as Niger and Namibia. Casio will also try to boost sales by adding more dedicated shops in countries where it already operates.