06262016Sun
Last updateWed, 22 Jun 2016 1am
Drive-through jewelry store?

Drive-through jewelry store?

With no serious injuries and a great attitude, own...

Not all was lost in the fire

Not all was lost in the fire

Namano salvages jewelry (and memories) scorched in...

Hale’s Jewelers looks back on 160 years of business

Hale’s Jewelers looks back on 160 years of business

entrepreneur: a person who starts a business and is...

  • Newsletter

  • Latest Post

  • Most Read

Other News

JBT Special Alert

Due to continued fraudulent ordering schemes, the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) would like to once again draw your attention to the following advice to assist you in avoiding being scammed by unscrupulous operators posing as legitimate jewelers.

Readmore

Loading...

Industry Events

JCK Las Vegas, LUXURY and JIS Exchange glistened during a sweltering week in the desert

JCK Las Vegas, LUXURY and JIS Exchange glistened during a sweltering week in the desert

(NORWALK, Conn.) - Going out with the heat, JCK Las Vegas concluded its 26th edition on Monday, June 6. The show welcomed the best of the best in the jewelry industry with over 2,400 exhibiting brands and manufacturers, as well as an abundant lineup o...

Readmore

Loading...

On The Move

Holojem wins first prize at JCK Think Tank

Holojem wins first prize at JCK Think Tank

Jewelers Mutual, Excelion Partners team up for 3D projection aimed at creating customized jewelry store experiences

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Holojem™, a Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company partnership with Excelion Partners, won first prize at JCK Las Vegas’ Thi...

Readmore

Loading...

What's New

Hoover & Strong introduces white label diamond auction services

Hoover & Strong introduces white label diamond auction services

Hoover & Strong has announced a new white label auction service called myAuction™. This is an innovative service offered to jewelry retailers nationwide, allowing them to offer their own online auction service where their customers can sell their...

Readmore

Loading...

Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable:  At mid-year, how has 2016 been so far and what’s ahead?

Retailer Roundtable: At mid-year, how has 2016 been so far and what’s ahead?

At mid-year, how has 2016 been so far and what’s ahead?

“So far 2016 has been very strong for us. I’m very happy how things are going with our strongest sales in bridal jewelry and custom. Bridal got a significant boost when we began advertising long-...

Readmore

Loading...

Latest News

JBT Special Alert

4 DAYS AGO

Due to continued fraudulent ordering schemes, the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) would like to once again draw your attention to the following advice to assist you in avoiding being scammed by unscrupulous operators posing as legitimate jewelers.

Readmore

Will Brexit Send Gold to $1,400

11 DAYS AGO
Will Brexit Send Gold to $1,400

Gold could climb as high as $1,400 a troy ounce if British residents vote to exit the European Union in a June 23 referendum, analysts at Capital Economics said.

A British exit from the EU would, by itself, not be a big deal, as the U.K. is likely to remain a member of the European Union for another ...

Readmore

JCK Las Vegas, LUXURY and JIS Exchange glistened during a sweltering week in the desert

4 DAYS AGO
JCK Las Vegas, LUXURY and JIS Exchange glistened during a sweltering week in the desert

(NORWALK, Conn.) - Going out with the heat, JCK Las Vegas concluded its 26th edition on Monday, June 6. The show welcomed the best of the best in the jewelry industry with over 2,400 exhibiting brands and manufacturers, as well as an abundant lineup of industry networking opportunities and informativ...

Readmore

Jewelers for Children celebrates 18 years, honors Stuart Lee and Dennis Ulrich

11 DAYS AGO
Jewelers for Children celebrates 18 years, honors Stuart Lee and Dennis Ulrich

(NEW YORK) - On June 5, 2016, Jewelers for Children (JFC) held the 18th Annual Facets of Hope event in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The charity announced that $3.1 million had been raised to support their charity partners in the year ahead and that since 1999 $51.4 million had bee...

Readmore

Holojem wins first prize at JCK Think Tank

11 DAYS AGO
Holojem wins first prize at JCK Think Tank

Jewelers Mutual, Excelion Partners team up for 3D projection aimed at creating customized jewelry store experiences

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Holojem™, a Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company partnership with Excelion Partners, won first prize at JCK Las Vegas’ Think Tank on Sunday, June 5.

Think Tank, an event hel...

Readmore

IGI named Curator-at-Large for Museum of Named Diamonds

18 DAYS AGO

(NEW YORK) - The International Gemological Institute (IGI) announced its designation as Curator-at-Large for the Museum of Named Diamonds, a non-profit organization established by the jewelry industry to serve as a single registry for the world’s named diamonds.

Readmore

Hoover & Strong introduces white label diamond auction services

4 DAYS AGO
Hoover & Strong introduces white label diamond auction services

Hoover & Strong has announced a new white label auction service called myAuction™. This is an innovative service offered to jewelry retailers nationwide, allowing them to offer their own online auction service where their customers can sell their jewelry items to industry qualified buyers. The s...

Readmore

Thorsten Jewelry expands line of inlaid exotic hardwood bands

4 DAYS AGO
Thorsten Jewelry expands line of inlaid exotic hardwood bands

(LONG BEACH, Calif.) - Thorsten Jewelry, a leading manufacturer of alternative metal wedding bands for men and women, is proud to launch new models of wedding bands inlaid with exotic hardwoods. Due to the popularity of using natural materials in rings, Thorsten reports exotic hardwood inlaid rings h...

Readmore

The silver lining to the 2008 holiday season

You've heard the news. You've seen the stats. The 2008 holiday retail season will go down as one of the worst in three decades. With a 2.8% decline in sales, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retailers across the country suffered through the loss of an astronomical $13 billion.


Jewelry, or luxury items, took an especially hard hit. In October 2008 MasterCard SpendingPulse reported a 20% drop in luxury sales over the previous year before the official holiday season even began. By the first week in December SpendingPulse reported luxury sales dropping a staggering 34.5% from the previous year. It is not surprising that many jewelry retailers reported double-digit declines in post-holiday stats.


But all was not doom and gloom. There were glimmers of hope displayed by some retail jewelers. Several independent retailers reported maintaining or increasing sales for 2008. These so-called ‘anomalies' beg the question... How did they do it?


Here are a few success stories from fellow retailers across the country.


Steve Morris, Helm's Jewelers, Rockingham, NC:
"I am happy to say we were up for December and for year-end 2008. We are in a small community and saw two competitors close their doors. That helped drive a little traffic our way, but I really attribute our increase to aggressive marketing. We knew during a down economy that it was more important than ever to stay in touch with our current customers. We also worked very hard, concentrating on the promotions that had been successful for us in the past. Overall, we feel very blessed. The Lord has been good to us."


Jon Mervis, Mervis Diamonds, Tysons Corner, VA:
"About our holiday sales, we find the best way to understand our numbers is to separate the bridal business from the gift business. Our gift business took a substantial hit, but we were pleasantly surprised that our bridal business remained strong through the holidays. Traditions and human sociology don't change because of a bad economy. With that said, customers are opting for lower price points than in past years. The number of tickets we wrote was consistent with previous years, only the dollar value of each transaction was lower.


"Customers are certainly shopping around more, asking more questions, and really challenging us to be on our game. It's times like these where independents across the country can show their true passion for the business and, I believe, this will be the key to survival. A power-house like Zales might have buying power that we don't, but we have muscles to flex too. We have real people with real knowledge. Customers appreciate that and they prove it with their credit cards."


Rex Solomon, Houston Jewelers, Houston, TX:
"We were up 23% for December 2008 and finished the year up. That's pretty good since we were forced to close for an entire month due to the hurricane. I attribute our success to the daily grass roots marketing program we implemented. We ran an ad in the local paper every day. We hired 14 men and one woman to dress as Santa and stand outside our store along the main street of town. During the holiday season they would sing, dance and wave to people while holding our signs. We hired people throughout the year to dress up in theme according to the holiday and stand outside holding our signs. Our customers love it."

 

So where is jewelry retail now?

Regardless of whether you made money or not, the trend for the season was low price point, and it is likely to remain there for some time. Amazon, which many consider to be the online price point leader, reported their best retail season ever with more than a 17% increase on its busiest day, according to Kristen A. Lee, AP Business writer - an increase which occurred amid a 2.3% drop for online sales in general. Likewise, Wal-Mart was one of the few traditional retailers who saw increased revenue numbers for the holiday season.


With holiday sales typically accounting for 30% - 50% of a retailer's annual total, a large swing one way or the other has tremendous impact on the bottom line. Jewelry retailers whose financial stability was fragile before the holiday season are now at a make or break point for their business.


Although reduced consumer spending accounts for a large portion of the retail recession, banking woes put the nail in the coffin. There is no doubt that the survival rate of smaller retail businesses would have increased if the banking industry had been more stable. With banks reevaluating lines of credit and pulling the purse strings tighter, retailers were faced with smaller lines of credit on top of drastically reduced sales and, in some cases, were forced to make up the difference.

Bob Epstein, with Silverman Consultants out of Charleston, SC, puts it in perspective: "People really need help out there. They are calling us to help them generate extra cash either through liquidation, bankruptcy or clearance sales. Banking concerns are causing loan advancements to tighten. The advance rate has dropped and retailers have less available funds today than they did six months ago. Many of our clients are holding clearance sales to generate cash to put toward those reduced lines of credit."


According to the Jewelers Board of Trade 2008 year end report, retail jewelry bankruptcies increased 21.1% in 2008. Even more indicative of the economic climate is the drastic impact on wholesalers. Wholesale bankruptcies increased by 80%.


"Everyone in the industry is being affected. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are looking to streamline," states Epstein. "Companies with several locations are looking to eliminate the least effective ones. They are identifying the poor performers and even looking at the number of employees they have. People are reacting to the economy."


Despite consumer confidence being at an all-time low, small independent jewelers have an opportunity. At a time when the American people desperately need someone to put their trust in, the small independent jeweler is poised to provide that and then some. They can be the stable, trustworthy entity that is not swayed by economic or political upheaval.


"Mom and Pop stores will survive if they create a niche in their community," states A.G. Becker, owner of Becker Jewelry in Breese, IL. "Local people are looking for jewelers who take pride in what they do and who put their life in their business."


Rex Solomon adds: "Mom and Pop stores will weather this economy better than larger chains because strong independents have a lower cost structure and are more responsive to the market. They have greater flexibility and can buy gold directly from the public. Independents also have wholesalers and manufacturers backing them."


Jewelry may be a luxury item, but it runs close to the heart of everyone. It is tied to emotion and tradition and, at the end of the day, to happiness - and happiness is a necessity.


Columnist



Media Kit