Rapaport Magazine

By Phyllis Schiller
 Colorcraft
The 4Cs are not the only things that make a piece of diamond jewelry a sales winner. In an ongoing series, Rapaport Magazine explores the “3Ws”
— what’s selling, what’s not and why — by going straight to the people who really know — jewelry retailers. Each month, we ask a sampling of retailers to comment on the important issues that are facing the industry today. Here is what they had to say when asked at the end of November: “Based on what sold this holiday, what are you planning to restock?”


THOMAS WRIGHT,
PRESIDENT/CO-OWNER

WRIGHT’S JEWELERS
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA
   “We will be restocking our basic inventory of loose stones, primarily diamonds; not ‘over-inventorying’ but covering our basic price points. Diamond sales were all over the board but we did sell well in the carat to carat-and-a-half for the holidays. We do keep a good inventory of colored stones, which normally are replenished at the Tucson shows.
   “We also will be replacing some key designer situations by price points — one of our best price points is $600 to $1,500 — that’s about the main thrust. In some cases, the fashion jewelry has gemstones, some are silver designs and some gold.”

TIM DWIGHT, PRESIDENT
MOTCH JEWELERS
COVINGTON, KENTUCKY
   “Silver designer jewelry was real popular — fashion jewelry, some with gemstones, a lot of it plain silver. We carry several designers and they did real well.”

LYNN McCARY THOMAS, OWNER
McCARY’S JEWELERS
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
   “We sold a lot of color. We sold a lot of everything; we had a really good season. I do think people were uncertain about what might happen with our government and decided if they had the money, to spend it. We sold a lot of fashion rings, both with diamonds and colored gemstones. We do a lot of custom work and we sold a lot of custom things. It
was just a variety of items.

   “You had to work a little harder in the $50 to $250 range but we have a niche in that and then we sold some of the biggest diamonds we’ve ever sold. You have to stock a variety for people buying gifts.”

STEPHEN ROSE, OWNER
ROSE JEWELERS
LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN
   “We’re restocking most of our diamond items. We had a really good year with basics — solitaire earrings, pendants and anniversary rings, in better qualities. Some fashion items sold, but it was more the staples that sold this year.”

RICHARD ROSS, PRESIDENT/OWNER
TILDEN ROSS JEWELERS
SARASOTA, FLORIDA
   “We had a strong Christmas. We had quite a healthy increase over 2011, but it was
all based on much larger sales. People let us have our margins; they weren’t asking us
to discount our goods, which was very nice. We did very, very well with better, more expensive high-fashion pieces, with and without stones. We sold a lot of sapphire goods — sapphire and diamonds and multicolor sapphires. Diamond engagement rings we found to be soft.

   “I buy only once a year at the shows in Vegas. What I will be buying is what I sold the most of, which was high-fashion pieces that were a little different and unique and more expensive goods.”

JOE ASHCRAFT, OWNER/PRESIDENT
ASHCRAFT JEWELERS
MUNCIE, INDIANA
   “It was a good Christmas. Fashion jewelry, anything in silver or silver and gold combination, did well. A lot of the pieces had diamonds or colored gemstones. We
will be restocking.”

GEORGE FOX, OWNER
FOX FINE JEWELRY
VENTURA, CALIFORNIA
   “Overall, our sales were up between 18 percent and 22 percent for the season.
We were really strong in custom orders. Pandora was really strong and we sold a
lot of pearls and opals.

   “We sold more diamonds than we did in 2011. We sold diamond studs and a lot of little things and a few larger items — more larger and small items, but the middle, the $700 to $1,200 range, was flat. I will be restocking diamonds: studs and princess and round stones. And we will be going to the IJO [Independent Jewelers Organization] show in February.”

DAVID ROTENBERG, OWNER
DAVID CRAIG FINE JEWELRY
AND EXPERT APPRAISALS
NEWTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
   “My best sellers were better merchandise than we sold in 2011. Last year, it was a lot
of popularly priced items — silver and like that. This year, we sold a lot more diamond jewelry. Not a whole lot of bridal sales but what I sold was much more significant than what I had been selling. I will be restocking diamonds, that’s where my focus is.

   “Otherwise, it was a little bit of everything. We didn’t get a lot of foot traffic but what we got was good. So I think I will be stocking some better goods in 14-karat and 18-karat and probably not paying as much attention to sterling as I may have this time in 2011.
The past two or three years have been up and up, although the overall growth this year was probably a little less than 2011, but it was growth in an area I’m certainly interested in.”

LISA HALLIBURTON, CO-OWNER
BELL FINE JEWELERS
MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE
   “Rolex and Pandora; other than that, there wasn’t one specific item that was a big seller. We sold a little bit of everything. We will be restocking our fast sellers.
   “I would say that we probably had as much if not more foot traffic with people coming to shop but they weren’t spending as much as they had in the past. We ended up doing better overall for the year than 201l. We were pleased.”

LAUREN MORA, STORE MANAGER
HOPMAN JEWELERS
ELKHART, INDIANA
   “We had a really successful holiday season. We sell a lot of estate pieces and all of our estate pieces were very popular, primarily diamond rings, engagement rings. It was mainly diamond jewelry, not a lot of colored stones or watches. One thing we really want to start opening up is a broader line of semimounts; that’s one thing we’d like to restock.” 

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - February 2013. To subscribe click here.

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