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UK Show Upbeat Despite Brexit Fears

Sep 6, 2017 4:16 AM   By David Brough
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The International Jewellery London (IJL) trade fair saw brisk visitor traffic and positive sentiment among sellers, as buyers defied uncertainties over Brexit and the economic outlook to restock before Christmas.

Exhibitor numbers at the UK event, which ended on Tuesday, were up around 20% from last year, organizers said, meaning retailers visiting the spacious Olympia Grand venue in central London had a wider range of choices.

The UK gem and jewelry market has been resilient so far, despite concerns over the impact Britain’s exit process from the EU will have on the world’s fifth-largest economy, retailers and manufacturers have said.

A sharply weaker pound since the Brexit vote, combined with soaring gold and other precious-metal prices, have raised retailers’ restocking costs for jewelry and gemstones. The euro's gains against the pound have boosted the cost of importing gold-jewelry brands from continental Europe.

IJL, where retailers seek new designs and restock from existing suppliers, is the UK’s main trade event before the Christmas season, which can account for around one-third of annual turnover for some stores.

Massimo Lucchesi, international sales manager for Gecko — one of the UK’s leading jewelry suppliers, with brands including Orla Kiely, Fiorelli and D for diamond — spoke of a growing trend among women for chunkier, bolder jewelry designs.

Meanwhile, polished-diamond suppliers exhibiting at IJL reported seeing steady-to-improved orders year on year.

“We have seen increased business at IJL this year, which is encouraging, despite the concerns over the economy,” said Dovi Friedmann of London-based company Doja.

Image: Edward Hill
Tags: David Brough, Doja, Dovi Friedmann, gecko, ijl, International Jewellery London, lab-grown diamonds, london, Madestones, Massimo Lucchesi, Thierry Silber, Trade Shows, UK
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