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Most Affluents Continue to Buy Jewelry 
   Affluent consumers will maintain their spending levels, despite expecting lower income due to higher taxes, according to the American Affluence Research Center’s annual spring affluent household market tracking study. The survey measured the mood, spending habits and online tools of the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households that account for almost half of all consumer spending.
   Participants in the study had an average annual income of $309,000 and a net worth of at least $800,000. The survey measured past purchases and future intentions of affluent households for 17 products, including jewelry, travel, furnishings, appliances, apparel and services such as dining, recreation and charities.
   In the fine jewelry and watches product category:
  • 16 percent purchased jewelry and/or watches in the past 12 months.
  • 42 percent intend to spend less on this category this year, while 55 percent expect to spend the same as they have and 4 percent will spend more in the coming months.
  • In contrast to other product categories, jewelry purchases were least likely to have been made online. Only 38 percent of affluents bought online and 62 percent bought in a store. No respondent purchased jewelry using a mobile device.
  • 10 percent of those who bought jewelry online researched the product and prices first.
  • 18 percent of those with a net worth of $800,000 to $1.49 million purchased jewelry online, while 14 percent in the $1.5 million to $5.9 million bracket and 18 percent of those with assets of $6 million or more bought jewelry online.
Georg Jensen Acquires Danish Silver
   Georg Jensen acquired Danish Silver, an authorized dealer of Georg Jensen antique hollowware, jewelry and watches. The Georg Jensen Antique collection will now be available exclusively in Georg Jensen flagship stores in Copenhagen, New York and London as dedicated Georg Jensen Antique shop-in-shops.
   Danish Silver was founded by Gregory and Anna Kristina Pepin in 1999 and carries the world’s largest collection of Georg Jensen Antique silver, according to Georg Jensen.
   Georg Jensen Antiques will also continue to show at major antique events and fairs in the U.S. as well as expositions and collector events in Europe and Asia.

Forevermark Adds Retailers, Manufacturers
   Forevermark announced the addition of new diamantaires and manufacturers for 2013/2014. Forevermark’s U.S. president, Charles Stanley, explained that the selections would strengthen the company’s supply base by expanding loose diamond and finished jewelry offers as well as ensuring ready availability.
   Forevermark U.S. diamantaires include:
   Ankit Gems, Blue Star Diamonds, Eurostar Diamond Traders, Hasenfeld-Stein, Rosy Blue, Venus Jewel and Yoshfe Diamonds International (YDI).
   Forevermark U.S. diamaintaires and manufacturers include:
   Crossworks Manufacturing, Dali Diamond Company NV/A. Link, Dalumi Group, Diarough NV, Julius Klein Group, Leo Schachter Diamonds Ltd., Pluczenik Diamond Company, Premier Gem, Trau Bros. and Yerushalmi Bros. Diamonds.
   Forevermark U.S. manufacturers include:
   Jaffe, H.J. Namdar, Memoire, MK Diamonds and Jewelry, Norman Silverman Diamonds, Rahaminov Diamonds, Ritani, SES Creations and VJ Designs.

Stuller Offers BlingWraps, BlingDots
   Stuller Inc. became the exclusive distributor of BlingWraps and BlingDots from BlingGuard to retail jewelers. These invisible ring guards and earring supports are designed to help keep jewelry from twisting, turning and pulling.
   BlingWraps are a hypoallergenic, latex-free alternative to ring sizing. By adding a ring size to the finger, the wrap forms an invisible lock to hold rings in place. BlingDots are an easy-to-apply, disposable earring back that relieves the weight and pressure of earrings. The dots lift the earrings up on the ear lobe and position them for maximum presentation and comfort.
   According to Stuller, these versatile selling tools can be used by jewelers during the sale, as an upsell with ring or earring purchases, as an impulse buy or even as a gift item.

GIA Releases Splendour and Science of Pearls
   The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) released a book, Splendour and Science of Pearls, at a ceremony for GIA alumni and students at its regional headquarters in Mumbai. The limited-edition book covers pearl history, natural and cultured pearl sources, pearls in fashion, GIA’s “7 Pearl Value Factors” — size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality and matching — for evaluating pearl quality and the future of pearls.
   The presentation was made by Dona Dirlam, the director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center, and Robert Weldon, GIA’s manager of photography and visual communications, who are among the book’s several coauthors. The book will first be presented to stakeholders in the pearl business. Plans are underway to offer the book for sale through the GIA online store, with many of the articles and photographs available on GIA’s website over the next several months.

LED Lights Drive Sales
   Instore lighting can be an effective merchandising technique that jewelry retailers can use to positively impact their bottom line. Lighting 4 Diamonds Inc., established by Vijay Paul and James Giordano, offers a range of lighting solutions for jewelry display cases, overhead lighting and track lighting.
   The two founders worked alongside electronic engineers to focus on energy-saving, low-service and product-enhancing LED lighting that mimics natural sunlight and will not jeopardize the integrity of the merchandise, both in and out of showcases. Tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), these lights can be customized for size and color. 

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

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