Rapaport Magazine
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Retail Rap

By Phyllis Schiller
DID YOU GO TO THE VEGAS SHOWS?

The Mazza Company

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: “Did you attend the Vegas shows? Was it a good experience? Were there any surprises?”

DANIEL GORDON, PRESIDENT

SAMUEL GORDON JEWELERS

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
   “I went to Luxury, Couture and JCK and I felt the shows were upbeat. I saw a lot of happy vendors; it seemed that things were very much stabilizing and people were not disappointed.
   “We wanted to focus on our brands, what’s working, and replenish best sellers, stock-balance things that weren’t moving and to scope out the trends. One thing I saw was rose gold. I think, probably starting in the fall, the industry as a whole is going to push that. I think they’re targeting this to the younger generation, the Millennials. I saw rose gold in watches, a lot more rose and steel two-tone mixes, and in bridal. We carry some of the top bridal brands in the country, like Tacori and Verragio and Jeff Cooper and Scott Kay, and they really seemed to be pushing the rose gold. In the mid- to late-1990s, platinum was marketed really heavily in mainstream, now there’s this new direction in rose gold. I’ve seen my inventory go from yellow to all white and now I feel it will go to more rose and maybe yellow.
   “As far as new lines, Lisa Nik is one we’ve carried for a short amount of time but it is exploding right now. It’s fashion, colored stone doublets and crystals, and she uses rose gold and yellow and some silver. She’s a hidden gem who hasn’t really mainstreamed out but it’s a line that really impressed me.
   “It seems that the vendors aren’t pressuring people to buy as much; they’re pressuring accounts to perform well. Our industry used to be a handshake and a blessing; now it’s ‘let’s scrub the data and see what’s going on with the line and if it doesn’t work, let’s go in another direction,’ which I think is really refreshing.”

JAMES ORLOFF, PRESIDENT

ORLOFF JEWELERS
FRESNO, CALIFORNIA
   “I did go, but in all honesty, I hate the show. There’s too much all at one time, too many vendors. It becomes overwhelming. You need to be able to sit down and learn the product, because there are so many things going on right now. I saw some vendors who were really interesting, food for thought, but I’m going to chew on it for a while.
   “For the most part, there was a lot of organic jewelry, more natural. One booth had jewelry made out of what looked like old barbed wire. It was really out there, but fun. I found the Forevermark presentation to be compelling. I think the idea is really good and takes the concept of commodity out of the consumer’s head and gives them value again, and I like that idea.”

BILL CAMPBELL, OWNER/PRESIDENT
MCCASKILL & COMPANY
DESTIN, FLORIDA
   “We went to Luxury and Couture and JCK, all three. We thought it was absolutely fabulous, the merchandise, and everyone was upbeat. We had the best time. We went with a plan to see what was out there and we’re very pleased with what we found. We did heavy-duty shopping. We did add a few new vendors, mostly fashion.”

DALE GORDON, OWNER
GORDON JEWELERS
BOONVILLE, MISSOURI
   “I attended Luxury and JCK. I thought it was pretty upbeat and, as usual, we spent too much money. We were looking across the board for some ‘wow’ pieces for Christmas and I think we found a couple. I am optimistic about the holidays.”

MARK CLODIUS, PRESIDENT
MONIKA CLODIUS, VICE PRESIDENT
CLODIUS & CO. JEWELERS
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS
   “With somewhat mixed feelings, we did not attend JCK this year. We’ll skip a year now and then. The Smart Show and IJO (Independent Jewelers Organization) show and the Prime Jewelry Show are going to meet our buying needs and we’ll do the JA show in New York. We always want to keep our eyes open for what’s new and cool and who’s doing a great job at what they do.”

JAY MITCHELL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO)
CLARKES JEWELERS

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
   “We did go to all three shows. I thought the buying atmosphere was wonderful. We’re always open to seeing in person what designers are doing and we did see some new vendors. One thing I noticed was that vendors had incorporated purchasing reorder programs into their merchandise lines. I think it’s a good indication that they realize that not only do they need to perform but also to educate retailers. I think that’s interesting.”

KEN SHELTON, OWNER
KENNETH EDWARDS FINE JEWELERS
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS
   “We go, but we don’t treat the Vegas show like it’s the most meaningful thing in our year. We tend to go to Centurion or people come and see us and we lay out our year based on that. By the time we get to Vegas, it’s more ‘what did we forget?’ We have about a half-dozen vendors we don’t get to see anywhere else but there. And then, we’ll walk around a bit to see if we can find something new.
   “Since 2008, people have been trying to reinvent how they represent a sense of style without taking it out of a price point most people want to be in, blackening silver and doing other interesting things. But I noticed this time there was a little more advancement in design. I saw some things that looked like diamond slices and pieces with rough stones as gemstones that when I was growing up we would have used to embed in sandpaper. And they looked kind of cool.”

BOB SIROIS, OWNER
CLASSIQUE JEWELERS
FRISCO, TEXAS
   “I did not go this year; we had some other issues going on. I usually go to the IJO shows. I will be going to the Smart Jewelry Show here in Dallas. I’m looking to refill sold items, but I’m always looking for new ideas. We try to focus on more custom pieces, more designer pieces. I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing. As an independent jeweler, the focus is on quality rather than price points.” 

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

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