Rapaport Magazine
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Retail Rap

By Phyllis Schiller
What Are You Restocking After The Holidays?
 
Konstantino
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: “What are you restocking after Christmas? What were the key items that sold that need to be filled in?”

ERIC SHELTON, PRESIDENT
SHELTON JEWELERS
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
   “We’re always having to restock loose diamonds because 51 percent of our business is engagement rings. Round is king right now; we’re seeing very little else being requested at this time. We try to make sure we have a full inventory of round in all sizes up to 3 carats. We are educators and we like to sit down and go over the value of the piece as much as we like to go over what makes a piece of jewelry tick. In other words, we’ll look under the microscope and we’ll show them the cut under the scope. We’ll compare the stone against our master set of natural color diamonds so that they can see for themselves what has real value. We sell diamonds with a better cut faster than we do color and clarity.
   “When it comes to fashion pieces, we sold a $50,000 ruby and diamond bracelet around Christmas time, but we probably won’t replace that one right away. And we sold a $20,000 ruby and diamond fashion ring in January, but I also don’t plan to replace it right away. Christmas wasn’t as strong as normal, so we still have a fairly strong inventory. We’re just replacing what we know are the bread-and-butter fast-sellers, like the fast-sellers from John Hardy and Konstantino. Diamond stud earrings, smaller stuff, was mostly what we sold at Christmas, so we’re refilling all of that. We’re not getting to the bigger-ticket items just yet.”

JONATHAN ROSE, MANAGER
ROSE JEWELERS
LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN
   For us, it has been our Rhythm of Love diamond pendants and earrings, but it’s been all over the board, with price ranges from $500 to about $2,000. We did really well with a company called Allison-Kaufman and we sold a broad range, a bit of everything, from their colored fashion jewelry — colored stones, such as rubies, sapphires, and colored diamonds as well. In bridal, halos did very well.”

EILEEN EICHHORN, PRESIDENT
EICHHORN JEWELRY, Inc.
DECATUR, INDIANA
   “Diamonds are still strong. Last year was my fiftieth year in this business and it’s never been more varied in what sold, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Still some high grade sold, but also low grade and everything in between. Customers are not opposed to what my dad used to call ‘naats,’ diamonds that we would have as comparison diamonds that people would never buy. And now they’re not opposed to them. You can put them into a piece and mix it up with something that’s a little bit more stylish; not necessarily bridal, but something that would be more of a fashion piece.
   “I will probably fill in some things, not necessarily a whole line. Galatea did well and ArtCarved bridal is still really big for us.”

AMY HART, CO-OWNER
HAUSER’S JEWELERS
NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA
   “We’re not restocking necessarily but for fill-ins, it would be some of our fast-sellers. For example, I’d restock sterling silver and diamond bracelets from Charles Garnier that sold very quickly. And I’d restock Belle Étoile enameled and crystal pieces — it’s a price-point line. Also Breuning, which is sterling silver with gold accents and some diamonds and gemstones, I’d restock some pieces from that as well.
   “In terms of diamonds, we’re pretty well stocked there. Best sellers in general for diamonds are Simon G. and Roberto Coin, which did very well, and Cherie Dorie, which has fun diamond things. Diamond jewelry is our number one item.”

STARR BRAGG, OWNER
BRISTOL & BRAGG
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE
   “Pandora, of course, was our number one for the holidays and John Hardy, which was our number two. And diamond stud earrings also were what sold. We actually sold larger ones, a few pair of 1-carats and 1.50-carats and 2-carats. In terms of fashion jewelry, it was basics, like single-stone pendants, that sold.”

KATE ADDESSI, ASSISTANT MANAGER
ADDESSI JEWELERS
RIDGEFIELD, CONNECTICUT
   “We try not to restock after the holidays because there is such a lull this time of year. We do just necessities. We stock so much before the holidays, we usually wait until the springtime before we restock.
   “We sell silver and diamond bands and then there’s a whole vast variety of other things. We had the best Christmas in 2015 that we’ve seen since the recession. But it was an array of items that sold, everything from sterling to Paraiba tourmalines that go for $300,000. We had a very good holiday season but it wasn’t just pearls and it wasn’t just diamonds, it was across the board.”

PAMELA SWEET, SALES FLOOR MANAGER
ARNOLD’S FINE JEWELRY
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA
   “We did pretty well with diamond pieces — necklaces and earrings, but not as much with rings. So I would fill in a little bit with the diamond pieces, the simpler pieces, such as gold diamond bar styles, which seemed to do well. We did see a pickup with yellow gold, earrings in particular, at the holidays. So I’ll be restocking on the yellow gold items, too. We were a little disappointed with color; sapphire as always was the best seller in colored stones. We had a consignment case and that did very well at the holidays, mainly because people associate that with a good value. Usually every December we have a couple of good sales, over $7,000 or $8,000, but we didn’t have that this year. It was more the smaller items, not the one big sale.”

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - March 2016. To subscribe click here.

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