The Jewellery Market: Everything you Need to Know
We sat down with Ruth Faulkner, editor of Retail Jeweller to find out more about upcoming trends and insights in the jewellery industry, as well as key advice for jewellery businesses looking to succeed.
Are there any upcoming trends you think will be prevalent in 2020?
In 2019, we saw sales of unusual coloured gemstones increase as well as jewellery designs featuring pearls proving popular and I don’t see any reason why this won’t continue as a 2020 jewellery trend. Many of the more unusual gemstones are inexpensive in comparison to the traditional rubies, emeralds and blue sapphires, and they can really come into their own as a tool for interacting with the consumer. Speaking to Retail Jeweller earlier this year, jewellery designer Alexis Dove explained: “Unusual gemstones make a great talking point, but [they] also draw customers to me who want something unique and a little bit different.”
Pearl jewellery is also enjoying something of a renaissance. Jewellers anecdotally report strong sales of pearl pieces, particularly those that offer the gem with a modern twist, from brands and designers including Claudia Bradby, Olivia & Pearl, Maviada and Remay London.
Additionally, with the rise in jewellers wanting to offer services which cannot be replicated online, such as ear piercing in store, I think we will continue to see an increase in brands and suppliers offering single stud earrings, which don’t have to be sold as pairs, and can be used for piercings.
What do you think some of the innovative jewellers are doing to keep business booming?
As referred to above, the key for jewellers’ survival is to offer services which cannot be replicated online so the most successful retail jewellers are making sure they offer services such as piercing, bespoke jewellery, remodelling and repairs. Making stores a destination by ensuring the store environment and customer service is on point is also vital.
Are there any new technologies that are important for the industry?
As technology advances quickly, there are many things which will find their way into retail. Already in the fashion industry we are seeing things like the use of RFID in stores and eventually the jewellery industry will start to adopt such things also, albeit more slowly.
More specific to the jewellery industry are technologies relating to synthetic diamond detection which are going to become increasingly more important.
Where do you see the future of the industry, online or offline and why?
Online sales of jewellery have increased and there is no getting away from it. However, this is not to say that there isn’t a place for physical jewellery stores in future. People usually only tend to buy online up to a certain price point and for the more expensive items they want to go into stores and touch and feel the jewellery. Although, this doesn’t mean jewellers can be complacent about their online offer. Customers still need to be able to find a jeweller and having a good website is the best place to let them know about the services they offer. Offering services in store (such as piercing, bespoke jewellery and repairs) is also going to be increasingly important for driving footfall into stores.
What are your thoughts on lab grown diamonds?
Laboratory grown diamonds are here to stay and to believe otherwise is naïve. This isn’t to say that they are ever going to replace natural diamonds but, it is just about offering consumers another, different choice. The important thing though is, that as laboratory grown diamonds become commonplace, that everyone is transparent and gives the consumer all of the correct information about what they are buying and where it comes from.
Why do you think Jewellery & Watch is important for jewellery businesses?
All events which allow the industry to come together and network are important for business. Jewellery & Watch also provides a buying opportunity at the start of the year when retailers are looking at new trends and for new and exciting product.
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