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Jewelry to Be a Key Growth Area This Holiday Shopping Season, IBM Predicts

Overall retail growth will be nearly 5%.

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ARMONK, NY — IBM’s 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast suggests that this shopping season could be a win in many segments, including jewelry.

Overall retail growth is expected to total 4.83 percent compared to last year.

Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store
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Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face
Cullen Wulf

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?
Jimmy Degroot

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?

Jewelry will be among the stronger segments, with anticipated 5.2 percent growth, according to the report.

Consumer appliances lead all product categories with 15.2% projected growth, compared to a year earlier. Apparel is also expected to be strong (12.7 percent for men’s clothing, 4.3 percent for women’s clothing and 14.2 percent for other apparel).

“The retail industry is extremely dynamic and a host of powerful factors such as the economy, fast-moving market trends and consumer confidence all come into play,” said Michael Haydock, IBM fellow, vice president and chief scientist with IBM Global Business Services. “With AI and advanced analytics, we can get the experience just right for discerning consumers when they walk into the store.”

IBM’s 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast “uses advanced statistics and analytics to evaluate both the long-term sales trend and seasonal peaks,” according to the release. The data originates from the U.S. Census Bureau, which captures total sales observations from over 46,000 retail establishments.

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IBM consultants use the forecast to help retail clients address issues related to supply and demand, plan product mix, and determine new store locations, staffing and advertising spend.

Download IBM’s 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast here.

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2 Accused of Selling Counterfeit Pandora Jewelry in $2M Fraud Case

They allegedly defrauded e-commerce customers.

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A federal grand jury has indicted two residents of Covina, CA, on a federal conspiracy charge, mail fraud, and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

They’re accused of importing and selling counterfeit Pandora Jewelry and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Xiaoying Xu, age 34, a Chinese citizen, and Yiwen Zhu, age 34, a Chinese citizen and legal permanent resident of the U.S., allegedly conspired with others to defraud e-commerce customers, obtaining more than $2 million in the scheme.

Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store
Headlines

Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face
Cullen Wulf

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?
Jimmy Degroot

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?

“These defendants allegedly imported counterfeit goods from China and sold them as legitimate merchandise using the registered trademarks of legitimate companies,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Those who traffic in counterfeit goods are committing a crime which results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen, and American consumers tricked into receiving substandard products.”

The crimes are alleged to have occurred from about August 2016 until approximately April 2019, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

The indictment alleges that the defendants used their residence and offices in El Monte and Alhambra, CA, as destination points for shipments of counterfeit goods shipped from Hong Kong and China. Xu and Zhu allegedly repackaged the counterfeit goods, then mailed them to unsuspecting customers throughout the U.S.

The defendants allegedly used fraudulent accounts set up with e-commerce marketplace companies to sell the goods, misrepresenting to customers that they were authentic. Xu and Zhu obtained funds from the victims of the counterfeit scheme through fraudulently acquired customer accounts opened in the names of other people at a global online payment company, according to the release.

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The online payment company sent the victims’ money to Xu and Zhu by electronic transfer to bank accounts or by check, which the defendants then cashed at ATMs, the release states. The indictment alleges that the defendants then transferred the proceeds of the scheme from their bank accounts to other bank accounts opened in the names of other Chinese nationals.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and traffic in counterfeit goods; a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of six counts of mail fraud; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of six counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

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News Report Reveals Sordid Details of Alleged Sexual Harassment At Signet

It’s based on interviews with dozens of female former employees.

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A New York Times report reveals salacious details related to allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination within Signet’s Sterling Jewelers business.

The story, titled “The Company That Sells Love to America Had a Dark Secret,” is based on interviews with dozens of female former employees.

Some of the employees described being repeatedly passed over for promotions in favor of men, according to the article by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Others said they’d been sexually harassed.

One woman told the writer that a district manager coerced her into sex in exchange for a transfer she wanted.

A rape accusation is also described.

INSTORE reported in March 2017 that about 250 former employees of Sterling, which operates Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers and Zales, were alleging that the company culture was rife with sexual discrimination and harassment. The claims were part of an arbitration case that dates to 2008.

Litigation is still ongoing.

In response to the New York Times story, Signet released a statement saying: “We’re disappointed that The New York Times decided to publish an article primarily based on decades-old allegations, and we believe casts our company unfairly. Signet is a recognized leader among companies for gender diversity, with women making up 74 percent of store management positions and full gender parity in both the [senior executive suite] and board of directors. Under the leadership of our CEO Gina Drosos, we are undeterred in our ongoing mission to champion diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority and in our multi-year business transformation plan.”

Read more at The New York Times 

 

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Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store

They even stole repair items.

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Burglars cut through the roof of a jewelry store in Laguna Niguel, CA, and took “all items in the store, including repair pieces,” the Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports.

KCAL-TV identfied the business as Nuggets and Carats Jewelry Store.

According to JSA, the burglars “cut through the roof, used a rope to lower themselves in, and cut into the safe.”

They also “removed another safe from the store, which was dragged out a back door into a parking lot.”

The crime took place on the evening of March 23.

JSA states that it has seen a nationwide uptick in the number of reports of burglaries involving rooftop entry or cutting through sidewalls, with some involving cutting alarm wires.

According to KCAL, store owner Brian Hassine said of the safe: “It’s a 6-inch deep safe. It’s got a plate on the outside that needed to be cut with some type of a laser or saw, and they had to cut away at the concrete, and then another plate they had to go through.”

Find out more at KCAL-TV

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