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Sally Furrer: Question Your Ingredients




Question Your Ingredients

New demographics will challenge us to become jewelers of the future.


Published in the January 2012 issue

2011 was an interesting year for the jewelry industry. Thankfully most jewelers saw an increase in sales over the prior year, with even some progress in margin. A few even regained their pre-recession sales volumes. Of particular interest was the weakening of two powerful trends — beads and gold buying, two segments that have kept many retailers “in the game.” 

Here are a few merchandising strategies for 2012 that will help you grow your business:.

>> Build your bridal. Do you have strong bridal assortments? Consider a bridal store-in-store. This is an area that requires inventory and showcase commitment.

>> Create a custom business. The Millennials love to individualize or custom design their jewelry. Consider a store-in-store incorporating all the latest technology.


>> Lure the female self-purchaser. Are you merchandised appropriately for the female self purchaser — collections based on loosely coordinated designs, affordable price points, bold yet casual styling?

>> Stymie your competition with unique product. Do you carry proprietary product or exclusive brands? Have you created privatelabel collections that have a look for a targeted demographic?

>> Differentiate yourself visually. Do your showcases tell a story of emotion and design? Emotion can be love, romance or accomplishment. Design can be a designer bio, manufacturing technique, or country of origin.

>> Bring in fresh product every month. Are you managing inventory so you a have sufficient opento- buy all year?

>> Identify your fast sellers and replenish weekly. This is the product your clients are telling you they want. It should comprise 25-50 percent of your inventory.

There should be no doubt: Our consumer has changed, so we must change too. Millennial clients are totally different from Baby Boomers. They have different expectations, desires and wants. How we serve this new demographic will determine if we are relevant enough to earn their business.


Between the waning of bead sales and gold-buying, the encroachment of online retailers and the complexity of catering to a new client base, retail jewelry in 2012 will be very challenging for some retailers. We should question all the ingredients that make up our stores — design, experience, marketing, display and presentation, and especially, our merchandise. As retail gets harder, our only option is to get better at what we do! 

[smalltext]Sally Furrer is a merchandising consultant with 20-plus years of jewelry industry experience. E-mail her at [email protected], or visit[/smalltext]




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