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Optimism Rules As Jewelers Enter Holiday Season

The overriding sentiment is one of optimism.

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“AS EXPECTED” was how most of the jewelers in our first 2018 Holiday Season Mini Survey summed up the 10 days since Black Friday.

Given that most of those jewelers entered the season with high hopes it suggests the overriding sentiment remains one of optimism even if the sales action has yet to kick into a high gear.

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“The mood has been positive and happy,” said Tonia Ulsh, manager of Mountz Jewelers in Camp Hill, PA, adding that while traffic at her store is down from last year, her average ticket at over $500 is up.

>Overall, 21 percent of the more than 120 jewelers who took the survey said the first two weeks of the holiday season had been “better than expected” while 6 percent said it had been “terrific.” Fifteen percent categorized it as disappointing and 5 percent said it had been flat out “dismal.”

“I thought that a longer holiday season would amount to a better period of time for selling, but since Thanksgiving was early this year I think it is making people blow off shopping for the holidays till later,” said Andrea Riso, owner of Talisman Collection in El Dorado Hills, CA. “(But) we’re down so far I’m starting to panic.”

Other jewelers were more sanguine, noting that one of the clearest trends of the last few years has been shoppers coming in later and later to do their jewelry buying.

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“Around here Christmas buying used to start the day after Thanksgiving. Now the serious buying does not start until Dec. 20th,” said Ed Menk, owner of E. L. Menk Jewelers in Brainerd, MN. “The reason? Possibly credit cards allowing the men to hide their purchases from the ladies. Also, there are so many things to attract the consumer such as the never-ending electronics, high priced phones, etc.”

In Muscle Shoals, AL, Joan Charlene Little, of Genesis Jewelry, concurred, predicting the opening trends of the season pointed to a stressful last few days. “Customers are shopping. Snapping photos on their cell phones. The problem is they are going to push it to the last week when everyone will be shopping.”

When customers are reaching for their wallets, it is often for big-ticket items. Almost one in three of the responding jewelers listed diamonds when we asked what had been their best seller so far. Custom followed a close second.

“Average tickets are going up as is traffic. Pandora and Alex & Ani, in particular, are  slowing,” said Steve Floyd, owner of Floyd & Green, in Aiken, SC. “I love having more time to spend with my big spenders!”

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Power-Cutting Burglars Target Jewelry Stores in Northeast

The trend has spread to New Jersey and Connecticut.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that power-cutting thieves have been targeting jewelry stores in the Northeast.

The latest incidents took place in New Jersey and Connecticut. The pattern has played out in many states, with burglars cutting jewelry stores’ power lines in order to disable alarm systems, but previously had occurred mainly in the West, Midwest and South.

These are the incidents the JSA reported in a bulletin to retailers:

Morris Plains, NJ, July 27

At 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday evening two males and one female cut the power to a retail jewelry store, but police reported they left without trying to get inside the store. The same gang was reported to have done the same thing at jewelry stores in Sparta, NJ, on July 26, 2019, and in Bedminster, NJ.

Darien, CT, Aug. 8

At 11:20 p.m. suspects turned the power off at a downtown jewelry store at the outside electrical box. The power interruption tripped the burglar alarm, and the suspects waited for the police response. On Saturday, August 10, the same suspects returned at 6:20 p.m. and again turned the power off. It is believed that the suspects again waited to observe police response, and to wait for the back-up battery to be exhausted. However, no entry was made to the store. 

Fairfield, CT, Aug. 11

Between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 11, a retail jeweler received a call from his alarm company regarding the loss of power to his store. The jeweler discovered the electrical meter cover had been pried off the box. The police responded and no suspects were observed.

JSA reported in June that it was aware of over 50 cases in which burglars had cut power lines.

The burglars cut the power lines soon after a store has closed for the night, then wait nearby to see the response by the owner or police, according to JSA.

The burglars have not carried out safe burglaries at all of the stores.

 

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Tiffany Rolls Out Men’s Jewelry Collection

The line is ‘centered on craftsmanship as the foundation of our company.’

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Tiffany & Co. announced the launch of its Tiffany Men’s collections, including jewelry, watches and home and accessories products.

Tiffany Men’s includes two collections: Tiffany 1837 Makers and Diamond Point.

These pieces are from the Tiffany & Co.’s men’s collection. Photo: Roe Etheridge

“Tiffany Men’s is centered on craftsmanship as the foundation of our company,” said Reed Krakoff, chief artistic officer for Tiffany. “Tiffany 1837 Makers is a nod to the workmanship and time-honored techniques used in creating jewelry — the idea that there’s a person behind each object.”

According to a press release:

Embodying Tiffany’s craftsmanship heritage, the Tiffany 1837 Makers collection is inspired by the jeweler’s hollowware workshop and its tradition of handcrafting sports trophies. Designers experimented with concave and convex forms, flat edges and motifs evocative of utilitarian hardware when creating jewelry, barware and more. Stamped with symbols like “T & CO MAKERS,” “NY” and “AG925,” Tiffany 1837 Makers honors Tiffany’s silversmithing legacy and the fact that the luxury house set the U.S. standard for sterling silver (925 per 1,000 parts silver). The made-to-order Tiffany 1837 Makers trophy ring honors Tiffany’s 160-history of making sports trophies by hand and makes a bold statement and adds edge to any outfit.

Diamond Point, on the other hand, “represents the elevated, classic end of the style spectrum with a strong, graphic pattern.”

The company states:

This motif appears as a subtle accent or a prominent overlay on jewelry and Home & Accessories pieces like the Diamond Point rectangle pendant in sterling silver, cuff in sterling silver and cocktail mixer in lead crystal and sterling silver. Most of the Diamond Point jewelry designs are die struck and hand polished to achieve the distinctive textured motif.

Diamond Point takes a more modern and graphic approach, utilizing a pattern inspired by a diamond’s culet that ties back to our diamond authority.

The New York Post reports that the launch is “part of the Tiffany’s strategy to attract younger shoppers and pump up sales.”

In all, Tiffany Men’s includes about 100 pieces. Jewelry rices range from $200 to $15,000.

Among the accessories items on offer are ice tongs and cocktail shakers.

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Jeweler Sentenced for Theft, Ordered to Pay $85,000 in Restitution

He’ll have to serve 4 years of probation.

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A Colorado jeweler who was accused with stealing gold, jewelry and money from customers has been ordered to pay restitution and serve a probationary sentence.

David Kushnir, who operated D & D Jewelers in Thornton, pleaded guilty to theft, KMGH-TV reports. He was accused of stealing from nine customers, according to the news outlet.

The court ordered Kushnir to pay about $85,000 in restitution and serve four years of economic crime supervised probation.

In January, authorities accused Kushnir of defrauding customers after they brought their diamonds, watches and other jewelry to him for repair or consignment sale at his business. It was also alleged that he sold fake diamonds to three victims.

The Sentinel newspaper reported in January that in one case, he was accused of removing a movement piece worth $40,000 from a Rolex watch he was asked to repair and then substituting “a Chinese piece.”

Read more at KMGH-TV

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