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The Big Survey 2018: Buying

Thriving jewelers buy more aggressively ... and re-order hot sellers more promptly.

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From laboratory-created diamonds to trade show buying to purchasing off the street, there are lots of options these days for jewelers to acquire their goods. Thriving jewelers are more apt than struggling ones to buy more aggressively regardless of avenue, including a higher frequency of reorders when selling through product.

 

20. Is your buying at trade shows …

INCREASING
Overall
14%
Thrivers
20%
Strugglers
6%
STAYING THE SAME
Overall
40%
Thrivers
45%
Strugglers
29%
DECREASING
Overall
36%
Thrivers
25%
Strugglers
53%
I NEVER BOUGHT AT SHOWS
Overall
11%
Thrivers
11%
Strugglers
12%

COMMENT: There has been much talk in recent years about waning participation at trade shows from Vegas to Basel. But our numbers seem to suggest jewelers doing well still see value in show attendance. Meanwhile, more than half the Strugglers said they were cutting back on their showgoing.

 

21. What jewelry or watch brand would you most like to add to your cases?

1. Rolex
2. Tag Heuer
3. David Yurman
4. Michele
5. Gabriel & Co.
6. Bulova
7. Movado
8. Patek Phillippe
9. Omega
10. Tie: Tacori and Kendra Scott

COMMENT: Swiss watch brands dominated the list, which is at once surprising, given that many of the mid-range brands haven’t done all that well in recent years and because so few jewelers cite watches as a key category, and perhaps not so strange — the big watch brands are much better known by the general public and arguably more prestigious than jewelry brands.

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21. Which category is your store’s point of “differentiation”?

COMMENT: Strugglers were much less likely to say their point of differentiation was custom design, with just 23% selecting this service compared to 38% for the thriving stores. Strugglers were also more likely to pick silver as their strong point (3% vs. 0.4%) as well as watches (4% vs. 2%) and colored gemstones (6% vs. 4%).

 

22. What do you buy off the street?

COMMENT: There’s gold to be found out there in the drawers and jewelry boxes of your customers. Thriving jewelers were more likely than Strugglers to be buyers in every category — except silver.

 

23. How often do you place re-orders?

COMMENT: The takeaway is clear: The stores doing best are those that order most quickly. Nearly half the stores experiencing great numbers in 2016 and 2017 reorder on a weekly basis.

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