Archive

  • Upscale jeweler Tiffany & Co. has set itself a range of targets for the coming years. These include improving customer experience, increasing store space by 2-3 percent every year, mid to high single-digit sales growth, higher operating margins and doubling earnings growth over the long-term.

  • British company Bowers & Wilkins is using synthetic diamonds to create tweeters, saying they are ideal for producing high audio frequencies. It is the first time diamonds have been used for the purpose in a commercial car, with the speakers being created for the latest BMW 7 Series. The lab-grown stones offer the perfect combination of lightness and rigidity to help deliver crystal-clear, lifelike treble sounds that are designed to accurately reproduce audio beyond the limits of human hearing.

  • The Report "aims to inform a wider audience about ALROSA’s major contribution to three areas of sustainable development: economy, environment and social systems," the mining giant said.

  • A new study by the National Retail Federation finds that retailers lose billions of dollars to shoplifting, employee and vendor theft and administrative error – collectively known as inventory shrink. Specifically, retailers surveyed estimate that shoplifting accounted for the largest part of reported shrink in 2014 – 38%, followed by employee/internal theft (34.5%), administrative and paperwork errors (16.5%), vendor fraud or error (6.8%) and unknown loss (6.1%).

  • Research by the Luxury Institute Sales finds that sales associates have a big impact on wealthy shoppers' jewelry-buying decisions. It also revealed that most wealthy consumers do not buy luxury goods following research, although there are exceptions, such as men shopping for watches and women buying beauty products.

  • An American jewelry firm is trying out a new marketing method – letting prospective buyers try out a diamond ring for three days before deciding whether to purchase it. The company, Love Affair Diamonds, in Washington state, invites interested customers pay a refundable deposit and then ships a sample ring, or rings, for consideration.
    The sample rings are set with genuine side diamonds but the center stones are not. The firm was set up by Erica Derout who, perhaps not surprisingly, previously worked in finance.

  • Increasing numbers of wealthy American shoppers are plumping for low-key and logo-free items. They are looking for unique, hard-to-find items rather than highly recognizable handbags from big-name brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada. And the trend toward more discreet luxury goods is also partly a result of the political debate about income inequality which is persuading some big spenders that it is distasteful "to carry a purse that practically announces its four-figure price tag."

  • The China crackdown shows what can occur suddenly to conspicuous consumption. Officials there no longer want to be seen wearing expensive watches or driving in flashy cars. A life of luxury will continue as usual in US and European enclaves such as Palm Beach and Monaco, but elsewhere the mood could swing.

    - John Gapper, Financial Times

  • The firm, Gemvara, is launching two new businesses aimed specifically at millennial shoppers – people in their early 30s and younger.

  • The well-known US department store chain Macy’s, which last month announced plans to open a new store concept called Macy’s Backstage to sell off-price items, including jewelry, has added two more locations due, the firm said, to a strong response from shoppers. Four pilot stores were initially announced in the New York area. Of the two new locations, one will be in the Bronx, and one in New Jersey.

  • Zales Jewelers, part of the Signet group, the biggest jewelry retailers in the US, is adding the collection of former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal men's to its 700-plus Zales and Zales Outlet stores in the U.S. The line includes a range of jewelry including, bracelets, cross pendants and diamond earrings, in black ionic plating and stainless steel designs.

  • SCTimes.com (Central Minnesota) reports that according to local independent jewelers, asking questions about the origins of a diamond has become a common part of consumers' buying process. For some retailers, the assurances of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, pushing back conflict diamonds over the past decade, aren't enough.

  • The top tips are: ultra-high-net-worth families are everywhere, have a passion for what you do, be on social media, don't judge customers by their appearance, respect your sales team, realize that everyone knows everyone so word-of-mouth referrals are critical, and seek out partnerships with other brands.

  • Spending on jewelry for Mother’s Day is set to reach a high of $4.3 billion this year, with 34.2 percent of shoppers opting for something sparkly for the woman in their life, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). This is up from 31.7 percent and $3.6 billion last year.

  • In a case of mistaken value, Thomas DePrince, a retired antiques and jewelry dealer, is fighting to keep his diamond. Starboard Cruise Services mistakenly gave a $235,000 price tag for a 20.64-carat emerald cut diamond, which should have sold for more than $4.8 million, with each carat valued at the list price. The retailer wishes to call it a mistake and forget about it, while DePrince is saying that a deal is a deal. Miami-Dade Circuit Court will decide.

  • Although financial experts may be undecided about the direction of the economy, ordinary Americans' views on the state of the economy hit an eight-year high in the CNBC All-America Economic survey: a record 27% view the economy as excellent or good compared with 16% a year ago.

  • Gold recycling in Asia is expected to gain ground as China and India continue to be major centers of global gold demand, according to a recent report by the World Gold Council and the Boston Consulting Group.

  • Signet Jewelers Ltd., which runs jewelry chains in the United States and Britain, posted a 46% jump on the year in sales to almost $2.28 billion in its fourth quarter that ended on January 31 and which included the vital Christmas holiday season. The firm said the rise was a result of the contribution of the Zale's chain that the firm acquired in May 2014.

  • U.S. specialty jewelry store sales fell 4.1 percent year on year to $1.997 billion in January. The decline was not unexpected after a preliminary drop of 1.9 percent for  jewelry and watch sales from all retail channels during the month at $4.5 billion. Lindsey Piegza, the chief economist at Sterne Agee, concluded that spending weakness is widespread across most categories and that U.S. consumers have pulled back markedly -- reflecting sluggish wage growth and growing concerns about how they will finance today's spending with tomorrow's wages.

  • According to British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) chief executive Simon Rainer, the questionnaire will cover in-house equipment, number of years in the business, qualification and experience of grading personnel and directors, access to master stones, grading standards used, quality management systems, and capacity and wait times.

  • The widely watched retail industry research firm forecasts a 4.1% rise this year compared with a 3.5% increase in 2014, but warns that U.S. government must pass legislation to encourage investment, create jobs and set the country on the path towards sustained, long-term economic growth.

  • British retailers are likely to face tough times this month after customers spent most of their disposable income at the pre-Christmas sales that saw heavy discounting on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to new research.