As the jewelry industry heads into the busy holiday season, the economic forecast is mixed. In fact, it seems to change daily, with one report on JCK foretelling small gains and another that quotes the National Retail Federation (NRF) with more positive news: “The economic situation in the United States is unsettling. Nonetheless, spending continues to grow, and many economists say a recession—if there is one—will likely be mild.” Then there’s this NRF podcast that has Kelly Pedersen, partner and U.S. retail leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), forecasting slightly less spending on gifts and travel as consumers realize that “preparing a holiday meal for friends and family is going to be more expensive this year so they know they’re going to have to spend on that and they’re going to cut back on maybe gifts and some travel. There’s some real interesting dynamics in what people are spending on.”
The cost of milk and eggs may well be quite daunting for some, but a grocery store receipt isn’t going to impact a jewelry store’s profit margins this holiday season, say TPC Members. The numbers just don’t bear out.
“Many of our retailer partners are looking at numbers comparable to 2021, which we all know was an anomaly of a year,” says Steven Lerche, chief operating officer at Goldstar Jewellery. “Therefore, we are still seeing numbers 20% to 30% above the 2019 pre-pandemic levels. “Although many are being cautious of their inventory levels, we are already seeing requests for end-of-quarter replenishment, which is also a very good sign that sales are outpacing the lowered forecasts.”
To ensure the best possible outcome this holiday season, a number of TPC Members are furnishing their retailer partners with creative tools to drive customer engagement and fulfill products within accelerated timelines. “This year, we have amped up our social media, hiring a specialist to help our retailers reach more clients on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok,” says Theresa Namie, merchandise manager at Ostbye. “Our digital flyer/flipbook can be added to a retailer’s website, Facebook, and Instagram, with clickable images and zoom in/out capabilities to see the product better and our specialist works directly with each retailer to set it up and personalize with their store information. We also send 100 paper flyers for handouts in the store.”
Plus, “All products shown in the flipbook are guaranteed to be in stock through Dec 24—we can even drop-ship if needed,” she adds.
Compelling product imagery is further enhanced by the salability of the product itself. For Namie and other TPC Members, it’s putting out collections that can be sold in the sweet spot of $500 to $1000. “Our three-in-one Enhanceables collection features new designs at great price points that tell a story and are readily available throughout the holiday season,” she says.
Co-op advertising in local media is another way to bolster a retailer’s sales efforts this holiday season, as are in-store events, when “the more, the merrier” can be a helpful tactic when it comes to moving products by an augmented team of sales pros on the floor. For example, Brittany Lewis, chief marketing officer at WD Lab Grown Diamonds, says the company has a roster of in-store events planned this season. “WD is unveiling our brand-new ‘Seed to Stone’ consumer display, which overviews the process for diamond growth and features diamond specimens that track five stages of rough growth, each one mounted by the mount-maker at the Natural History Museum, owing to the rarity and specialness of the display,”
It’s just one of many tactics she and her team will employ when it comes to setting their retailer partners up for success: “We will be motivating retailers this season through tailor-made and self-serve education by leveraging our exclusive new digital WD Resource Center and special memo and product programs,” adds Lewis. “These new programs include exclusive product offerings with in-case loose diamond displays, a large stone focus, and special dating to drive traffic, engagement, and sell-through during the busy holiday season.”
Retailers, be sure to let TPC Members know how things are going as you get a read on how the economic situation impacts holiday spending in your particular neck of the woods. As you can see, creative solutions, dedicated service, and good old-fashioned moral support are never in short supply around here!