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Pearl Profitability

March 31, 2020 | Posted in: Fashion, Jewelry, Trends
If you haven’t explored pearls, consider what these experts have to say…

The Global Pearl Jewelry Market Outlook 2020-2025, published by the research firm Arizton Advisory in December, forecasts growth for the category at a compound annual growth rate (CGAR) of more than 13 percent over the next five years.

The stability in the global economic situation, resulting in the growth of disposable incomes, is driving the global pearl jewelry market. Moreover, the increasing female working population and the growing penetration of brands are contributing to the growth.

A large-scale shift to e-commerce is another factor boosting the growth of the global pearl jewelry market, cites the report. Consumers are extremely comfortable shopping online. Major sellers are capitalizing on business opportunities by offering innovative strategies, ranging from personalization to curation to home trial options. Online fine jewelry sales account for about 5 percent of the global market and are projected to reach 10 percent this year.

The report cites a decline in global gold jewelry demand with the rise in the price of gold, which is expected to emerge as a challenge, particularly for middle-class consumers. It sees growth for Tahitian pearls in the next five years, and expects silver designs will pick up the slack with higher gold prices.

Research points to a boost in demand for pearl earrings during the next handful of years, attributing attention to pearl earrings to celebrated women like Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama spotted wearing pearl earrings, which have become a strong factor for their popularity and adoption. The report finds that designers and brands are introducing trendy styles to enhance product appeal.

Research also finds that product designs, quality, and competitive pricing are important to consumers. It sees future growth dependent on the ability to expect, gauge, and adapt to constantly changing fashion trends and successfully introduce new or improved products on time. The report also finds key partnerships between retailers and vendors important to success.

“The market is highly dynamic and fast-growing,” says the report. “With the rising consequential changes in both consumer behavior and the industry, vendors are required to be responsive to changing trends and developments.”

If you haven’t explored pearls, consider what these experts have to say:

Take Stock: To build a profitable pearl department, take stock in your current inventory advocates Kathy Grenier, vice president business development for Imperial in Providence, Rhode Island. What do you have and what can’t you do without? Who do you want to attract and what are your expectations? She underscores that jewelers need to understand their customers to curate a pearl collection that’s right for their audience. “If your average sale across the board is $300, you’re not going to put in a $300,000 piece,” she explains.

Cora-Lee Colaizzi, director of marketing and catalogs and senior merchandiser Quality Gold, Fairfield, Ohio underscores the importance of carrying the basics.  She cites pearl strands, stud earrings, and bracelets, particularly the stretch style in freshwater, advocating for multiple levels of stock within your price points.

Pearl experts advocate jewelers include a selection of fashion forward styles and higher-end pieces with diamonds and gemstones, as well as box sets of pearls and a children’s line in multiple colors of pearls.

Track Trends: Pearls have been on a fashion high for some time, a favorite detail on apparel and accessories, and signature element of style on its own or layered in with other jewelry favorites.

“Women want pieces that are versatile enough to wear morning, noon and night, and for any occasion,” hails Dana Cali, marketing and communications for the New York based pearl house, Mastoloni. She cheers studs with earring jackets popular for their convertibility.

Cali underscores that women are buying pearl jewelry for themselves, embracing classic and modern styles that feature unique pearl shapes and colors, and have a greater design focus. Among the favorites are hoop, circle and drop earrings cradling and trimmed in pearls; open pearl rings and cuff bracelets, and chain, “Y” and lariat necklaces.

With gold prices high, silver is important in pearl jewelry, with not only freshwater pearls, as Honora, a Richline brand has found, but also Tahitian pearls are popular for Imperial. The brand also is leaning in on the maximalist trend in earrings with silver and pearls in big hoops and circles, long sticks and link drops.

Get Sentimental: Sentimental jewelry is always a top trend, as it makes the gift giving experience that much more special for both giver and receiver when there’s sentiment behind the gift, says Cali, underscoring that pearls have historically been a favorite gift of love.

“With pearls, we’re seeing a lot of sentimental personalization in the number of pearls in a strand or piece of jewelry, which can often represent the number of children, family members or years together,” Cali explains, citing examples like a ring with three pearls for three children, a necklace with five pearl stations for five children, or cluster earrings with ten pearls for a ten year anniversary.

Pearls have a history as the wedding gem, too. According to The Knot, online wedding hub, eight out of 10 brides buy jewelry to wear on their wedding day, with pearls topping style lists in every bridal publication. While pearl strands and stud earrings are timeless choices for wedding day jewels (and bridal party gifts), Cali says brides are choosing more fashion-forward designs.

Engage Conversation
Cali is a proponent of social media as a critical communication tool in today’s fluid shopping environment, as consumers look to these platforms for inspiration, advice, and ideas. “Take advantage of videos, image carousels and stories on Instagram to show multiple angles of an item,” she says, “and Pinterest is an effective tool to create gift and style guides.”

With its strong tagline “find your luster”, Honora celebrates real women and pearls, “putting real pearls in the hands of real people” in its “What Make You Unique campaign, launched in 2018. On social media the brand shares stories of #FoundLuster and #PearlsthatGoWith.

Grenier advocates a mix of pearl product and lifestyle imagery in posts.