It’s 2023—Time to Try Something NEW!
The start of any new year is the perfect time to measure the past year’s goals and objectives against their outcomes so that you can respond—and perhaps set new agendas—accordingly.
“Take a good look at what really happened—in your business and on a broader scale, in your market,” says Kate Petersen, president and CEO of Performance Concepts, a consultancy designed to meet the education, training and business development needs of specialty retailers and their suppliers. “That’s the best way I know for a business owner to ensure that they are able to capitalize on the momentum created by the strategies, plans and programs that went well, and to avoid the all-too-present ‘retail Groundhog Day’ that seems to take hold around the things that didn’t deliver the intended results.”
There are many approaches to this exercise and Petersen believes there are two critical elements that retailers need to keep in mind. The first is to remain objective in your evaluation process. “Avoid excuses. No amount of analysis is helpful if the underlying purpose is to explain away less than stellar results. The classic example for this year might be the retailers who are complaining about having their lowest volume holiday season in memory and pointing to the ‘dismal economy’, inflation and other elements outside of their control. For some, clinging to traditional media while their customer base migrated to online access might have been the real problem. The general rule on this one is: There will always be external factors that are outside of your control. Put your time, effort and energy into figuring out how you can do what you do best in spite of those elements.”
For any jeweler, a yearly evaluation of the business will involve careful scrutiny of how key products and categories performed. But you should also review the skills and abilities of your team, according to Petersen. “I think the single most productive exercise at the start of the year is to take a complete asset inventory—looking at the skills, abilities and performances of each staff member, and matching them to what you see as your greatest needs going forward. Looking for gaps between what you need done and what you have to work with in terms of staff capabilities, interests and drives is absolutely essential to the successful execution of any plans moving forward.”
As you set new objectives, a test-and-learn approach might become essential to your overall strategy, especially if your brand goals are to evolve, innovate, and modernize. That might mean revisiting your visual identity, investing in new talent, or seeking ways to improve workplace culture with the goal of retaining existing employees.
Your 2023 growth strategy might also motivate you to evaluate some of the newest merchandise and program offerings from key vendors, including what TPC members have to offer in the coming months. Make some inquiries now and you could be among the first to preview a new collection (quite a few are launching as we speak) or try out a new TPC member-developed program or tool. Could there be alternative revenue streams you haven’t considered?
Below, just a few of the most compelling 2023 propositions that TPC members want retailers to know about in the months ahead.
Exciting All-New Collections
In early 2023, A. Jaffe will unveil a fashion collection, presenting retailers with an exciting opportunity to introduce A. Jaffe bridal clients to the full breadth of the brand’s design capabilities. According to Priscila Hueb, vice president, merchandising and brand development, who oversaw the new line’s creative direction, there will be textured surfaces inspired by the brand’s signature quilt pattern and mixed diamond cuts. The assortment is everyday wearable but with a sophisticated edge—the sleek, elegant ear climbers and cuffs may be the fresh take your retail mix is missing.
Chic Pistachio’s Aurelie Gi has two new collections that are perfect for January babies, Valentine’s Day gifts, and self-purchasers who want to beat the wintertime blues. Made with tsavorites and white sapphires to keep the jewelry affordable, Zenning Out “continues our focus on earrings and singly-sold styles for curating the perfect ear,” says Kat Whitacre, national sales director. “That’s something we have been really passionate about since the brand’s inception.”
Meanwhile, Wishbone centers on a classic chevron shape. “The Aurelie Gi brand is all about mixing and matching and creating your own look. I think having some good classic designs as a foundation work really well for layering your own ‘neck mess’ or stacking up rings or bracelets and for ear curation,” she adds.
The Revenue Stream You Might Have Overlooked
If you haven’t added jewelry care and cleaning skus to your product assortment yet, 2023 might be the year to look into it. TPC Member the Kingswood Company has plenty of data to prove why this category could be the low-hanging fruit that pays off in the long run. As the chart below illustrates, “Jewelers can really capitalize on the opportunity that add-on jewelry care sales can bring,” says Kristie Nicolosi, Kingswood Company president and CEO. “Adding a $15-to-$30 sale of jewelry care products to a percentage of transactions really adds up quickly.”
A jeweler’s initial buy-in cost is minimal, and a private-label care line can also help build customer loyalty and trust. “The products are exclusive to a jeweler’s retail environment, so It’s way to provide a great customer service and additional revenue to the bottom line.”
An Intelligence-Powered New Program
You know TPC member IDD as a reliable supplier of diamond basics and fast-moving bridal styles. Now, IDD retailer partners will be among the first to experience a new division of the brand, IDD Luxe, which will focus on providing elevated luxury diamond jewelry developed through the lens of market intelligence and data-driven product differentiation. The specifics are top-secret—for now—but the new program will formally launch during Centurion (Jan. 29-31), with a pre-launch at the CBG (Continental Buying Group) Show, (Jan. 16-18).
Tantalum – A Tantalizing New Option
You’ve heard of Tantalum, but have you actually tried giving this contemporary metal a go in your store? When it comes to selling men’s and unisex jewelry, Tantalum is relatively unknown to most consumers, giving it a built-in mystique and an air of novelty that many will find irresistible. Novell, a subsidiary of TPC Member Continental Jewellery, recently added Tantalum bands to its catalog. How do you sell clients on it? Emphasize the cool factor when you show them options. For example, tantalum is rare, has a unique gunmetal gray-blue color, and boasts the third highest melting point of all the elements.
“Tantalum bands are naturally gray in color,” says Novell’s Rick Mulholland. “It’s an extremely durable material that is resistant to chipping, shattering, and breaking. It is not scratch proof, but with Novell’s selection of available inlays and finishes (in yellow and white gold or platinum), the customer may never notice a mark on it. And unlike titanium and tungsten, a tantalum wedding band can be expanded to half a size up.”