Top Ten Tips: Must-Haves 2012/2013

This month’s Top Ten Tips takes a look at the must-have styles, not only for the coming season, but into spring 2013 and beyond. From colors and designs, to the subtle and not so subtle ways of making your merchandise a selection of ‘must-have’ jewels for consumers across the market.

1. Selling: Wear The Look. Consumers like what they see. When they see it on someone else, they usually like it even more. What jewelry does your team wear? How does it ‘add’ to their style? Every employee on the shop floor should wear a ‘look’, not just a piece of jewelry. This means adapting their outfit to best highlight the chosen styles and paying attention to the latest trends such as layering and colors.

2. Selling: If Today Is Saturday, It Must Be…. In major airports, high-end retailers change their window displays, not weekly, or bi-weekly, or even daily, but several times a day. They know what times flights to the Far East leave and what those consumers’ preferences are. Their windows are changed to reflect these preferences in the hours leading up to boarding. The same applies for flights to Russia or South America. They know their audience and they adapt to reflect the demands of the consumers that frequent the duty-free areas in the hour or two before they fly out. Take Note… It works. Does your weekend customer have the same requirements as someone shopping mid-week? If you’re open late on certain days, is it a different clientele walking in the door during the extended opening hours? What are they looking for and will they see it in the window or in a prominent area on your sales floor?

3. Selling: Set The Stage. Tiffany recently hosted a press preview of their new collections. Through a black curtain the media entered a 1920s era salon – beautifully staged with teapots, furniture, magazines of the period, and of course, jewels artfully placed on the dressers and in Art-Deco jewelry boxes. You may not have the room or budget to do this for your chosen themed collections, but definitely add some atmosphere to your showcases. Make sure your sales team doesn’t just sell the jewels, but that they set the stage and sell the fantasy. Anecdotes and factoids go a long way to livening up the conversation, making the consumer feel at ease and ensures you team is selling a story – not just a product.

4. Selling: Presenting The Product: Have fun not just with the presentation of the product, but with the add-on post-sale touches. Make sure your packaging, from the box the piece is in, to the bag the consumer walks out the store with, reflects the jewel they’re carrying. If you’re selling an art-deco themed piece, feature it in a jewelry box reflective of the period, a jewelry box the consumer can also purchase.

5. Selling: Couture Tie-in. Your customers may not be able to afford a couture outfit, but they can afford a couture-inspired accessory. Scour leading fashion books such as Vogue, W and Harpers. See what accessories runway shows are using on the catwalk for the 2013 collections. Make sure you use this to your advantage – highlight selections and encourage customers to browse the magazines which feature the jewels they’re looking at in the showcases – or are similar to the styles you carry.

6. Price Points: Silver. The $200 to $400 marks seems to be hitting a sweet spot with consumers when it comes to fine silver jewelry lines. Add a sprinkling of diamonds, a touch of oxidized silver and maybe a gemstone or two and you’ve got a hit on your hands. There’s nothing delicate about today’s silver sellers. They’re making a statement that’s demanding attention.

7. Price Points: Gold. According to the World Gold Council, the middle ground price-wise for gold jewelry stands between $1,000-$5,000. In an interview with National Jeweler, Michael Pace, World Gold Council U.S. vice president of marketing, stated this “is an area where there could be more stock. The middle is an area with potential.” To achieve a statement look at this price range, designers are incorporating open areas and even mixing metals to achieve a significant look that is complementary to most merchandising mixes.

8. Trends: SeaWorld Style. Designers are taking to the high seas in 2013, with underwater jewels inspired by treasures of Atlantis. From starfish and shells, to layers of pearls and nautical themed charms – whatever swims (or floats) is set to sparkle into the new year.

9. Trends: Glamour Is Back. Opulence, lavishness and magnificence are no longer words that are muttered in back alleys. The difference between the luxurious look defining the coming year and previous nods to affluence is the fact that opulence should now be affordable – and proudly so. Go for glamour – there’s no shame in promoting the champagne lifestyle that’s budget friendly.

10. Trends: Oriental Desire. From one extreme to the other. Black may be the new black, but bold multi-color jewels with ethnic color combinations are providing the balance when it comes to color trends. Designers have thrown away the color charts and incorporating vibrant festival hues with hand-finishes to create pieces that are Eastern looking with a Western twist.