It has been an exciting year for JewelStreet as the online jewellery retailer relaunched its site with a refocus on global luxury jewellery.
Here, JewelStreet chief executive officer, Rob Passmore, answers Professional Jewellers’ 2015 review questions.
What have been the company’s 2015 highlights?
Relaunching with a focus on luxury jewellery and working with fine jewellery designers from all over the world. Also, launching the Global Secure™ proprietary logistics platform that handles currency, pricing, taxes, insurance, hallmarking and delivery for jewellery designers wishing to sell internationally.
On the whole, how would you say business has been in 2015?
Good. Our focus this year has been on refocusing the business into the luxury space. As Euro monitor predict, online is expected to grow to over 40% of luxury spend (from under 15% currently) over the next five years and this has really been our focus. We now have the infrastructure and technology fully in place in order to expand and grow through 2016.
What consumer trends have you noticed?
Earrings! This upcoming season will be all about earrings. We are seeing all of the main fashion houses working with earrings and this will be a key trend this year. Ranging from long ‘shoulder dusters’ to asymmetric – it’s all about earrings this year.
What products have sold well for you?
It’s very dependent on the country market. We have seen leather selling well in the UK and continental Europe whereas in the USA and Canada, our best sellers have been innovators in pearl and 18ct gold.
What brands have been popular for JewelStreet?
Again, very dependent by market. However, I would note that European and Italian brands are selling well into the USA.
What has surprised you about your business in 2015?
The real surprise has been the complexities for a designer that wants to export their work. It’s such a minefield for them and is very different depending on which market they want to export to. This includes the import taxes, hallmarking conventions and even materials that are allowed to be imported into specific countries. It has been a huge challenge to create a system that takes this complexity away from the designer and the consumer and makes it as easy to buy locally as from the other side of the world. But we are there now with Global Secure™.
What plans do you have for 2016?
2016 for us will be all about discovering new and exciting designers, as well as starting to work with some more established luxury brands. Last year for us was all about technology and infrastructure and 2016 will be all about marketing communications, media relations and global curation.
What predictions do you have for 2016?
Massive growth in luxury sales online. Continuing desire to buy jewellery with provenance and authenticity, no matter where it is from.