Alyssa Smith on product, packaging, price, promotion, point of sale…
By Alyssa Smith
I am quite new on the retail scene, having only launched my company Alyssa Smith Jewellery less than two years ago, so I won’t pretend to be a guru on the subject of retail. However, I would like to share with you my experience with retail so far. I would hope that these few words will help other fledgling jewellers to consider what is needed to tackle the retail industry head on.
Shortly after deciding that moving into retail – more specifically, luxury jewellers – was the direction I would take to grow my company, it hit me just how much there was to think about. Yes, I had a great product and brand, which I knew would sit perfectly in the outlets I was targeting, but convincing them to believe in my product and buy into my brand was a different story.
There is no letter P in the word retail, but it must be in there somewhere as a hidden letter in my opinion, because getting into retail was all about the letter P. All of a sudden, as well as thinking about the product of my jewellery, I was now having to think about a whole new world in the form of packaging, promotional materials, point of sale and price, both wholesale and RRP.
For independent jewellers to invest in my brand, they weren’t just going to come knocking on my door and ask to stock my collections, I had to phone to make appointments with buyers, and once through the door, execute the presentation and pitch of my products perfectly to be in with a chance of having them say yes.
Some retailers I approached of course said no, but that’s where the last P comes into practice, and that’s perseverance. If one retailer turns you down, dust yourself off and try somewhere else. The likelihood is, if you know your products are perfect for a certain place and target market but they don’t know this yet, they will probably be the ones approaching you further down the line.
Getting into retail is hard. You need to convince buyers why they need your products above other designers and what you could bring to them that they don’t already have. But if you believe in your product and brand, then other people will start believing in it too. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This guest column was taken from the November issue of Professional Jeweller magazine. If you work within the British jewellery industry and would like to write a column for the magazine then email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with an outline of your idea.