Birmingham Assay Office chief executive Stella Layton has called for the newly created National Association of Jewellers to dramatically raise the public profile of the British jewellery industry as its first order of business.
In the wake of this week’s historic merger between the NAG and the BJA to create the NAJ, Ms Layton says the association needs to rise above competing jewellery brands to become a champion for the whole industry.
“For me it’s all about consumer attention, we do not advertise as an industry. With the loss of the World Gold Council in the UK, less activity from the platinum guild, we have no voice collectively to prick the consumer’s consciousness; it is all left to the brands, which is all about their own name,” she suggests.
Ms Layton also wants the NAJ to act as a market analyst. “Tere is so much data available that needs pulling into information,” she suggests.
The choice of Patrick Fuller as the NAJ’s first president is a positive step. “Patrick is passionate about the jewellery industry and understands the opportunities and threats globally, not just locally, that we have, both with the challenge for consumer spend with competition for consumer attention being great. As well as understanding the need for better training and new talent to come into this industry of ours. He is a great statesman and a fantastic choice for this role,” says Layton.
However, she hopes the industry will be patient as the NAJ is created. “Let’s not sell short the time it will take for two organisations, with very different cultures to become one. That is not a quick fix,” she cautions.