Independent jewellery retailers in the city of Brighton fear the spiralling cost of gold in the wake of Britain voting to leave the European Union will damage their profitability.
Although most areas in Sussex voted to leave the EU, Brighton & Hove bucked the trend with 68.6% of voters casting a Remain vote, and only 31.4% siding with the Leave campaign.
Talking to jewellers in Brighton lanes, it was clear on a personal level jewellery store owners were disappointed with the decision of a Brexit, however when it came to business, the majority Professional Jeweller spoke to were hesitant to panic during this season of uncertainty.
But nearly all raised concerns that the price of gold was causing them concern.
Posh Totty Designs, managing director, Alice Rivers-Cripps commented: “Living in Brighton, as far as we were concerned we were surrounded by in, in, in, and I had never seen an out poster or anything. In terms of my business, I am worried about the price of gold and the fact that gold is shooting through the roof.”
Rivers-Cripps has recently invested in a whole new gold plating machine and expressed that buying in gold is already “seriously expensive” and now it’s going up this is her main concern.
She added: “It is definitely making me sit back and think I am going to stay safe, rather than play and try things at the moment – I think let’s take less risk.”
Goodman Morris, owner, Nicky Morris, echoed: “I think it is early days. It feels uncertain and up in the air. However, the fluctuating of the gold price will definitely affect us, because it did a couple of years ago when the gold price was really high because that is really difficult.”
Co-owner Alex Goodman explained that the business will now have to quote per order, as opposed to working off a price list like they had done previously.
House of Hoye owner Jeremy Hoye believes his business can survive the surge of gold though. He commented: “I see gold prices have gone up but we’ve seen that before, but we’ve seen it higher before. I don’t think that’s a real big issue. I think it more than likely will affect the High Street more than us.”
Other concerns included the pound dropping and a bad economy preventing consumers from buying luxury goods.
Professional Jeweller spoke to the above jewellers during its visit to Brighton for PJ Cityscapes. Read the full report in the August issue next month.