CMJ encourages retailers to be positive in the wake of Brexit

KNUTSFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 17:  In this photo illustration, the European Union and the Union flag sit together on bunting on March 17, 2016 in Knutsford, United Kingdom. The United Kingdom will hold a referendum on June 23, 2016 to decide whether or not to remain a member of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries which allows members to trade together in a single market and free movement across its borders for citizens.  (Photo by illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

At this year’s Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) Autumn trade event, chief executive Willie Hamilton has highlighted the need to focus on the positive side of Brexit.

Talking to retailers at the CMJ’s networking meeting, Hamilton presented the following quote from a journalist:

“Confidence has crumbled – but it can be rebuilt.”

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Off the back of this quote Hamilton said he felt today was the day to focus on the positivity of what is ahead for retailers. Hamilton went on to share his take on where the industry is now after Brexit to try and build some confidence. He said: “Whether you were in or you were out, I think this can be a very positive thing for the industry.

Talking to Professional Jeweller after the meeting Hamilton commented: “The problem that we’ve got at the moment is, whatever that can be reported on, is still talking about really the sales right up to Brexit, and maybe the first week, and I don’t think anybody really stopped and didn’t buy a piece of jewellery because of what happened. I think it’s probably Septembers sales that will really reflect and we won’t know that until October and that will give us a better guide.  The Autumn statement from the government is really what is going to drive it for the future.”

Hamilton went on to explain that the interest rate cuts have caused an influx of baby boomers to spend their money, rather than leave it in the bank.

“There is certainly the baby boomer generation coming in, and we can see it already, saying: ‘Why have my money in the bank, we may as well spend it’,” explained Hamilton. “Now they might not spend it on jewellery, but we are still in that market where if people have disposable income they want to use up, jewellery is great option and investment in the future.”

Hamilton also told retailers to buy gold in, make some profit and get the cash flow back into the businesses. He remarked that if retailers get their cash flow right and invest properly, then they should be in the position to buy at higher prices.

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