Willie Hamilton tells shops to become best for diamonds in their town.
The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) is encouraging its retail members to make a push with bridal collections, as the economy and gold and diamond prices begin to stabilise.
The buying group’s chief executive Willie Hamilton told Professional Jeweller that independent jewellery retailers’ offers are beginning to come full circle, with more stores increasing their unbranded gold jewellery offer and bridal collections, in line with the type of product they were selling five or six years ago.
He said: "Diamond prices are stable, the gold price has fallen and the pound is gaining strength, which means that retailers are now managing their cash flows much better. The number of marriages in the UK is also reported to have grown – especially with the legalisation of gay marriage – and the result is a chance for retailers to put cash back into unbranded and bridal collections in store, to help boost their bottom line.
"A customer walking past your store that sees diamond jewellery, engagement and wedding rings in your window will remember that and come back – if they don’t see it, they won’t think to come to you when it’s time to make that bigger purchase."
Hamilton said he is encouraging CMJ retail members to embrace bridal collections in particular, partly as a precaution to those watch and jewellery brands that are editing the number of UK retailers they work with, which has left stores across the country with a gap in their offer.
"We are telling those retailers that might be losing key watch and jewellery accounts to focus on bridal and make it their core business. They should become the bridal and diamond specialist in their town, and leave the watches and branded jewellery to the chap down the road," Hamilton explained.
The CMJ is also making a push for its retail and supplier members to better utilise social media to interact with customers and gain a better understanding of what they want.
Hamilton added: "Social media can provide valuable data on what turns your customer on, from the amount a customer wants to spend, to the brands they like and where they like to shop. Interact with them and show that you care about the things they care about."