Exhibitors at J&WB optimistic despite quiet days

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Editor Sarah Louise Jordan reflects as J&WB draws to a close.

Jewellery & Watch Birmingham closes today (Thursday February 5) with the majority of exhibitors and visitors remaining optimistic despite quiet afternoons and the appearance of a decline in footfall.

Things got off to a good start on Sunday with many exhibitors commenting that footfall was down but leads were of a high quality, with many opening fresh accounts on the day. Similar patterns were seen on Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday February 4 proving particularly quiet in terms of footfall.

Success stories are already flooding in to Professional Jeweller, with 5th Avenue reporting a 30% boost in UK points of sale thanks to its time at the show.

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Stand events continued to be crowd drawers, with Weston Beamor enjoying a particularly buzzy atmosphere for its annual student design competition announcement on Tuesday February 3.

Additionally, the unveiling of the UK Jewellery Awards shortlist and J&WB’s annual Buyer Power List drew big crowds around the catwalk on Tuesday.

Pandora wowed with its colossal stand (including a vintage Mini Cooper and mini-boutique), but its continued focus on concept stores was a greater topic of conversation, encouraging other brands to offer furniture and point-of-sale deals for retailers desperate to fill the Pandora-shaped space left in their stores.

Bi-colour metal pieces continue to reign in terms of SS15 trends, with organic, pebble-shaped pieces and faceted stones also proving popular. Brands also showed a revived focus on 9ct gold ranges and semi-precious gemstone pieces, especially earring and pendant sets, while hoop earrings, decorative long-chain necklaces and leather bracelets also stood out.

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