FEATURE: The rise of Michael Kors jewellery

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Fossil Group has struck gold with its licensed range of Michael Kors watches and now Michael Kors-branded jewellery. Professional Jeweller finds out more from retailers to find out what’s making customers so willing to spend.

Here at Professional Jeweller we normally leave exciting watch news to our sister publication WatchPro, but when it comes to Michael Kors it is impossible to discuss its jewellery without the wider context of its older, and more established, watch range.

Michael Kors watches have become a dominating force in the industry, with a GfK report for Q2 2014 highlighting, in the £250 to £300 segment, it had a 58.2% market share. Similarly, in the £200 to £250 bracket, the brand accounted for 79.3% of all female watch sales.

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To retailers, this makes Michael Kors fashion watches a serious contender, and the brand has arguably set trends — encouraging the meteoric rise of rose gold styles and causing a domino-effect on the UK jewellery industry.

Fossil Group has been in a global licensing agreement with Michael Kors Holdings Ltd since 2004, and it signed on the dotted line to renew the contract in November 2014. The relationship started with watches and moved into jewellery in 2011, when the first Michael Kors-branded designs were soft launched in the UK.

This was later rolled-out to a wider distribution in 2013. The company’s financial results were also impressive towards the end of last year, with Michael Kors Holdings Ltd revealing a 42.7% increase in total revenue and a 16.4% boost in comparable store sales in Q2 2015.

In Europe, sales showed the most spectacular growth up 108.6% to $237.9m (£149.1m), with comparable store sales increasing 41.1%. Of course, jewellery is only one facet of the Michael Kors empire — launched by the American designer of the same name in 1981. With clothes, handbags, sunglasses, leather goods and accessories under his belt, Kors has built a reputation for easy and elegant American sportswear and red carpet gowns alongside a variety of TV appearances.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why Google searches for the brand grew by 150% in 2014. Customers, it seems, can’t get enough.

Here’s what retailers had to say about Michael Kors jewellery in their stores…

 

Tracey Brown, director, Chisholm Hunter

Michael Kors is a very important partner for us, with the brand performing extremely well in our stores. Our customers’ reactions to the introduction of the brand in summer 2014 was overwhelming and the demand continues to be very strong, so much so that we recently expanded the range into three additional stores. The jewellery brand links in incredibly well with the watch styles, allowing customers to view the Michael Kors collections as a whole set, rather than individual pieces.

Jewellery trends are ever-changing, but the rose gold pieces are still some of our strongest collections. We think the stretch bracelets are particularly stand-out as they’re stunning, easy-towear, stackable in multiple colours and have a great price point. The brand has a great online presence, not only on the web but also on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This gives it worldwide exposure and accessibility to both men and women who love fashion and style. It’s the kind of brand that’s perfectly suited to seasonal buying occasions such as Mother’s Day as the collection is not limited to a specific age range.

Wes Elliot Suter, director, Steffans

Michael Kors jewellery played a pivotal role in our Christmas success for 2014. It has spring boarded off the back of the watches and hit the ground running in the UK. It’s a major win for Fossil Group in gaining ground in the UK jewellery market.

Nick Bucknell, watch and branded jewellery buyer, Beaverbrooks the Jewellers

We are delighted to have expanded our Michael Kors offering to include the jewellery. We’ve seen the collection follow in the footsteps of the watches and has been very successful since launching. The rose gold colour trend continues to be extremely popular with our customers. I am confident that the UK success of Michael Kors is due to the fantastic combination of an iconic and on trend Fashion brand, great quality product and competitive prices.

Joanna Makant, area manager, Mococo

We have been delighted with the response to Michael Kors jewellery at Mococo. Currently, the brand is only stocked in our Liverpool store and has surpassed all expectations. The jewellery has only been in store since December and the results in that short time frame have been incredible.

With no advertising of the collection in the local area and the jewellery displayed in a pod towards the rear of the store, we have only just scratched the surface with the potential of this popular collection. We are currently in discussions to move the jewellery to a shop-inshop in a much more prominent location within the store and have been given the go-ahead to sell via our website mococo.co.uk. Customers from other store locations are requesting the jewellery, after seeing it on our social channels, so we plan to see more Mococo stores stocking Michael Kors.

This feature originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Professional Jeweller. Read it online here. 

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