High street jewellers say that August sales exceeded expectations.
Consumer confidence rose in August more strongly than predicted, although the recovery remains fragile, according to most analysts.
The GfK/NOP barometer showed an improvement to -18 in August from -22 in July. However, a number of analysts believe that the slight improvement in August is little more than a rebalancing of the disappointing July figure. Pessimism still stalks the market, according to financial experts.
Britain’s independent jewellers contacted by Professional Jeweller say they have had a mixed summer.
Dinny Hall, designer and owner of the eponymous chain with five outlets across London, reports August sales are up 17 percent over the same month last year, with a notable upward trend in silver and gold jewellery. “Tourists help, but predominantly we feel that there is a little more confidence around. We certainly feel confident at Dinny Hall,” she says.
Dominic Wakefield, owner of West Sussex jeweller Wakefields, says business has been booming over the summer. “We are currently trading at +40 percent over the May to August 2009 period,” he says.
Brands like Pandora, Links of London and Thomas Sabo have been particularly strong, but the store has also seen an “encouraging uplift in our engagement and wedding rings and earrings and necklaces sales.”
The Horsham-based store also expects the strong first half of the year to continue. “We envisage a busy trading period in the run up to Christmas and look forward to a bumper Christmas,” says Wakefield.
Dower and Hall, with outlets in Glasgow, London and Kent, has seen sales up 5 percent across all stores in August; a result described by co-owner Diane Hall as a “slow and steady improvement over previous months.”
She expects the Christmas trading period to pick up, and expects the business to benefit from growing confidence. “We are picking up quite a bit of new business which has been very exciting. Confidence is growing and people are back to moving forward which is great news,” Hall concludes.