Industry responds to Brexit

Willie Hamilton Speakers Corner

Following the news this morning  that Great Britain has voted to exit the European Union, industry figureheads are reacting to the referendum result. 

Carli Onguc, owner, Lanes Fine Jewellery

Carli Onguc owns Lanes Fine Jewellery in Leicester along with her husband, Ercan. She comments: “I’m disappointed that the UK has made this decision.  It’s terrible for businesses and the uncertainty this has caused in the markets is not good news for those of us who trade in foreign currencies.”

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Harriet Kelsall

Speaking from her personal perspective, Harriet Kelsall spoke on the phone with Professional Jeweller editor Naida Redgrave and said the following: “I’m extremely disappointed and surprised. It will negatively affect the economy. I think that diamond prices will rise, gold prices will rise, and people will be less likely to buy from us. Interest rates will go up, and in general, people may be less likely to buy jewellery.”

 

Patrick Fuller, owner, WB The Creative Jewellery Group

Speaking exclusively to Professional Jeweller, Patrick Fuller, owner of WB The Creative Jewellery Group, says: “Personally I am disappointed and from a trade point of view I think it is worrying. Trade this year has been positive but fragile and this decision is likely, in my view, to have a negative rather than a positive effect. Having said that it is certainly a poke in the eye for all politicians!”

 

Gary Wroe, managing director, Hockley Mint

Gary Wroe, managing director of Hockley Mint, comments exclusively to Professional Jeweller: “My initial reaction is that trading in the coming weeks and months are going to be tough. Currently anything bought in from overseas will have a premium attached to it but the currency markets will stabilise and business will carry on. The fact that we are exiting the EU will impact on our businesses and we have to be mindful of how the changes affect us. As we know gold is the safe haven in a market that is in turmoil and has seen significant increases overnight. We will be cautious in the next few months and keep a firm eye on all sectors of industry”

 

Willie Hamilton, chief executive of the CMJ

Speaking via the Company of Master Jeweller’s website this morning, chief executive Willie Hamilton said: “I am sure the exit vote will lead to a high level of uncertainty not just in the UK but throughout the world. The UK now needs to face up to the immediate challenge of change that uncertainty inevitably brings. Being independent should resonate with independent retail jewellers and manufacturers in the UK who consistently and successfully operate within a strong collective such as the CMJ. We must now show strong unity by working together to face the short term uncertainty and the inevitability of some sectors of the media talking down economic growth and promoting doom and gloom.”

 

Adrian Ash, head of research, BullionVault

Speaking to MarketWatch and commenting on surging gold prices, Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault, said: “The surging gold price clearly shows the panic sweeping financial markets. This is just the kind of crisis which gold helps savers and investors insure against. Gold offers certainty and security as stock markets and currencies sink, just as it did during the 2008 meltdown. The difference is that this shock was clearly signposted, and many private investors didn’t wait for today’s result to get prepared.”

 

Andrew Morton, CEO, WB the Jewellery Creative Group

Speaking exclusively to Professional Jeweller WB the Jewellery Creative Group chief executive officer, Andrew Morton, commented on his initial thoughts: “Today will be a day of speculation and conversation. The markets are reacting which is no surprise. At WB The Creative Jewellery Group we are always mindful of world commodities and pricing, so from that point it is business as usual, the longer term effect we have to wait and see.”

 

Helen Dickinson, CEO, British Retail Consortium

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium has said that now that a decision has been made to leave, it is important that the government moves quickly to explain the process of disengagement from the EU.

“Without clarity, retailers, other businesses and hence the economy will suffer from a prolonged period of uncertainty. We are already seeing the commencement of a period of considerable volatility as financial markets react to any emerging information that might indicate how the new relationship to the EU might be shaped. Retailers should be prepared for the possibility of significant swings, particularly in the exchange rate and consumer confidence.”

 

Ariel Tivon, Tivon Fine Jewellery 

“While completely natural, people need to stop fearing the worst as it doesn’t help anyone and actually creates an even more negative sentiment and possibly a self-fulfilled prophecy of failure. It is way too early to know any real hard facts. No one knows what’s involved including our country’s leaders and our so-called industry experts – so rather than panic we all need to get on with business of raising our game and putting the ‘Great’ into Great Britain.”

 

Alan Frampton, director, Cred Jewellery

“The people have voted and I believe in British democracy. I voted remain but am pragmatic about facing the challenges that lay ahead. Procrastinating about the result is a waste of time and we must now make decisions about our business given the situation we find ourselves in. We must run our businesses professionally knowing that the short term future is full of unknowns. Decisions must be made to protect the staff , suppliers and customers to ensure that the business endures and succeeds throughout the changes that will inevitably take place in the medium term. This is a time for strong leadership and clear direction. After many years facing all sorts of challenges I can say that during these times of uncertainty you need to be very focused and work hard to avoid the pitfalls of uncertainty.”

 

HOW DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY WILL RESPOND TO BRITAIN LEAVING THE EU? HAVE YOUR SAY BY COMMENTING BELOW OR EMAILING NAIDA.REDGRAVE@ITPPROMEDIA.COM

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