Approved suppliers to the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) have reported an increase in sales in 2016 compared to 2015, with 66% saying that sales were up year on year.
In the CMJ’s annual post-Christmas survey, suppliers were generally positive, with only 19% reporting a drop in sales year on year and the remaining 15% reporting static results.
However, suppliers did report a later than usual sell-in to retailers, with many retail businesses ordering product later than in previous years due to uncertainty about expected footfall and a possible downturn in the economy. Of those suppliers who participated in the survey, 50% said sell-in to retailers was about the same as in 2015, while 36% reported that retailers bought product later than the previous year.
The CMJ, which is the largest jewellery and watch buying group in the UK and Ireland, has 250 approved suppliers, which include a mix of jewellery and watch brands, manufacturers and service providers.
Lee Ruben, sales director at diamond jewellery brand Gemex, said: “Customers did appear a little more cautious than last year, which I attribute to the weaker Sterling rate. Having said that, our customers were still optimistic about Christmas and this reflected well in our sales figures.”
Danish jewellery brand Sif Jakobs Jewellery bucked the sell-in trend, with retail customers ordering product even earlier than in previous years. Director of UK and Ireland Matt Finnerty commented: “The sell-in for Sif Jakobs Jewellery was fantastic and possibly our best-received collection to date. What did surprise me was how many new accounts we opened in December, too.”
CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton added: “In what has been an uncertain time for the economy in the UK and Ireland, 2016 has proved to be a success for suppliers to the CMJ. This survey shows the positive impact that the CMJ can bring to suppliers, introducing them to a membership network of quality, independent jewellery retailers.”
Last week the CMJ published results from the survey of its 163 retail members, which reported a mixed bag on the high street, with retail sales better or the same year on year for 64% of members.