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British jewellery manufacturers close facilities until further notice

Hockley Mint1

An increasing number of suppliers are joining jewellers and closing their doors while the government urges people to stay at home.

While only non-essential retail firms have been told to officially close, other jewellery firms have followed suit in a bid to protect staff and play their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The assay offices were one of the first to close their doors, placing a road block for businesses still looking to produce new jewellery during this unprecedented time.

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Following closely behind, the WB the Creative Jewellery Group closed all of its operations on Tuesday (March 24) – those being Domino Jewellery, Weston Beamor and Gecko.

The managing director cited following “government guidance” and the “interest of employee safety” as the reason for this.

Orders can still be placed online, over the phone, and via e-mail; however, manufacturing of items will not proceed until the facilities re-open, with lead times becoming effective once manufacturing resumes.

Customer service also remains open.

Managing director, Andrew Moreton, comments: “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and your business.

“We also want to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to all of our customers during this challenging time. We hope that you, your families, loved ones, employees, colleagues and friends are all healthy and safe.”

On Wednesday (March 25), British manufacturer, Curteis, took the decision to move to stock orders only.

Customers can still contact the team through the normal channels, with Curteis still promising to offer the best service it can through this time.

Curteis states on its website: “light of the current situation we all face, we feel it paramount to commit to supporting our staff and customers during this difficult period. As the need for social distancing increases, we will have no option but to monitor the situation day by day.

“We have taken the decision as from Wednesday March 25 to move to stock orders only – and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure we continue to have orders with you.”

Hockley Mint had been remaining open with skeleton staff in order to clear orders of customers who were in desperate need of things.

The company today, however, closed its facilities until further notice, but staff will be on hand to answer calls as the manufacturer looks to do all it can to support its customers and the British trade.

Speaking to Professional Jeweller, managing director, Gary Wroe, encourages his clients to get ready to do business when the lockdown is lifted.

He remarks: “With the shutdown of retail and some manufacturing businesses it would be a good time to reflect on the business to see what changes are needed in the coming weeks and months. Perhaps your focus is on streamlining, enhancing customer experience or the fact that there are too many expenses in the business – something that may have crept up over the years.

“Now is a good time to reset the balance and take control. Use this time to research and speak to suppliers. Is there something that is missing in your business? Be ready when the doors open, hopefully refreshed and ready to go.”

On a positive note, the River Mounts factory remains open and is operating at its highest capacity ever. The company has decided to use this time to increase its already unparalleled stock levels and produce all customer orders – which will be ready for assay and dispatched once the lockdown has been lifted.

During these unprecedented times, River Mounts’ main priority is to fully support their retail partners, and to help them pull through this economic uncertainty stronger than ever. By investing heavily in new stock pieces, retailers will have access to thousands of designs in a multitude of head and finger sizes to ensure quick turnarounds for both them and their customers.

The dedicated River Mounts team will be working from home and will be available throughout this pandemic to support customers with any enquiries or orders they may have.

IMAGE CREDIT: Hockley Mint

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The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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