The coronavirus has been having an impact on many industries and the jewellery trade has certainly not been immune.
Alongside trade shows being postponed and cancelled, jewellery brands have had to close shops in China, with the likes of Pandora and Tiffany & Co reporting that the virus has already had an impact on sales.
At Inhorgenta Munich, many brands revealed to Professional Jeweller that they have been struggling with factory closures, with one telling the team that it has delayed a new product launch, and another saying if the factories did not open soon they would start getting behind on orders and in turn, jewelers will be left with limited stock.
In the light of a dark cloud though, British jewellery manufacturers have been able to step in and help companies, with many reporting a boost in business since the virus outbreak.
“The outbreak of the coronavirus has affected service and product suppliers all over China; we continue to monitor the situation carefully, whilst mitigating the effects of factory closures as best we can for our customers,” shares the Weston Beamor Group’s managing director, Andrew Morton.
“We’ve been able to reduce the vast majority of negative impacts for our retailers due to our focus on increased manufacturing outputs from our UK facility, over the past three years; this foresight has provided us with an unpredicted commercial advantage. Our ability to turn around high-quality product, quickly and cost-effectively in the UK has meant that, for the most part, our customers have been unaffected by this global epidemic.”
British manufacturers have even seen customers who left them to use cheaper competitors who import their goods rather than manufacture come back to place orders in the last few weeks.
While it certainly promotes a benefit in opting for ‘British made’, it is clear the main priority for England’s leading manufacturers is to ensure jewellers aren’t left with empty windows during this time.
“We have all been seeing an issue across many industries regarding delivery and supply of parts from China due to the coronavirus,” explains Hockley Mint managing director, Gary Wroe. “We’ve been able to help retailers who have been struggling with supply problems recently.
“Being a British manufacturer we aren’t reliant upon imported goods and have been able to adapt to ensure we can meet the needs of those customers who have been left struggling to meet their clients’ needs due to difficulties in their usual supply chain.”