The CEO of Britain’s biggest jewellery and watch company, Aurum Holdings, has criticised jewellers for panicking too early in December and rushing to slash prices.
Brian Duffy told Professional Jeweller’s sister publication WatchPro that sales for the whole of Aurum Group rose 20% in December, compared to the same month in 2015, with luxury watch sales in London making the greatest impact.
Aurum Group owns Goldsmiths, Boutique.Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Watch Shop.
Mr Duffy said that his retail businesses used Black Friday, which was on November 25, to kick start Christmas sales, but kept prices firm for jewellery in December.
“It has become a discounting competition,” he argues. “But it is not something we participated in,” he adds.
It was not an easy season for jewellers, Mr Duffy admits, revealing that sales came very late, partly because of Christmas day falling on a Sunday. “I can’t say it was good for the nerves,” he says.
Image: Gabriella Wilde, Mappin & Webb and Brian Duffy, Aurum Group CEO