The first half of 2019 resulted in mixed fortunes for independent jewellers across the country, according to a number of store owners questioned by Professional Jeweller.
According to Hannah Gibson of Lancashire-based Silver Tree Jewellery the period was unpredictable, with Gibson saying that “a quiet month would be followed by a busy month followed by an exceptional month”.
This view was backed up by Helen Malloy of Forum Jewellers in Poole, who claimed that, “”some weeks footfall could be surprisingly low and other weeks surprisingly high”,
Others independents, such as David Clark of Lewes-based W.E. Clark & Son, were more downbeat.
He said: “It was tough, actually. We have seen our top clients really clam up and hold onto their money.”
He elaborated that the problem was not that customers did not have the money, but that they were waiting to see what would happen with the economic and political situation, a factor which has had far reaching ramifications across a number of industries in the retail sector.
Some respondents were more positive, for example Olivia Stewart-Stead of Fitzgerald Jewellers in Canterbury said that business had been “steady” while Dominic Gomersall of Leicester-based Lumbers claimed “a good first half.”
However the resounding mood was one characterised by a degree of uncertainty.
Going into the latter end of the year, though, most of the independent jewellers questioned were be cautiously optimistic of improved fortunes in the coming months.
There were a number of reasons given for this, such as the fact that disruption is now already factored into the mind-set of consumers, renewed digital focus, busy events calendars and the busy Christmas season to come.