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GUEST COLUMN: What will kickstart people’s buying patterns in 2021?

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Tracey Toach from CME’s design and buying team looks ahead to the next 12 months in the jewellery sector and shares her predictions on the styles, products and themes that will boost the sector’s recovery.

Goodbye 2020, a year where furlough, lockdown and R numbers became everyday words, and view 2021 with a glimmer of optimism.

Retailers reported good sales over the year when they have had the chance to trade and online trade has blossomed.

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Jewellery has a special place in people’s hearts as a particular way of expressing self, celebration and gifting; qualities and services, which have been important during this pandemic and potentially giving the sector resilience to bounce back after the squeeze of these difficult days.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a rise in customers’ thirst for the authentic and original traders who have a unique take on products.

This holds true for online retailers as well as high street shops and consumers still love the experience of shopping, especially where variety and quality of experience is on offer.

We see this as the moment for smaller businesses to shine, with fewer large-scale productions overshadowing the schedule.

Keeping jewellery affordable and having stocks of wearable essential items has never been more important”

What to stock for 2021? Jewellery is a commodity that reflects the times and people’s self-identity and we think this holds true for 2021. 2020 brought a renewed interest in pieces featuring protection, luck, love and spirituality and this hasn’t peaked yet.

For CME’s 2021 collections we’ve continued to be inspired by designs that make people feel good as well as look good and new collections will feature celebrations of strength, beauty and feminine power in the form of Nefertiti.

In the second quarter, with (hopefully) widespread vaccination, we predict that consumers will start to take the opportunity to celebrate their freedom and life, emerging stronger, perhaps less conformist and more adventurous.

Visually 2020 was low-key with people in pyjama bottoms on zoom calls and few chances to celebrate.

2021 could be quite the opposite with statement pendants and mismatched earrings, and for our neglected brides a return to glamour and sparkle.

The promise of holidays will feature large in people’s minds with consumers looking for pieces that look great with a tan – ankle chains and toe rings.

Fashionistas would have us believe that trends change with the weather but our experience is that trends are slower to trickle from the catwalk and favourites that have been big this year will continue to appeal. 2020 trends were firmly rooted in individuality and this shows no sign of abating.

Our CME 2021 collections will feature a charm bracelet that is completely customisable, and new ranges of initials.

We see this as the moment for smaller businesses to shine, with fewer large-scale productions overshadowing the schedule”

Stacking and layering seem set to stay front and centre with mixed and matched bracelets, necklaces, rings and the curated ear continuing to boost sales.

For retailers this offers the chance to introduce customers to the idea of adding new pieces to collections, the ability to restyle vintage items, or those that have fallen out of favour by reinvigorating them when paired with more modern pieces.

Yellow gold, celestial, and chain-link, re-imagined with exaggerated silhouettes with both collar-length and uber-long chains for pendants settling in to become new classic styles.

In the Middle Ages the year started in March and perhaps we could reinstate this as the point of the fresh beginning, as the first quarter is likely to have more than its fair share of challenges with infection rates and Brexit uncertainty potentially affecting precious metal prices.

Keeping jewellery affordable and having stocks of wearable essential items has never been more important.

Tags : 12021CMECME Jewelleryguest column
Sam Lewis

The author Sam Lewis

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