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REVEALED: How are jewellery retail giants reacting to the coronavirus crisis?

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As the first week of the government advising non-essential travel comes to a close, Professional Jeweller takes a look at what some of the jewellery industry’s biggest retailers having been doing in response so far.

Read each firms story below to discover the measures companies are taking, alongside some more innovative and creative ideas…

LAINGS JEWELLERS

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Luxury jewellery retail group, Laings, has launched a unique one-off spring sale to help their customers during this unprecedented time. With a history dating back to 1840 Laings has been a luxury retailer that has stood the test of time. Through the hardships of two World Wars and economic uncertainty the firm’s valued customers have stood by the family business as they adapted to circumstances and continued to thrive. Now in these uncertain times, Laings wants to continue to provide a five-star service, even if customers can’t get to its stores. Laings chief exec, Joe Walsh, says: “We understand that these are confusing and unprecedented times for everyone and we stand by the community in heartfelt solidarity. We are committed to carrying on our exceptional service, inviting customers to become part of our family. With this Spring Sale we can offer more to our customers, providing them with an excellent opportunity to purchase special pieces at exclusive prices at this uncertain time.” The Spring Sale at Laings includes unique and limited edition pre-owned timepieces from some of the most prestigious watch brands and fine jewellery pieces with up to 50% off.

Laings is hosting a one-ff spring sale.

BOODLES

British luxury jeweller, Boodles, has vowed to offer escapism to its customers during this time. The family firm said on social media: “Boodles is all about family, it’s at the very heart of our business. We care deeply for our friends and customers and we hope to offer a bit of joy and escapism with our content in the upcoming weeks, as a result of everything that is unfolding around us.” Content so far has included spring and natural filled images.

Boodles is posting inspiring content on social media

WATCHES OF SWITZERLAND

While some businesses have been closing stores, Watches of Switzerland has opened two new Mappin & Webb boutiques during the outbreak. These stores are transformed Fraser Hart units, and are located in Kingston and York. On social media the retail giant assures customers that all Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths stores are open for business. The company continues to monitor government guidelines and has put measurements in place to protect the welfare of all customers and colleagues.

Mappin & Webb opened tow new boutiques this week.

SWAROVSKI

Swarovski sent out a message on social media and through its e-send with the headline, “Your wellbeing is our priority”. The content revealed that the majority of office staff are working from home and each day the firm are making decisions to close or reduce trading hours of our UK and Ireland stores, in accordance with measures introduced by local governments.
Where our stores remain open, Swarovski are taking all precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. The jewellery brand also promised it is doing all it can to offer the very best experience online during this time, including free global shipping to all customers.

 

BEAVERBROOKS

National jeweler, Beaverbrooks, posted an update on social media from ‘our family to yours’, which spelled out the actions it is taking for the safety and wellbeing of its customers and colleagues. At present all of its 69 stores remain open, although some opening times may have been affected, and the website is still taking and delivering all orders. With both the e-shop and physical boutiques, extra steps are being taken to protect customers. Online, the website fulfilment team are adhering to the most stringent hygiene standards, while couriers will no longer be avoiding contact through ringing the door and stepping away straight away and not giving a handheld device for customers to sign. In store, the teams are rigorously following the latest government guidance and the most stringent hygiene standards, increasing the frequency and depth of cleaning routines across all surfaces. The staff are wearing rubber gloves where necessary and using hand sanitiser regularly.

 

CHISHOLM HUNTER

Earlier this week (March 18) Chisholm Hunter opened its brand new boutique in Leeds. The retailer states: “In this time of uncertainty, Chisholm Hunter believes that it is important to continue giving back to the community and investing in its extremely skilled and valued team. We look forward to welcoming our valued customers into our new boutique.” The boutique is located on Commercial Street. Dealing directly with COVID-19, the jeweller’s social media campaign message is: “Customer safety comes first”. All 26 stores currently remain open, with the company taking all necessary precautions and following all advice that the government health officials have given.⁠

Chisholm Hunter’s main message during this time.

BERRYS

Award-winning jeweler has posted the following message to customers on its social media channels: “Amid the developing situation surrounding the coronavirus we want to reassure you that we take the health of our customers and staff very seriously. We are, and will continue to follow the advice of the government and health officials and our usual stringent health & safety and cleansing routines have been intensified. All of our nine UK shops remain open and our professional staff are ready to help you with any queries you may have. For those of you who can’t get into your local store, please feel free to make use of our secure next-day delivery service at www.berrysjewellers.co.uk. You can also extend your personal hygiene by keeping your jewellery and watches clean. Warm water and a small amount of washing-up liquid is perfect for keeping your special pieces clean but please take care with non-water-resistant watches! If you need any further advice on keeping your watches and jewellery clean, contact your local Berry’s store.”

 

PANDORA

Jewellery giant Pandora has asked consumers not to try on jewellery in its UK stores. While the brand has closed its boutiques in several countries, including the United States and key European markets, the UK remains open for now, but with precautionary measures. On its UK site the brand states: “For Pandora the health and safety of our customers and employees is our top priority, we are closely monitoring developments of the COVID-19 and are following guidelines from the government and relevant health authorities. To help keep you, our employees and out communities safe we conduct frequent and extensive cleaning in the store with special attention to touchable surfaces, such as doors, handles, countres, and displays. We also clean presentation trays after each use.” The company goes on to list ways consumers coming into the stores can keep the experience safe. These measures include keeping one meter apart from other visitors in store, having patience if they limit the amount of people in stores, and refraining from trying on jewellery unless they are quite certain they want to purchase it. Customers are also being asked to notify staff if they have tried on a piece.

 

F HINDS

Family-run F.Hinds has released a blog on how customers can keep their jewellery clean during the coronavirus outbreak, which states the company is its best to help stop the spread of the virus. Advice on jewellery cleaning includes washing jewellery often (especially pieces worn on the hands), removing jewellery when necessary, and using body products carefully as hand creams and moisturisers can attract a buildup of bacteria on jewels. Customers have also been invited to visit a local store for free a complimentary cleaning.

 

MONICA VINADER

British jewellery brand Monica Vinader has temporarily closed (which are predominantly in London) its UK stores to safeguard staff and customers, and do everything the business can to support the community around its stores. The brand’s Hong Kong and Singapore stores remain open, and Monica Vinader is continuing to operate online from its Norfolk office. The brand announced this news today with a Mother’s Day incentive. Monica Vinader writes on social media: “Many of us won’t be able to visit our Mother in person this Mother’s Day as planned. We would love to help you send something special to her, so you can visit us online and use our 20% off code WITHLOVE20. Order by 3pm today (20th March) and select Express Delivery, and your order will arrive in time for Mother’s Day. Take care and we’ll see you soon.”

 

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The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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