The Company of Master Jewellers chief executive officer says the jewellery industry will change more in the next five years than it has in the last five years.

Discussing the shape of the jewellery industry in an exclusive interview with Professional Jeweller, Willie Hamilton said although retail is coming back to the high street, buying a piece of jewellery is not like it was 15 years ago.

He commented: “You go in now and you can buy something in Accessorize, and you can buy something in Graff and wear it. So the market is so wide, and it’s making sure that the jewellers own that and they do, they’ve just got to hold on to it.”


He then went on to talk about the big impact millennials have, and will continue to have, saying they are leading the way because they have the highest disposable income of any generation in the last 60 years.

He remarked: “How they spend is going to be different to the generations before. If you are in your mid 20s at the moment you are going to come out of education with a debt, the chances of you being able to buy a house is limited, your disposable income you are going to stop and think about it, you’re far more educated in what goes on in the world, social media is giving you information like that.”

He commented on how trends are even faster moving now as consumers have access to what is going on anywhere in the world at all times.

“Individualism is starting to come out more and more,” he continued. “You can just be the badge of the world or you can be your own individual, so that’s going to change the market immensely.”

He concluded: “There is going to be a good number of change in the next five years, I have no doubt. Trends will do that. But I think that the way that people are purchasing is already changing. They’ve [retailers] just got to be sure to move with that.”

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Editor, Professional Jeweller


  1. Brands and Manufacturers will become the new retailers in 10yrs; they use current doors for BETA testing. The race to the bottom (price) will drive some but most will gain margin by providing the buying experience which the wealthier brands can provide. There will be a mass exodus of talented staff to these major brands leaving the independent retailer void of support and the spiral continues… getting in bed with just Brands will be like selling your soul.

  2. Predicting the future is perilous. The rate of change is too fast these days. Ultimately the course to follow, in our opinion, is sticking to one’s ethos, focussing on what one does best and doing everything possible to work in partnership with good people to drive the business, products and message forward.