The Jewelry District, Episode 33: Holiday Sales, Online Luxury, Gold Sourcing

In This Episode
In this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates discuss Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the upcoming holidays; Amazon battling it out for space in the luxury industry; and responsible gold sourcing in the watch industry.

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Show Notes
00:30 Speaking on Cyber Monday, Rob and Victoria begin their discussion of holiday sales.
05:15 Victoria dives into how retailers can improve their holiday season.
09:58 Amazon has been vying for a spot in the luxury market. What does that mean for other jewelers in the category?
15:05 Responsible gold sourcing in the gold watch industry takes the spotlight.
22:44 Some companies prefer to keep their gold sourcing hushed, but Rob and Victoria give sources for those that want to do better.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Editor: Olivia Briley
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet

Show Recap

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and “Zoom-worthy” Jewelry
Victoria starts out by reporting on the passing of a beloved member of the jewelry industry, William “Lecil” Henderson of the Henderson Collection, and passes on her deepest condolences to his family and friends. Victoria and Rob then switch topics to talk about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and more holiday sales to come. Rob thinks the forecasts for retailers are pretty good this season, and he tells us why consumers looking for “Zoom-worthy” jewelry could help drive sales—if retailers put in the work.

A Labor of Love
Victoria picks up the question of how retailers can improve their holiday season sales and says that this is certainly a labor-intensive season for store owners. Some states are still allowing backyard or garden showings, which are intimate jewelry showings that have the potential to be very successful. While wholesale may be down for people like Mark Patterson, a designer in SoCal who Victoria spoke to, his retail has more than doubled for 2020. Rob and Victoria both encourage people to shop local to keep small businesses afloat.

Amazon, Luxury Jewelry, and e-Commerce
Victoria brings up e-commerce in the luxury space, and how it has been really heating up lately. Amazon has been trying to ramp up its luxury offerings, especially luxury fashion. Amazon Fashion is going up against Farfetch—the online luxury platform in which Richemont and Alibaba have invested—and LVMH. In 2020, online luxury has gone from taking up just 12% of the luxury market to comprising 23% of the market. Jewelers must have digital operations up to snuff.

Gold in the Watch Industry
Conversations around responsible gold sourcing have amped up because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Victoria recently wrote an article for the New York Times on responsible gold sourcing in the watch industry—which isn’t discussed as often as responsible sourcing in the rest of the jewelry industry. Despite growing consumer demand, Swiss watchmakers haven’t been more transparent about their gold sourcing, nor do they talk about where they get their raw materials from.

Hushed Practices
Rolex is a huge brand in the industry but won’t communicate about its sourcing practices. Rob discusses how recycled gold, while sounding good, may not be the best option either. Victoria and Rob end by giving resources for companies that want to start assessing their supply chain and sourcing their gold responsibly.

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