Retailing Across the Pond

A recently released study from the research firm Mintel, based in the United Kingdom, reveals that jewelers—or “jewellers,” as they say across the Atlantic—have a lot to learn in terms of pleasing customers. The “2004 Mintel Precious Metal Jewelry Report” reveals that “the precious metal jewelry market has grown … but overall growth has been slower than the retail market and jewelry has lost its share of retail sales,” Richard Perks, a senior analyst, told the press. Most damning to retail jewelers overseas is evidence in the report that shows “the industry is out of touch with its consumers and their desires,” according to Perks.

Findings in the report mirror some social trends already occurring in the United States:

  • Men are an increasingly important market for precious metal jewelry.

  • Polarization is occurring at the high-end and budget levels, with consumers willing to spend more for quality goods based on fashion trends, design innovation, and better-quality metals such as platinum and higher-karat gold.

  • Platinum is growing increasingly popular for brides, as is white gold.

  • Women are buying more of their own precious metal jewelry.

  • Men buy on impulse more often than women do.

For more information about the report or to purchase a copy, visit Mintel’s Web site at