November 2008

March of the Mechanicals

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Experts Offer Top 10 Diamond Selling Tips

jck asked 10 leading industry experts the following critical question: what is the single most important tip you can offer jewelry salespeople for selling diamonds at retail? those who were queried included highly regarded current and former retailers, manufacturers, sales trainers, business consultants and executives from major trade organizations – all with decades of experience selling…

Binda Acquires Geneva Watch Group

binda group, the italian watch and jewelry company, on sept. 4 acquired advance watch group, the u.s. watch and clock manufacturer doing business as geneva watch. it was owned by heritage partners, a boston private equity fund. geneva watch remains at its long island city, n.y., headquarters. former chief operating officer and chief financial officer jeff gregg succeeds mark lucas as chief exe…

Conference Board Sees Contraction Into 2009

the conference board predicts that the negative growth rates for the u.s. economy in the third quarter will continue through the fourth quarter and into the first half of 2009, according to its economic forecast released oct. 8. the organization also predicted no improvement in the housing market before the first half of 2009 at the earliest and said housing prices may drop further, negatively …

Dateline Goa

invitation-only luxury jewelry shows in lavish resort settings have been established in many markets, but until this year, the concept of an exclusive upscale show had never been tried in india. the gem and jewellery export promotion council’s iijs signature show, launched last spring in goa, proved the concept is a viable one for the indian jewelry industry.

Diamond Grading Reports and Certificates

it used to be that if you knew how to grade a diamond, then you could tell your customer the weight and quality of the diamonds you have in stock. you were relatively confident that your customer would appreciate your professionalism. but not any more. today’s diamond-buying customer has already been shopping on the internet, gleaning any information about diamond quality they can find.

Correction

in the october cover story, “pearlicious,” credits for images #5 (pg. 65) and #9 (pg. 69) were inadvertently switched. the dyed chocolate pearls were provided by eliko pearls, and the fiji pearls were provided by provockative gems. provockative emphatically states that they do not carry any dyed pearls.

Who Will Promote Diamonds?

it’s just a microscopic imprint on a diamond—one 1/500 the thickness of a human hair. but it could have a decidedly outsized impact. it’s called the forevermark, and whether or not it’s the future of the diamond industry, it’s definitely seen as the future of de beers. for 100 years de beers has supported the diamond market with its generic diamond advertising—first for diamonds the…

Treatments and Lab-Grown Diamonds

don’t assume that your diamond has not been treated. diamonds have been treated for centuries. and every time someone thinks up a new way to color- or clarity-enhance a diamond, gem experts are put to the test to figure out the whys and hows to identify and classify these new gem treatments. the discovery of diamond treatments remains much the same as ever: unusual appearing diamonds enter the …

Diamond Wilderness

some trends in the changing diamond landscape suggest where we are headed. retailers aren’t sanguine about the high-end business and steep price increases. one prominent retailer told me he sees it as a bubble inflated by mindless extravagance in some foreign markets. the bloom may be off the rose. prices for big stones have flattened, and we may see a decline, though that may not mean better t…

Sterling Sued for Discrimination

sterling jewelers has been sued by the u.s. equal employment opportunity commission for allegedly “discriminating against a large class of female employees at stores nationwide.” in its suit, the eeoc alleges sterling “pays its female retail sales employees less than male employees performing equal work, and denies female employees promotional opportunities for which they are…

Newswire

the indo argyle diamond council will close in december after 15 years in operation, according to a statement by mvi marketing, which owns the program. marty hurwitz, chief executive officer of mvi, said the program accomplished its goals by raising awareness in the u.s. market of india’s jewelry manufacturing capabilities.

Keep Growing During the Recession

consumer confidence is down. prices are up. credit is tight. losses are mounting. in the current soft economy, it’s easy to succumb to fears about your own business. yet it’s important in times like these to keep sight of your most important asset: your brand. if you do not consider your business a brand, you may be faced with an even greater problem than the economy.

Time to Vote! No, the Other Vote!

greetings from mumbai! i’m here for a week to visit our indian manufacturing friends, and it’s been an amazing time to be abroad. it seems the whole world is involved in our upcoming presidential election. again and again, the conversations include “after the election,” as if we were in the states.

‘We Need a Compelling Shopping Experience’

zale chief executive officer neal goldberg recently spoke to jck about his chain’s plans for the future. goldberg came to zale after serving as president of the children’s place, the noted children’s retailer. in his talk with jck, he stressed—as he did in a speech at the rapaport diamond conference—that the industry needs to offer more-differentiated product and a more compelling …

Profile Customers and Potential Customers

today more than ever, the goal of a sales presentation isn’t simply to make a sale. the goal has to be to develop relationships with customers. i’m talking about the kind of relationship in which the customer wouldn’t even think about buying jewelry from anybody but you. it has been written that as much as 70 percent of a jewelry store’s volume comes from 30 percent of its customer base.

Saving Legal Expenses in Tight Times

most intellectual property lawsuits in the jewelry industry are conducted in federal courts, which have a long-standing tradition of independence from short-term societal issues. if your company is involved in litigation, don’t expect the judge to limit judicial process because of difficult economic times.

Top Tips For Ensuring a Successful and Safe Holiday Season

by now you should have your holiday staff set and your staffing plan in motion. that’s good, but don’t make the mistake of sitting back and waiting for clients to pour in. there are a number of relatively simple, inexpensive steps you should have your salespeople take this month and next to make you stand out from your competitors, enhance your reputation for service, and give your holiday sale…

5 Issues to Watch in the Diamond Industry

1 the future of memo the liquidation of whitehall jewelers wasn’t pleasant for the industry. but it’s quite possible it could have taken the rest of the industry down with it. whitehall, then owned by a hedge fund and a bank, engaged in a prolonged legal war over ownership of the chain’s millions in consigned goods.

Old-Fashioned Common Sense

with media headlines like “the new frugality” and “thrifty is the new black,” there’s no question that being cheap is chic. whether out of fear or necessity, americans have slammed the brakes on spending. is the nation that considers life, liberty, and the pursuit of prada an inalienable right really returning to its thrifty yankee roots? recent polls from leading luxury…

Thriving in Troubled Times: Charity Marketing Draws Customers, Builds Sales

let’s be clear right away: the jewelers in this report who actively support charities don’t do it for the business. they do it, as one said, because “the more you get, the more you should give back to others.” still, their businesses—all family-owned independents doing $1 million to $2 million a year, in markets with a radius of 20 to 30 miles—are affected by their good …

Gem Pricing Report

the mood in the gemstone industry remains cautious as we move into the critical holiday season. many wholesale dealers report that they are not going to overexpose inventory by sending out a lot of goods on long-term memos this season. only the best accounts should expect this privilege. one dealer explained to jck, “this year we have had to chase far too many clients for either money or …

Chow Tai Fook Buys Peace Mark Assets

chow tai fook, the giant hong kong retail jewelry group, has taken over hundreds of watch stores and two manufacturing facilities of bankrupt hong kong watch maker and retailer peace mark (holding) ltd. chow tai fook, privately owned by hong kong business tycoon cheng yu-tung, acquired peace mark’s watch retail network (more than 1,120 stores) in mainland china, hong kong, macau, and taiwan.

Jewelers Hit By Hurricane Ike

southeastern jewelers were hit hard by hurricane ike, which caused wind and water damage and power outages throughout texas, the gulf coast, and the midwest on sept. 13 and 14. there were no reported deaths or serious injuries among jewelers or their families. the texas jewelers association said up to 100 member stores in the galveston area were affected.

Reduce Environmental Impact With Green Bench Practices

the green movement is exploding as the media focus attention on the environment and global warming, spurred by al gore’s film, an inconvenient truth, released in 2006. but the words green and sustainable are overused and have largely become marketing hype. so let’s define them: the green movement interweaves environmental goals with a sense of personal and social responsibility.

How Hearts On Fire Wins

part training. part selling. part motivation. part excitement. part recognition. part product differentiation. part sales and merchandising support. recently, i had the pleasure of attending a portion of the hearts on fire university events at the bellagio hotel in las vegas. this event has been held for years, and every year it is very well attended.

JSA: Attacks on Salesmen Increase

jewelers’ security alliance has documented a surge of attacks on traveling salesmen in recent weeks. the attacks are taking place in an area that spreads from new mexico to ohio. jsa, in its “crime alert” newsletter, reported the following events during a nine-day period beginning sept. 24:

A Line Is Born: Behind the Scenes at Switzerland’s Bucherer

vivien lichtsteiner was born in a jewelry store. and not just any store. this upper middle-class woman, whose dossier includes a classical education and a swiss banker-husband, was born in lucerne, inside the flagship store and headquarters of bucherer, switzerland’s largest chain of retail jewelry. no wonder that lichtsteiner inherited impeccable taste, with a particular fondness for fine jewels.

Consumer Spending Flat in August

the commerce department reported that consumer spending in august increased just $3.9 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, the worst performance in six months. in july, consumer spending increased $14.2 billion, or 0.1 percent. personal income increased $61.5 billion, or 0.5 percent in august, but disposable personal income (i.

Last-Minute Tactics for Better Holiday Sales and Beyond

despite the dismal state of the economy—and despite all your natural tendencies—now is not the time to let a foxhole mentality set in. you can still influence this year’s holiday sales for the better, and you can also stack the deck in your favor for the start of 2009. here are some last-minute ideas gleaned from the recent jck webinar to help make this the best season it can be.

March of the Mechanicals

“the big story is mechanicals” that’s how francie abrams, bulova corp. senior vice president and chief marketing officer, describes the watchmaker’s major focus this fall in the mid-price u.s. watch market. her comment was echoed by executives of other mid-range and upscale watch brands, as well as popular-price brands, at this year’s trade shows.

Go Green: How Jewelry Makers Are Reducing Their Environmental Impact

behold the mighty power of the phrase “carbon footprint.” prior to al gore rolling out an inconvenient truth in 2006, it’s a fair bet that the majority of people had never heard the phrase or given it much thought. since then it’s become a convenient buzzword, has garnered a lot of interest in the media and among the general public, and has in many cases become a potent marketing t…

DTC Sightholders

dtc sightholders are amongst the world’s leading diamantaires and collectively handle approximately 75% of the world’s diamonds. based mainly in the traditional cutting centers of antwerp, tel aviv, mumbai, johannesburg and new york, as well as in botswana, namibia, russia, china and canada, these sightholders attend the dtc’s sights, or sales weeks, which occur 10 times a year.

Rio Tinto Diamantaires

rio tinto diamonds’ vision is to be the preferred global supplier of natural rough diamonds to the industry. in 2006 rio tinto diamonds launched its select diamantaire program, a business-to-business customer recognition program that provides a mark of formal recognition for customers to use in their marketing efforts.

Diamond Branding Directory

a diamond may be a simple product, but the industry has produced an impressive number of variations on the theme. there are diamond brands based on origin, cut, light performance, and just about every other factor of the stone. jck’s diamond branding section profiles a select few of the many companies offering branded diamonds.