Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Retail Bells are Ringing

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

 

As all the news reports have indicated over the last week, numbers indicate that consumers are back in full force, taking care of some of their personal deferred wish list, along with a more generous budget for buying gifts for others. After a few years of cautious waiting, many have decided they will buy “IT” now.

Retailers who have kept in touch with their consumer base reminding them, that they carry “IT”, will finally benefit from all the ground laying they have been doing these last few years. Reinforce this positive outlook with all your customers by participating in their joy and enthusiasm in their shopping for self purchases or gifts for loved ones. Luxury goods have had the biggest sales increases and in that category jewelry purchases are the only ones that actually retain the highest percentage value of their purchase price. Remind your customer of this fact as they contemplate buying a gold bracelet while holding an expensive designer purse in their other hand. Asking them, which of the two $1600 items do they think will hold its value the best.

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The 2009 Columbus Jewelry Show

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Columbus Convention CenterWe exhibited at the Columbus Jewelry Show this past weekend. It is held every year end of August at the Columbus Convention Center, which is a great location being in the downtown area and the Short North district with many other things to do and see, along with a large assortment of great restaurants. As an exhibitor, I like the fact that we can just walk across the street and buy lunch at the North Market, a great indoor market of specialty food items by local vendors, and this year I was tempted to shop at the farmers market right by it on Saturday on the way to back to my booth!!

We have been exhibiting at this show for over 20 years and have seen how certain shows grow or contract for a variety of reasons. Some main factors would be the timing and proximity of other shows and of course this year the big “E” word. So, yes because the economy is not back in full swing we did not have very high expectations, particularly based on the buyers of this regional trade show, and the line we carry. Only a handful of true gem lovers or gem buyers attend this show, yet we were able to make contact with some new stores who were pleased to see the quality and range of colored gems we carry, and want to use us as a quality supplier in the future.

gem 2000 color gemstones

On Friday, the day before this two day show, there had been a great variety of classes and seminars offered to the buyers and the American Gem Trade Association had also taken part in them, promoting color. Since Kambiz Sabouri is the vice president of the AGTA, having their representatives in our town made it more special and we got to spend some extra time with them.

Since many of us are in this business for the long haul, we have learned to ride the ups and downs, trying new approaches and preparing for changes that we see happening. For example, our wonderful website with its online inventory search and images has been very warmly received by our customers and our presence on Polygon.net has gotten some good feedback.

Our main focus has always been and will remain, quality gems at all price points, competitive pricing and exceptional service. All along, we have not hesitated to constantly share our up to date knowledge and expertise regarding gems, educating and helping our customers become more informed jewelers. Many appraisers have also commented on how helpful we are to them since we deal in and know about such a large range of gems.

The challenge is not to loose sight of what our passion is and what we do the best, meanwhile being aware and staying on top of the changes in supply, distribution patterns and buying trends. I have a feeling we will be heading back to principles of enduring quality and true value as we evolve and mature as consumers.



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The Desire Inherent…

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

The desire inherent in all of us to possess our own special “treasure”.

The same things we anticipate and worry about through the period of recovery of a patient; like letting them rest, periodically checking their vitals, and analyzing the results and what they indicate, holds true with the economy; that has been everyone’s one and only patient for a long time now.

It seems this patient is not in the ICU anymore, and its rate of recovery is under debate and scrutiny. In general the initial shock and the jitters that followed the bad news has had time to dissipate somewhat and everyone is now more focused on the recovery and wanting to be prepared for the slow but steady comeback and stabilizing of the retail market.

This “rest and recovery” time has translated into different things for each of us in this industry. It has meant more drastic changes for some than for others and there has been a lot of reevaluation that has taken place. Some of these shifts might not be as evident in the slower recovery period, but will later emerge as a pattern that has allowed these entrepreneurs to survive when many didn’t.

RingAmetrine gem 2000
I think a definite component of that pattern will prove to be differentiating oneself from the masses and offering a higher level of expertise in a less tapped area. A very traditional and accepted area as such is the fascinating world of precious colored gemstones.

I am still amazed at the level of interest and fascination that is conjured as someone finds out that I am a gemologist and an importer and wholesaler of gems. All of a sudden everyone has a story of something pretty that they owned and cherished and all the wonderful emotions and passions that surrounded that treasure. It makes me think of how easily any jeweler who can share and nurture this readily found passion in a customer, can highly benefit from establishing this great special bond; be it as an educator, a fellow discoverer, or a reliable and expert guide.

Sapphire Ring Gem 2000

The world of colored gems offers endless options and possibilities to this exploration and discovery, ultimately leading to the find of a cherished treasure, worthy of owning and admiring regardless of the size of ones budget. Despite having looked at thousands of carats of gems in my career, I can still experience that special excitement and awe at beholding the beauty and rarity of a special stone that says, “I am worth owning”.

Yes, our special love for color gems has led us down many amazing and adventurous paths and allows us to own a wonderful assortment of beautiful gems. Each one of them offers a unique look and feel, which has been carefully selected for its great value and price.

As a Jeweler you can reach outside the box, and tap into this great and innate passion we each possess; desiring and wishing to own our own special gem. You can create, nurture and expand this expertise in your store, so as things turn around you will be positioned well. We would love to partner and help you achieve this goal in any way possible. Our inventory and expertise is at your service.



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Tucson Gem Show 2009

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

The AGTA GemFair Pavillion

The air was crisp, the sunshine beautiful, yet in light of all the media coverage of the economy and forecasts, as exhibitors we had come knowing that we couldn’t really have the same expectations as previous years.

red trillion spinelThe show ended up better for us than we originally had imagined. Traffic at the AGTA GemFair (Feb 4-9) was about 20% down from last year, but the buyers that had shown up were pretty serious, albeit all with smaller budgets. Purchases were based on more specific calls and replacement of sold items rather than on speculation.

Items that did better for us were more unusual gemstone in nicer quality and lower per carat prices, in general a bigger look for the money such as fancy color zircon, spinel, kunzite, beryl, fancy color tourmaline, fire opal, purple cushion sapphire as well as smaller sizes of better color and quality in classic and more known gems such as blue and fancy color sapphire, tsavorite, spessartite garnet, aquamarine, rubellite, and precious topaz. In general, jewelers who have been more interested in color gems and invested time and energy in developing a market for them by educating their customer base, and offering custom design works and services seem to have benefited, and maintained better profit margins.

Our booth at the Tucson Show, in the AGTA GemFair Pavillion.

We have found that at present, prices at supplier levels have stayed pretty firm in almost all gem categories. For example, many mining and processing operations of rough gems, in Sri Lanka have shut down, since their high fixed costs are not justified by the present weaker world demand. At all levels, dealers would rather hang on to their inventory of rough or cut stones, as replacing them gets more difficult each day and nicer goods harder to find in general.

Attending the Tucson Show, whether as a buyer or in our case as an exhibitor, has an excitement associated with it true gem lovers can not resist. Once a year, the world of gems comes together at this show, creating an incredible energy which is then released and channeled through all the exciting and beautiful jewelry pieces created and offered with love to the end user. Whether you get to walk the red carpet or not, wearing these beautiful tokens of love, bring special feelings of joy and pride; emotions humans have shared through the ages.

Read an recent article by GIA color stone analyst Robert Weldon about his report from the Tucson gem and mineral shows. VIA: www.gia.edu


gem 2000 tucson 2009



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