Trace Shelton is Editor-in-Chief of INDESIGN Magazine and Contributing Editor of INSTORE. His current favorite topics to cover include social media, marketing, and store environment, but you could also get him excited about merchandising and sales if you’ve got something new to say.
Looking for the next big idea that could take your business to the next level? I’ll wager you can find it at next week’s SMART Show. I’m sure you’ve seen the promotions about retail environment expert Paco Underhill, but don’t sleep on Friday’s lunchtime speaker David Kepron or Sunday’s keynote speaker Bryan Eisenberg. These guys are going to give you something to chew on.
SMART Jewelry Show attendees, be warned: Steel your minds, lest your thoughts be read by Karen Hollis of K. Hollis Jewelers (a.k.a. Madame Mental Image from INSTORE’s lead story on “Super Jewelers”). I’m only kidding, of course – her mental powers only extend to custom jewelry clients. But her business savvy goes well beyond the realm of custom creation, so if you’ll be in Chicago, be sure to make this Friday morning session at 9 a.m., hosted by yours truly.
Like a lot of people in our industry these days, I’ve been thinking a ton about the changes that technology and consumer behavior are causing for our business. Not only are consumers better educated on jewelry than ever before, not only do they have access online to most jewelry they might like to purchase, but they are also changing in terms of what jewelry means to them and why they buy it, which in turn is changing what they buy. (I wrote about some of these changes and my suggested course of action in my blog a couple of weeks ago, which you can read here.)
The JBT recently reported that 612 jewelry retailers closed their doors last year, a 29.4 percent increase over 2013. Meanwhile, a De Beers survey presented at last year’s JCK Show in Las Vegas showed that 18 percent of diamond sales were made online, up from 14 percent the previous year. A few years ago, the number was being reported at less than 10 percent. It doesn’t seem like a reach to think that the number will soon surpass 20 percent and continue to rise from there.
As America tunes in to the Academy Awards and the beautiful people walking the stage, jewelry fans and insiders tune in just a little more tightly to the bright baubles being sported by Hollywood’s elite. If you want to understand the trends in real time and less than 140 characters, the place to go is Twitter and the hashtag is #oscarjewelry.