Annie Doresca and Michelle Graff welcome Reggie Johnson and Sheryl Jones for a frank conversation on the state of DEI in fine jewelry.
On Data: How Independent Jewelers Are Faring This Year
In a new data-driven column, The Edge Retail Academy’s Sherry Smith breaks down the year so far for independent retailers.
Today, small is the new big, less is more and the word “omnichannel” has become passé.
This shifting retail landscape has left our independent jewelry retailers in search of the “next best thing” and vigorously seeking a competitive edge—better ways to reach customers, more efficient customer journeys and opportunities to proactively meet customer needs.
The role of data is more significant than ever, which is why The Edge Retail Academy is now working with National Jeweler to bring readers “On Data,” a regular column by yours truly that contains valuable information on what’s selling and what’s not.
In this first column, we’ll look at how independent jewelers are faring so far in 2019, as well as delve into the importance of data.
The Edge Retail Academy’s aggregated data from more than 1,100 independent retailers show sales are up 1.7 percent rolling 12 months ending October 2019.
It might surprise independent retailers to know they’re outperforming the majors.
Tiffany reported comparable sales in the Americas decreased 4 percent in the third quarter and were down 5 percent in the first half.
Signet same-store sales were down 1.4 percent year-to-date at the end of the second quarter, though the massive retailer showed improvement in Q3 thanks its North American stores and online sales.
Historically, the diamond category has made up approximately 50 to 51 percent of annual jewelry sales, but in the month of October it slipped a bit, representing 45.5 percent.
The diamond category was up 11 percent in gross sales for the month of October and up 3 percent in average retail sale, which climbed from $2,213 to $2,379.
Why Numbers Matter
It’s all about the data.
In its 2018 study titled “How Analytics and Digital Will Drive Next Generation Retail Merchandising,” McKinsey stated: “Winning decisions are increasingly driven by analytics more than instinct, experience or merchant ‘art.’
“By leveraging smarter tools—those beyond backward-looking, ‘hind-sighting’ analysis—retailers can increasingly make forward-looking predictions that are quickly becoming the ‘table stakes’ necessary to keep up.”
Owners and buyers no longer need to rely solely, nor should they, on their instincts.
Independent retailers now have access to approximately $2 billion in annual jewelry sales data, thanks to Edge Pulse. Edge Pulse allows Edge users to log in from anywhere at any time to access their data as well as industry stats.
This big data means a greater understanding
It is easy to now ascertain the top-performing categories or how a given vendor is trending.
A retailer can benchmark their performance against the aggregated industry performance and trends.
They can also quickly determine if they are missing best sellers from the very vendors with whom they’re currently doing business.
According to a recent study conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, 62 percent of retailers report the use of information, including big data, and analytics are creating a competitive advantage for their organizations.
Knowing where you stand relative to other retailers, while not a game changer in and of itself, is a useful benchmark.
Understanding market trends, pricing and category performance is the best complement to your instincts and experience.
Your daily and weekly routine should include a review of your data, as well as real-time aggregated data, to make more informed and intelligent business decisions.
These insights will enable you to better understand which products or services are in demand and, quite frankly, help you to manage your business more efficiently.
We’ve come off a great month in October. Let’s build on that momentum with relevant and useful data.
Have a great holiday season!
Sherry Smith is director of business development for data and consulting company The Edge Retail Academy. Her 30 years in the jewelry industry includes 20 as principal partner in two jewelry stores. As director of business development, Smith works with wholesalers, brands and retail stores on business mentoring and data analysis and aggregation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Gennette will step down in February 2024, passing the torch to the CEO of another notable retailer.
Artisan Martin Roberts fashioned lunar meteorites into 48 beads to create this out-of-this-world necklace.
Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.
As for new members, the organization welcomed Jewelers of America’s Annie Doresca and Parag Jain of Parag Diamonds.
Jacob & Co.’s new “Billionaire” timepiece features more than 200 carats of yellow diamonds.
Heidi Horten, wife of department store magnate Helmut Horten, collected jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels.
De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.
The jewelry industry insurer and solutions provider is celebrating 110 years in business this month.
The statement came as the National Retail Federation released its retail sales forecast for 2023.
Sotheby’s will auction the diamond, which it says is “arguably the most significant pink diamond to ever appear at auction,” in June.
The retailer, recently acquired by Signet Jewelers, will lay off 119 employees in July.
The Swiss watchmaker introduced 17 new models at Watches & Wonders Geneva.
As part of the promotion, Smith will share his sales expertise during a 90-minute training session.
At Watches & Wonders, the Swiss brand unveiled a follow-up to last year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante.
The “rêve” collection’s engagement rings and wedding bands are geared toward “sustainability minded customers.”
A new word appears on the dial each day of the week.
Kolja Kiofsky has been with the crystal and jewelry company since 2010.
The Kruse GWS Auctions sale will include the replica “Taj Mahal” necklace Elizabeth Taylor made with Avon as well as a costume piece Marilyn Monroe wore.
Massimo Basei is moving up, while Chief Commercial Officer Martino Pessina is stepping down.
AGTA GemFair and the Denver Gem & Mineral Show also will have a presence on the show floor.
Sold by Christie’s Hong Kong, this masterwork of complications now holds the record for most expensive watch ever auctioned online.
The watch company expects first-quarter sales to fall as much as 15 percent due to inflation and tough comps.
Adam O’Grady, general manager of the Lightbox Lab, has taken on the new role and will report directly to Lightbox CEO Antoine Borde.
The watch marketplace gathered data from 1.3 million collectors, highlighting the most popular timepieces and exploring value appreciation.
Burgundy has opted not to exercise its option to buy the mining claims Gibb River Diamonds currently owns.
Patented and specialty cuts now can receive an 8X Proprietary Certificate, which can be customized to include a company’s brand and logo.