Editorials

The Silver Story…An Update

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Over the past ten years or so we've become accustomed to precious metal prices at historically high levels and in a sense, we can take things for granted. Gold remains in the mid $1200s, platinum in the mid $900s and silver prices in the mid teens. The base prices of the three precious metals have a significant impact on the retail sales prices of jewelry products sold today. Sticker shock is as real in the jewelry business as it is in the automobile business.

So, is it any wonder then that silver jewelry has rocketed onto such a significant growth track over the past eight years and as a result has become increasingly important for retail jewelers' merchandise assortment planning. Too, silver has become the quintessential artisanal metal for fine jewelry allowing designers to design product that realistically could not be done with gold or platinum because of the significant cost differentials.

Price point merchandising has always been important in planning jewelry assortments. Building traffic for independent jewelry stores depends on a variety of factors. The demographic profile of the consumer is one. Increasingly, female self-purchase is or should be part of that planning function. Jewelers have come to recognize once you get the consumer into the store you must have a wide selection of product and price points to satisfy the desires of these shoppers.

Research has pointed the way to silver's value and attractiveness in bringing the younger woman into independent retail jewelry stores. When women look for a gift for someone else or to purchase something for themselves, the independent jewelers are in a better position to fill the role of providing the answer.

The latest Silver Promotion Service annual report of silver's contribution to the industry once again – as it has for the past eight years – demonstrates, clearly, the sales and perhaps more important, the profit contribution silver products make to a jeweler's business. The latest report tells us about the growth story of silver. 62% of the jewelers in the study reported sales increases in their silver jewelry product in 2016 and of that number 54% reported sales increases in the range of 11% to 25%, with the overall average increase coming in at 16%! These are impressive numbers given the difficulty of 2016 for the industry.

Perhaps more important is the maintained margin story from this year's study. Silver far and away provided the best-maintained margin of all the products in the survey including diamond, bridal, gold, and platinum. Considering the fact that silver product is a favorite among the female demographic and thus an important draw to the store, silver jewelry is doubly significant to the independent retail jeweler.

A final few points from the study to consider:
  • 88% of silver jewelry is purchased by consumers in the 20 – 55 age range and encompasses both female self-purchasers and female gift givers.
  • A significant majority (72%) of the jeweler respondents believe silver jewelry is very important to their business
  • And 89% of those retailers surveyed believe the booming market in silver will continue unabated for the next several years.

Silver makes so much sense for independent jewelers because it permits focus on unique designs from the world of creative designers and manufacturers. And, thus allows jewelers to distinguish their stores from chain operators.

How was your silver business in 2016? Is the silver opportunity calling you?


AT: 05/22/2017 07:47:17 PM   LINK TO THIS ENTRY
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