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Las Vegas lowdown: Cautious buying and high hopes for a turnaround

Aside from wearing a watch or woven leather bracelet, most men aren’t the type to get blinged out. And while there is definitely a market for diamond and precious metal designs for grooms-to-be, some companies are mixing precious metals with alternate materials, such as carbon fibre.

“You don’t have to explain carbon fibre to men,” said Tony Malo, head of sales and marketing for Montreal-based men’s wedding band manufacturer, Malo. “They already know it from the auto, sporting equipment, and watch industries as a light, strong, performance material. And black is already well accepted in watches and fashion jewellery.”

The Vegas shows are generally the busiest time of year for retailers as they purchase stock for fall delivery. With the holidays practically around the corner (by industry standards), the race is on to create interest and drive consumer traffic to stores.

Sian Williams, president of Bulova Watch Co., said holiday campaigns built around exclusive offerings for independents is one tactic that worked well for the brand in the past, generating additional stimulus. Social media is also at the top of the list in terms of marketing efforts. Kelly Vandenbroek, Bulova’s Ontario regional sales manager, said the company’s social media initiatives are creating inroads among the digital-dependent millennial demographic.
A dedicated social media guru at Bulova prepares ready-made content for retailers to push through their social media channels.

“They can post something every day,” she said. “We are starting to attract the social media crowd and this kind of initiative will drive the younger consumer to our counters.”

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