For jewellery retailers across Canada and the United States, price comparisons by savvy consumers has created a race to the bottom for non-branded products like chains, diamond stud earrings, or garden-variety wedding bands.
Although the luxury industry has slowly recovered following the 2008 U.S. housing crisis, lower retail prices combined with higher wholesale and supplier pricing is shrinking profit margins across Canada and the United States.
Let’s face it—buying jewellery is an emotional endeavour, which means, for the most part, we are in the business of selling romance or, in some cases, at least giving it a nudge in the right direction.
For Canada’s independent jewellers and diamond suppliers, competing with online diamond giants can feel like a losing battle. It’s the typical David and Goliath scenario, and as with the Bible story, all is not as it appears.
My sister, Sharlane Letwin, is a professional retail jewellery sales associate. Yet, when asked what she does for a living, she answers, “I make small talk all day long.” Sharlane is very charming, her sales numbers are high, and her employer invests in on-going training every year to keep his team sharp.
I love my job as a life and business coach. Why? One, it is rewarding to see my clients implement strategies allowing them to overcome challenges that would have at one time brought them to a complete halt. Two, I love when my clients express surprise at their ability and resourcefulness to succeed at their goal (when all along I knew they could do it).
Bridal has always been a solid staple in jewellery stores worldwide. Today, however, its success has become the essence of survival for many businesses struggling to manage adjustments within the luxury consumer market.