May 2010 — Everyday someone asks me whether we are starting to climb out of the sluggish economy or if it will continue for an extended period of time. Realistically, history has shown that even when the economy experiences an uptick after a recession, the jewelry industry experiences a much more gradual turnaround. The average growth rate during the first year of recovery averages only 0.3 percent for jewelers.
Boom times that we all experienced in the past are unlikely to return any time soon, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to shutter the operation. In fact, we’re advising jewelers to embrace and adapt to this new reality now and to move quickly to minimize performance deterioration.
It’s important to recognize that shoppers have a lot more options today than they had in the past. They have become more savvy and selective, and jewelers need to fight harder and be more persistent to ensure that their customers are loyal to them. It is extremely important to not only offer great products that are attractively priced, but also to create a shopping experience that is both convenient and memorable for the shopper.
The following are a few ideas for reaching this goal…