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Industry News: JFC’s Rings Of Strength Moves; New Survey Shows Continued Optimism Among Jewelers June 12, 2019 (0 comments)

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JFC’s Seventh Annual Rings of Strength Launched At New Location

Las Vegas, NV--Jewelers for Children’s 7th Annual Rings of Strength Tour took place Thursday, May 30, at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, NV, marking the first year the event was not held at Mandalay Bay.  With the move of the JCK Show to the Venetian/Sands Expo complex, the relocation allowed participants to have easy access from the Venetian/Palazzo, the Wynn, and Caesar’s Palace, all important event locations for Las Vegas Jewelry Week.  

More than 80 participants assembled at 5:30 a.m. to either walk or run a 5K, or bike one of two courses, a leisurely 15K route or a challenging 50K route. Participants who signed up built their own fundraising websites, and together collected more than $ 25,000 to support Jewelers for Children.

"The change in starting point really made it easy for so many attending the market week activities to participate," said John White, JFC’s vice president for special programs. With a new venue attracting new participants, this year’s event pushes us past $350,000 in [total] fundraising since the event began. Every year we welcome new people and new companies to this fabulous event!"

Sponsors for the event included JCK Events, Asurion, Assurant, StarLuxe, LLC, Quality Gold, Inc., Freeman Expo Service, and Ashi Diamonds. The event attracted individuals as well as teams of industry supporters.  Teams were organized by Quality Gold, Fellowship of the Bling, JCK Las Vegas, Team WJA, and BIG. This year marked the first time recognizing the team fundraising raising the largest amount, along with the team that raised the most to be recognized with awards, along with the most creative look. Cora Lee Colaizzi led the individual fundraising efforts, putting her Quality Gold team in the lead for fundraising and Bud Fluty from Absolute Brilliance took the most creative look prize.

 

Jewelry Industry Summit Moves To Memberhip Model

New York, NY--In line with its mission to bring the jewelry industry together to advance sustainability and responsible sourcing, the Jewelry Industry Summit, a non-profit charitable organization, is moving its business model to that of a membership-based organization and opening up a range of opportunities for individuals and organizations to become members. Membership support will allow the Jewelry Industry Summit to amplify strategies to make the industry more sustainable by sharing, learning, and promoting the development of sustainability initiatives from all sectors of the jewelry industry.

Cecilia Gardner, chair of the organization, says, “By moving to an annual, membership-based model, the Summit will be empowered to provide a comprehensive platform of continuous support to the fast-growing sustainability movement within the jewelry community. Our new platform allows all individuals and entities who are passionate about positively impacting the environment and jewelry-producing communities to contribute in a variety of ways which are affordable but will make a real difference.”  

Along with the introduction of its new funding structure, the Jewelry Industry Summit will start to roll out a range of new benefits for members which will include access to member-only online content such as webinars and discounts to national and regional events throughout the year. 

A membership level of $60 for individual proprietors will be supplemented by additional higher levels: Contributor, $100; Supporter, $500; Patron, $1,000; and Benefactor, $5,000. A $40 reduced-price membership is available for students, acknowledging their important role in the future of sustainable jewelry design and manufacture. An option to contribute on a monthly basis means that members can sign up for as little as $7.00 per month or $5.00 for students. 

As an introductory offer, anyone signing up for annual membership before the end of this year will automatically have their membership extended until December 31, 2020 at no extra cost. Separate sponsorship opportunities are also available to further support Summit initiatives and events.  

”We want to ensure sustainability becomes a broad-based industry priority and urge everyone to visit our new website to find out how they can help and to sign up for our newsletter for updates on a variety of efforts to sustain the jewelry supply chain,” says Gardner. For more information, visit jewelryindustrysummit.com.

 

Report: Industry Confident; Lab-Grown And Conflict Diamonds Equally Worrisome

Norwalk, CT—Reed Jewelry Group senior vice president Yancy Weinrich presented JCK’s 2019 State of the Jewelry Industry Report at the JCK Las Vegas Show last week. The findings of the second annual survey showed consistent optimism: its Jewelry Industry Confidence Index fell only two percentage points to 86% from the inaugural survey last year, when 88% of respondents described themselves as somewhat or very optimistic about the next 12 months. 

The second annual report—based on an in-depth survey conducted by MRI-Simmons—revealed key trends and important priorities in the U.S. jewelry industry. Over 500 respondents participated in the survey, primarily retailers with a sample of manufacturers, designers and wholesalers. 81% of survey respondents have been in the jewelry business for 11+ years. 

"The consistency of positivity in the industry is exciting, said Weinrich. "The report also indicates that our industry is strategically shifting its priorities based on market dynamics. With such robust optimism and strategic continuous improvement, the industry is looking forward to a bright future ahead."

Stacked rings now join alternate engagement rings and layering as the top three trends being reported by retailers. The stacking ring trend appeals to buyers across a wide range of price points and offers consumers an incentive for browsing to add to existing collections. Heart motifs are on the upswing as well.

Charms, however, are on the decline and watches remain volatile.

Customers are almost equally concerned about lab-grown diamonds and conflict diamonds, says the report. 61% of respondents reported customer concern about lab-grown diamonds and 60% report concern about conflict diamonds is alive and well. More than one-third of respondents (37%) said responsibly-sourced jewels are a big concern for consumers.

Related: Doing Well By Doing Good, Part II: Real Life Examples Retailers Can Use

 86% of retail respondents reported price as the leading reason for consumers to consider the purchase of a lab-grown diamond. The main reasons for refusal to purchase them were fairly evenly split between preference for “real”/natural and concerns about enduring value.

Female self-purchase is a crucial sector of the market: 61% of respondents reported either “considerably” or “somewhat” more women buying jewelry for themselves, and more than two-thirds (67%) said they’re spending more than $500 per purchase. Indeed, the average price point for a female self-purchase customer is $1,240. 

Related: Year Of The Woman: Diamond Self-Purchase Campaign Set To Launch

Retailer marketing strategies have shifted as more retailers are focused on embracing new media tactics to combat digital disruption. Social media now tops retailers’ list of strategic priorities, replacing the improvement of in-store buying experience, which ranked highest in last year’s study but fell to fourth place this year. Retailers’ top five priorities were: 

72% expect social media marketing to be one of their most successful business practices, compared to 57% traditional and 44% digital advertising. 82% of respondents plan to advertise on social, but it should be noted that respondents' confidence in the effectiveness of social media marketing fell 10% year over year.

Top challenges were consistently ranked in similar order to last year’s study. The top four are: 

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