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JCK Las Vegas upbeat, innovative
By Carol Besler
 
LAS VEGAS, June 2010 - The mood at the JCK Las Vegas Show, held between June 4 and 7, was upbeat, with manufacturers reporting brisk sales after a prolonged downturn in the jewellery industry.

 
 Luminaire, from the Scott Kay Bridal Collection
JCK Events, comprising Luxury by JCK, Swiss Watch by JCK and JCK Las Vegas, reported a strong finish, with a 20 percent increase in retailer buying attendance over 2009. More than 20,000 retail buyers visited the show, including 600 VIP retailer stores.

 International participation increased by 23 percent, with the largest concentration from India, Russia, Canada, Britain, Mexico and South America – placing the JCK Las Vegas Show alongside Baselworld as an important international event for the jewellery and watch industry.

“I am a first time JCK Design Center exhibitor and had a great show,” says Jane Basch of Jane Basch/Basch & Co., Hollywood, Fla.

“I have been branding my company for the past two years, but nothing has worked as effectively as exhibiting in the JCK Design Center. I opened 18 new accounts and did more business in two days at JCK than I have in the past two years.”
 
Manufacturer Paul Tacori of Tacori, Glendale, Calif., concurred.

 “There is no better place for us to showcase our diamond jewellery than at JCK Luxury,” he said.
 
The show celebrated its 19th year this year, and its last at the Sands Convention Center/Venetian Hotel.

Next year, the show will move to the Mandalay Bay complex, which comprises a convention centre, shops, restaurants, event space, THEhotel, The Four Seasons and Mandalay Bay hotels.  Exhibit space at the 2011 show is already sold out.




  
“We are expanding and investing in the already robust hosted buyer programme for 2011 to ensure that retailers stay and find everything they need at the Mandalay Bay/Four Seasons complex,” said Yancy Weinrich, Industry Vice President, JCK Events.

INNOVATION
 
There was no shortage of innovation at the show, with exhibitors anticipating the replenishment of low inventory levels by launching major new collections, many at newly lowered price ranges, to help recession-weary jewellers re-stock with sensible, saleable merchandise.

Bridal, the industry’s saving grace and strongest segment over the past two years, was well represented at the show with many new innovative designs and programmes.

Bridal purchasing remains robust as much attention is being paid to the young bridal couple, an emerging customer base for jewellery retailers.

In fact, the opening keynote presentation by Ken Gassman, a jewellery industry research analyst, focused on bridal.

Gassman reported that, in 2010, the bridal market in the United States will finish as a US$12-billion market, and by 2016, it will be a US$15-billion market.

He presented ways in which retailers can use the bridal sale as an opportunity to keep couples as customers for life – beginning with the sale of their wedding bands.

 
 From the Moments Collection by Pandora
Scott Kay, Teaneck, N.J., (which exhibited at the Couture Show at the nearby Wynn Hotel), introduced a new collection made with an alloyed cobalt, a material used in prostheses that is hypoallergenic and on par with palladium in terms of colour and durability – but at a fraction of the price of palladium.

According to Kay, a band that would cost $3,000 in palladium would cost $300 in cobalt. Kay also introduced several new bridal collections at the Couture Show.

Customised necklaces and bracelets made of charms and beads were another huge category represented at the show, with segment leader Pandora exhibiting a major new collection at one of the busiest booths on the show floor.

Stuller introduced its new Kera bead/charm programme as well.
 
Coloured gemstones, particularly amethyst and other semi-precious gems, was another trend evident on the show floor, along with silver and mixed-metal merchandise.

“Silver has become increasingly important for us,” says Jamel Cummings-Shepin, of Sears, Toronto. “Our customers are looking for affordable prices, value, and pieces that are fashionable.”

Mexican exhibitor Sabido & Basteris displayed a line of silver that is alloyed to become red, blue or gold, and is then stretched into fine threads and woven as a silk-like fabric.

The collection represents a new look in silver at a very reasonable price point.
 
JCK Las Vegas 2011 will take place on June 3-6, with Luxury by JCK to take place May 31-June 2 (preceding JCK Las Vegas) at its new venue, Mandalay Bay.


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