Helen Dimmick, a well-known jewellery industry consultant who was until recently interim business leader of the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), a leading UK buying group, will give free webinars on Jewellery Outlook about how jewellery businesses can respond to coronavirus, from shutting stores to driving forward online sales. Helen gives a few insights to Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.
The webinar will take place at 11 am UK time on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
All those wishing to join the webinar must pre-register their attendance via this link: https://jewelleryoutlook.com/?wswebinars=outlook-with-helen-dimmick&page=register
Helen, you are planning the first of a series of webinars. What will the topics be?
My webinars will be on diamonds, jewellery, selling jewellery and supporting jewellery businesses, most especially the independent retailers, but may extend to any other relevant industry sector. My talks will have global relevance and are open to trade participants from around the world.
Whatever my skills and experience are, I want to share my expertise at this time and we hope to create a collective online community of support.
The seminars will show that jewellers are not alone – we will provide support to help them during this difficult time, firstly to stabilise and regroup. If possible, we will then look at going beyond survival to flourish and thrive, whatever the new retail landscape looks like.
During this time I’ll look at providing education for sales staff, for example, via digital initiatives; virtual methods of communication, and new routes to market for when the social distancing and further lockdown measures take place.
The focus will be on how to upskill your team.
We also hope that more senior jewellery industry specialists will come on board and share their expertise by giving webinars too. We will also work alongside other organisations providing similar resources.
Feedback and questions will be by far the most important element. Listeners need to tell us what advice and resources they need. This platform will be very interactive.
What messages does the jewellery industry need to give out to consumers?
Understanding the importance of gemstones and jewellery. Jewellery plays a significant role in the representation of humanity.
Since the dawn of time man has adorned himself for status, protection, symbolism and reassurance.
Still today the most significant milestones in our lives are represented by the giving and receiving of pieces of jewellery.
So too is the everyday message of love and sentiment.
This will therefore take on an enhanced meaning and importance during and after the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
For example, working in a jewellery retailer in Bond Street just after the 9/11 attacks, I was surprised by the significant jump in sales in the months that followed.
People started to “live for the moment” more and wanted to make important gestures to their nearest and dearest.
Our state-backed UK health system, the NHS (National Health Service), and other front-line services are playing a significant role at this time, but we too have a part to play — never will the giving and receiving of jewellery be more relevant
The word, meaning and embodiment of “precious” will take on enhanced significance.
How to tell this story and the method by which it is communicated will be key…
When the crisis eventually ends, do you foresee pent-up global demand re-emerging for jewellery? Who will be the winners and losers?
Given the situation above, then yes, but I would anticipate demand will increase at a time when the supply channels will be challenged.
This will determine an interesting time in marketing forces and the associated costs.
The winners will be those in the industry who hold their nerve, listen, learn, adapt, change, think out of the box and work with greater collaboration and understanding.
Liquidating assets and stock, increasing stock turn, sourcing new routes to market, will be essential in the short to medium term.
Longer term though it may be survival of the fittest. I anticipate an increased demand for greater authenticity will also subsequently emerge.
The individual retailer needs to redefine and reshape his or her own identity.
The trusting relationship the individual independent retailer has with clients, and the representation of their own brand (online and in store) as opposed to the brands they sell, will be paramount.
Supporting and resourcing this change will be crucial.