92% of suppliers to CMJ report positive sales values for December
January 2014 – In a survey of approved suppliers to the UK’s biggest buying group, The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), 92% of suppliers said sales values over the Christmas period were the same or better than in the previous year, despite the generally late sell-through before Christmas.
“The survey shows the positive impact that the CMJ can bring to suppliers,” said CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton.
“Through our marketing and members communication strategies, as well as at our twice yearly trade events, we bring suppliers and retailers together so that both sides can do better business in the UK’s high streets – at Christmas and throughout the rest of the year.”
Mark Robinson of Citizen Watches UK reported that 2013 was a record year for the Citizen brand.
“Our CMJ partnership is extremely strong and our retailers recognize the investments Citizen is making to develop the brand further.
As one of the leading brands in the UK watch market, it is important we continually innovate and excite the consumer.
“We already have extensive plans in place for 2014 to propel the brand to new heights, and look forward to working with all our retail partners to achieve this,” he said.
Anna Lee of Storm said: “Bearing in mind the late rush of sales we were really pleased with the growth in sales for December.
“We believe these increased sales are due to the fact that we look carefully at each town not to have too many stockists.
“We prefer to work well with a good stockist as opposed to working with many stockists in each town.
“This strategy enables us to work much more closely with our retailers and to actively support them with their efforts.”
For jewellery suppliers, silver branded jewellery dominated, but several CMJ suppliers noted an upturn in gold jewellery sales, including CW Sellors, Stubbs and Clogau.
Ben Roberts, managing director of Clogau, said: “The Christmas period saw an increase of almost 15% with December breaking all previous December records.
“However, the customer does seem to be spending less. This wasn’t expected but is in line with the jewellery industry as a whole.
“The bead trend continues to dominate and as such drives down the average purchase values for a brand such as ours where beads account for the less expensive part of the range.
“We did however increase turnover through the quarter. That said, we are launching a higher value range of items for the engagement and wedding ring market to combat the reversal in average spend.”
Clive Gayler of JE Hammer & Sohne also reported that: “Retail feedback that there had been increased interest in gold products and especially yellow and yellow/ white gold was reflected in our sales of 9ct and diamond earrings and pendants.
“Retail price points from £200 to £400 sold well. There was also a lot of interest in our 9ct and CZ range.”
The next CMJ trade event will be taking place from March 16-17th in Birmingham and exhibitor space at the show has already sold out.