R&D Tax Credits: What are they and how do they benefit Jewellery Companies in the UK?
Leyton UK are a London-based financial consultancy who help jewellery companies to claim Research & Development Tax Credits for innovation. Leyton UK Associate Tim Durance explains to Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough how it works.Q. Who are Leyton and what is the Research & Development Tax Credit scheme?Tim Durance: Leyton are an innovation-funding consultancy and the UK’s largest specialist in Research & Development (R&D) Tax Credits, a government incentive that rewards UK companies for investing in innovation.In the UK, jewellery businesses must innovate in response to the ongoing challenge of cheaper imports. This means enhancing capabilities, improving processes and becoming more efficient. R&D Tax Credits allow businesses to reclaim up to 33% of the associated costs and reinvest them in equipment, staff or further R&D.
Q. What type of companies are most likely to qualify for R&D Tax Credits and benefit from Leyton's expertise?Tim Durance: In Jewellery, we work with everyone from foundries, casting companies and manufacturers to designers and retailers. Any business that develops new or bespoke products or enhances processes or services is likely to qualify. If in doubt, Leyton’s process begins with a free consultation to help assess your eligibility.Q. How significant are the tax rebates that Leyton can broker for UK jewellery companies?Tim Durance: Qualifying R&D costs in the jewellery sector are high and therefore the benefits are significant. Recently we have worked with a small manufacturer with four staff who recovered the equivalent in tax relief of an entire salary each year. Q. How are benefits realised and what does it mean for businesses? Tim Durance: R&D Tax Credits yield a benefit in as little as 6 weeks, often in the form of a cash injection.In jewellery, most businesses have an equipment wish list. Investing in new equipment such as 3D technology seems to be a priority. One client recently invested some of their benefit in laser welding technology. This has enabled them to complete small adjustment work in-house, reducing costs and lead times for their clients.Many companies are investing in software, to improve efficiency or develop better retail platforms for consumers. Some businesses simply want to improve operating capital at a time when consumer spending is low.Q. Why should a jewellery company use Leyton rather than an accountant?Tim Durance: Unlike accountants, Leyton employ a team of over 70 technical R&D consultants, including material scientists who have extensive experience producing R&D Tax Credit claims for companies in the jewellery & precious metals sector.I would liken it to buying castings: would you buy your jewellery castings from a jewellery specialist like Weston Beamor or from someone who casts for the automotive industry? Our consultants do the leg work and manage the entire claims process allowing clients to focus on their business.
Q. What is Leyton's track record?Tim Durance: We have a 100% success rate. We use a tried and tested methodology that has delivered over 7,500 successful claims in the last 10 years, worth over £350m to our client-companies. We work in partnership with our clients and will only charge a fee when savings are identified. It’s a win-win.To find out more about R&D Tax Credits or other Leyton services please contact: Tim Durance, 07534 505 681, email@example.com
COMMENTARY - Rarity, beauty and branding underpin Bonhams London Jewels sale resultsBy David Brough
LONDON, September 24, 2019 - Exquisite and rare coloured gemstones, natural pearls and branded jewellery outperformed at the Bonhams London Jewels sale, while provenance contributed to a strong result for a gorgeous Art Deco brooch.The prestigious Graff name combined with the exceptional quality and rarity of emeralds, contributed to a superb result for an emerald and diamond bracelet that fetched a hammer price of 490,000 pounds, soaring above a pre-sale estimate of 100,000-150,000 pounds, at the sale on September 24.Among coloured gemstones, rare rubies and sapphires flourished, especially rubies of Burmese origin that showed no evidence of heat treatment, and historic Kashmir sapphires.One example was a ruby and diamond three-stone ring that garnered a hammer price of 28,000 pounds, well above a pre-sale estimate of 8,000-12,000 pounds.Natural pearls were greatly sought after, reflecting tight supplies linked to pollution in the oceans, as well as a resurgence of demand for pearls in global jewellery design trends.A natural pearl necklace attracted a frenzy of bidding to achieve a hammer price of 50,000 pounds, versus a pre-sale estimate of 10,000-15,000 pounds.In terms of provenance, the standout item was an Art Deco emerald, diamond and enamel brooch, by Hennell, circa 1925. It contained an engraved emerald, dated 1813-14, that was probably presented by the Mughal Emperor Akbar II to Mary Hood.The brooch was sold for a hammer price of 120,000 pounds, well above a pre-sale estimate of 40,000-60,000 pounds.The contribution of provenance to the sale of a jewel is famously hard to predict, but clearly played a big part in the excellent result achieved by this brooch.
The Plumb Club Becomes first trade group to require members to join Responsible Jewellery Council
NEW YORK, September 2019 - The Plumb Club announced that its members overwhelmingly voted to require all new and existing Plumb Club members to become Certified Members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
The Plumb Club, a current RJC association member, is the first organization of its kind to require its members to follow the RJC Code of Practices.
The new requirement underscores The Plumb Club’s purpose to “connect its members and their customers and help shape the future of the jewellery industry.”
The RJC will collaborate with current and future Plumb Club members to ensure they adopt the RJC Code of Practices and effectively communicate their RJC membership status to their customers and business partners.
(L) Left to Right: David A. Bouffard Responsible Jewellery Council, JC Chairman, Brandee Dallow, Responsible Jewellery Council North American Lead, Michael Lerche, The Plumb Club President, Lawrence Hess, Executive Vice President
(R) Left to Right: Michael Lerche, The Plumb Club President; David A. Bouffard Responsible Jewellery Council, JC Chairman
“Our new By-Law confirms The Plumb Club’s vision of being a responsible supply side organization recognized for leadership, adding value, and positively impacting the jewelry industry,” said Michael Lerche, Plumb Club President. “We strongly believe that any jewelry retailer who buys product from a non-RJC member is taking a very serious and unnecessary risk. Buying product from a Plumb Club member will greatly mitigate that risk.”
“The Plumb Club’s actions set a clear leadership example for other trade associations and member organizations within the jewelry industry. The Plumb Club’s model of cascading RJC membership through its members is a model for other associations to confidently follow,” explained David Bouffard, Chair of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
“At the RJC, we believe that building consumer confidence is not only important for the future of our industry, but is also an imperative that can be acted on today by joining the RJC.”
Both Lerche and Bouffard called for all current and perspective RJC association members to cascade RJC membership throughout their organizations.
“Having a standardized universal code of practices throughout our industry that the retailer, consumer and even our government, can rely upon to guarantee that these products are the most responsibly sourced and ethically produced in the marketplace is critical. Today, we call on the entire jewelry industry to support the Responsible Jewellery Council and work with us in finding a way for every supplier and retailer in our industry to become a member,” said Lerche.
“As Chair of the RJC, I ask other trade associations within our industry to follow the leadership of The Plumb Club: require your members to join the RJC,” said Bouffard.
“The RJC has a team ready and willing to help your organization develop its own model of cascading RJC membership.”
All certified members of the RJC are able to point their customers and business partners to the RJC’s publicly available Code of Practices to validate how the products they buy and sell are responsibly sourced.
The RJC verifies its Code of Practices through full membership of the ISEAL Alliance. RJC members must become certified against the Code of Practices through a third party, independent, certification process.
The RJC Code is aligned with international standards from the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Everledger launches new version of its blockchain platformLONDON, September 2019 - Everledger, the digital transparency company, has launched version 2.0 of its blockchain platform. The Everledger platform provides increasing levels of transparency across complex and regulated supply chains.
Founded in 2015, Everledger is a pioneer in the industry, creating solutions that harness the benefits of blockchain in tandem with other cutting edge technologies, such as AI and intelligent labelling. The Everledger platform creates secure and permanent digital records of an asset’s origin, characteristics and ownership across its lifetime, benefiting those industries and companies that face strict requirements to evidence the provenance and traceability of their products.Leanne Kemp.
Security, privacy and convenience
Everledger helps stakeholders in diamonds, gemstones, fine wine, luxury goods and e-waste management to meet society’s expectations for sustainable, verifiable sourcing. Across the diamond industry, for example, the Everledger blockchain platform integrates and surfaces data from miners, manufacturers, certification houses and retailers, ultimately enabling them to drive a positive social and environmental impact. Consumers have direct access to independent information of a diamond’s characteristics and ownership record via desktop or mobile.
Building on the growing demand for transparency
Everledger has upgraded its platform to meet the needs of clients whose own customers and partners pursue evidenced traceability. For example, US-based retailer Fred Meyer Jewelers uses the Everledger platform to show the journey of its diamonds in its RockSolid collection, which it will extend across 100 stores, starting October. Kirsten Darrow, Fred Meyer Jewelers Group Vice President stated: “We are excited to be able to offer Rock Solid Diamonds to our customers, as part of our on-going commitment to responsibly sourced and transparent jewelry supply chains. Being able to provide a fully transparent and intimate connection between our customers and their diamonds brings real meaning and value to their precious investment.”
Manufacturers are also positively impacted by Everledger solutions. “Everledger has presented a thorough understanding of the myriad of exigencies that luxury brands are requiring for greater transparency”, said Bharat Kakadia, Executive Director of Sheetal Group, a leading diamond manufacturer based in India.
Innovation in Europe
Everledger has recently launched a new partnership with Spanish jewellery designer and manufacturer Facet, supporting the launch of their new collection of blockchain-enabled diamonds, DiamondByway. This is the first collection of traceable jewellery in Europe, demonstrating Facet's determination to a more sustainable and socially conscious industry. José Miguel Serret, founder and CEO, emphasised that: “We are very proud to be a pioneer in Europe in diamond traceability. For more than 30 years we have been fostering increasing levels of good business practices in our supply chain. Now, with the launch of this collection powered by the Everledger platform, we can provide the evidence that our customers in retail and end consumers have long been waiting for.”
Protecting the grassroots
Industries that rely on thousands of individuals and small companies at the base of their supply chains also benefit from the Everledger platform. In the coloured gemstone space, globally between 80 and 90 percent of stones are mined by individuals using rudimentary tools and limited technology, known as artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM). These miners form an important sector of the economy, and face dangerous working conditions, legal vulnerability, and poor access to information.
Together with Pact and the Tanzanian Women Miners Association (TAWOMA), as well as ANZA Gems and Nineteen48, an ethical gemstone collaboration was formed – Moyo Gemstones – to support the interests of Tanzanian female miners and their communities. Everledger provided the technological backbone for this partnership to bring gemstones to market, through its collaboration with Gübelin Gem Lab on the Provenance Proof initiative. To further facilitate access to small mining communities, Gübelin Gem Lab kindly enabled participants in the programme to have access to the platform at no cost, while Everledger sent experts pro-bono to Tanzania to scope needs, train the community, and help implement the pilot.
Rebecca Villalobos, Pact gemstones program manager, said: “Because women are often disenfranchised in mining, we focus on empowering women miners to work safely, mine better, improve their financial security, and create stable, equitable markets for fair trade. We ensure that they have a voice in developing solutions to their specific challenges. Given Everledger’s and Gübelin's focus on providing a no-cost solution for colored gems producers and manufacturers, we wanted to work with their platform to create traceability and document retention. Everledger has worked to co-design the project with the miners themselves and consider various technologies that can help the miners in formalization and market access.”
Everledger has pioneered the use of blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and intelligent labelling technologies for enhanced traceability, security and privacy, with a sharp focus on sustainability. The London-founded independent technology company has grown 300% in the last year, having reached a global footprint with 90 collaborators, five offices, and customers in five continents.
In less than five years, Everledger has supported important corporate citizenship initiatives with international organisations such as the World Economic Forum and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), with entities such as the Responsible Minerals Initiative and with the Global Blockchain Business Council.
Leanne Kemp, founder and CEO of Everledger, said: “Everledger’s purpose is to contribute greater clarity and confidence in the marketplaces where increased transparency is essential. We help stakeholders along the value chain to make better decisions, which enables ever more knowledge, insight and sustainable business practices. We’ve pioneered this work for the diamond and gemstone industry, and have significant work underway in many other industries such as wine, luxury and insurance”. Ms Kemp added: “We have come a long way in less than four years. But there’s so much more to be achieved! We are very well positioned to support industries in bringing out their efforts for compliance and more transparent and equitable business practices in 2020 and beyond.”
Missoma honoured at Sunday Times WorldFirst SME Export Track 100 Awards
LONDON, September 22, 2019 – Demi-fine jewellery business Missoma has been honoured at the fifth annual Sunday Times WorldFirst SME Export Track 100 awards, receiving the ‘Excellence in Ecommerce’ award sponsored by DHL Express.The SME Export Track 100 league table ranks the UK’s small and medium-sized private companies with the fastest-growing international sales. Over the last two years, companies in the ranking have grown their international sales from between 36% and 360% a year to a total of £833m, and employ 8,900 staff, having added 3,000 jobs over the period.The ‘Excellence in Ecommerce’ award was presented by Abi Brodie, vice-president of ecommerce at DHL Express, to Missoma’s ecommerce manager Safura Harrison, and brand and marketing manager Kate Woods. The jewellery brand makes 95% of its sales online and grew its international sales by 326% a year to £5m in 2018.
Commenting on the win Kate Woods at Missoma said: “We are a jewellery brand that is based in London but is exporting all over the world, and we have big, exciting plans. We are expanding in the US and are investing a lot of time and energy there.”Abi Brodie, Vice President Sales - Ecommerce at DHL Express UK said:“Exporting can be particularly challenging for small businesses, but it presents huge growth potential for those able to seize the opportunity. At DHL Express we’re working hard to help as many businesses as possible recognize this and grow their business. “Missoma has clearly been able to harness their export potential, so I’m delighted to have been able to present them with the excellence in ecommerce award. I look forward to seeing them continue to go from strength to strength!”
Van Cleef & Arpels’ rubies and Kashmir sapphires to headline Bonhams London Jewels Sale
LONDON, September 22, 2019 - A triumvirate of coloured gemstones will lead Bonhams London Jewels sale on September 24 with Van Cleef & Arpels’ rubies, Kashmir sapphires and Colombian emeralds all going under the hammer.Gracing the catalogue’s front cover is a superior collection of “Mystery-Set” jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels. The mystery setting is their most famous invention, encapsulating Van Cleef & Arpels’ pioneering spirit for innovation and exceptional craftsmanship.
The collection, purchased circa 1990, perfectly illustrates Van Cleef & Arpels’ dedication to quality and craftsmanship and includes:• A ‘Mystery-Set’ Ruby and Diamond Bracelet containing 177 perfectly matched individual rubies, each meticulously cut and set in seamless channels, creating a bright mosaic of colour, unbroken by any trace of yellow gold. It has a pre-sale estimate of £100,000-150,000 ($120,000-180,000).
• A Ruby and Diamond ‘Bellegarde’ Necklace estimated at £40,000-60,000 ($49,000-73,000).
• A ‘Mystery-Set’ Ruby and Diamond Bombé Ring, estimated at £20,000-30,000 ($24,000-36,000)
• A Pair of Mystery-Set’ Ruby and Diamond ‘Lampion’ Earrings, estimated at £30,000-40,000 ($36,000-49,000).
• A ‘Mystery-Set’ Ruby and Diamond ‘Noeud Ruban’ Brooch, estimated at £25,000-35,000 ($30,000-43,000).Emily Barber, Director of Jewellery at Bonhams UK, said: “This remarkable private collection embodies Van Cleef & Arpels’ commitment to creating jewels at the pinnacle of jewellery design.”
Among standout lots is a Sapphire and Diamond Three-Stone Ring, featuring an oval-cut sapphire, weighing 5.16 carats, set between brilliant-cut diamonds. It is estimated at £80,000-120,000 ($97,000-150,000) and accompanied by three reports confirming its Kashmir origin and no evidence of heat treatment.A Sapphire and Diamond Three-Stone Ring, dated circa 1900, boasts a cushion-shaped sapphire, weighing 4.46 carats, set between cushion-shaped diamonds, with smaller old brilliant-cut diamond highlights. It has a pre-sale estimate of £100,000-150,000 ($120,000-180,000) and is accompanied by four reports stating that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating.Emily Barber, Director of Jewellery at Bonhams UK, said: “Sapphires hailing from Kashmir continue to be sought after by collectors and gem lovers globally given their colour, history and the limited supply of the finest examples.“Kashmir sapphires of a sizeable carat weight are very rare to find so we are particularly delighted to offer these two impressive stones for sale."Emeralds are represented by two notable pieces in the sale: the first, an Emerald and Diamond Bracelet by Graff, set with a row of step-cut Colombian emeralds and diamonds, is of superb quality and is estimated at £100,000-150,000 (US$120,000-180,000).The second, An Art Deco Emerald, Diamond and Enamel Brooch by Hennell, the distinguished British jeweller, is dated circa 1925 and contains an engraved emerald, dated 1813-14, which is thought to have been presented by the Mughal Emperor Akbar II (Reg. 1806-1837) to Lady Mary Hood.
Lady Hood was the heiress of Francis Humberston Mackenzie, chief of clan Mackenzie and last Baron Seaforth (1754-1815). The chieftaincy devolved to her after the death of her father and she was also the inspiration for the character, Ellen Douglas, in Sir Walter Scott’s poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’. In the early 1800s, Lady Hood travelled extensively and charmed the upper echelons of Anglo-Indian society. It is during these years that she acquired the emerald, believed to have been presented to her by the Mughal Emperor Akbar II. The rulers of Mughal India often ordered their names and titles to be inscribed on gems; engraved seals were widely used and gifted amongst foreigners and noblemen in India.
The Mughal octagonal-cut Colombian emerald, dated 1813-14, is set within an openwork frame of black enamel, brilliant and single-cut diamonds with calibré-cut emerald highlights at each corner, and is mounted in platinum. It has a pre-sale estimate of £40,000-60,000 (US$49,000-73,000).
Emily Barber said: “This is a glorious jewel and with an evocative and impeccable provenance. It has been passed down the female line of the family since Mary Hood’s death and is the first time it has been offered for sale on the open market.
“It is thought that the emerald was mounted as a brooch by Hennell, around 1925, by a granddaughter of Lady Ashburton. The resulting Art Deco jewel perfectly encapsulates the early 20th century vogue for Indian-inspired jewellery that resonated particularly in England due to Britain’s colonial interests. The brooch is also a fitting tribute to the extraordinary life of Mary Hood and we are privileged to offer this for sale.”
Rare Buccellati Jewels from the Private Collection of the Buccellati Family at Bonhams
Twenty pieces from the private collection of the Buccellati family are set to be offered at Bonhams this September. The lots, all designed by the great Mario Buccellati, the “Prince of Goldsmiths” himself, date from 1919 to the 1960s, and span Buccellati’s meteoric rise from a small firm operating in Milan to one of the world’s most recognised jewellery houses, with an enviable list of international clients including royalty, aristocracy, industrialists and actors.
Emily Barber commented: “These lots are spectacular early prototypes of what went on to epitomise the Buccellati style. They act as a visual history of Buccellati’s production and demonstrate the company’s vast range of refined, intricate and tactile goldwork techniques, used to simulate sumptuous fabrics in precious metals and still very much the cornerstone of Buccellati design.”
• A Gold, Silver and Emerald Bracelet attributed to Mario Buccellati, dated 1919, estimated at ? £2,000-3,000 (US$2,400-3,600). The leather case in this lot is one of Buccellati’s first cases and this bracelet one of Mario Buccellati’s earliest designs.
• A Diamond Bracelet by Mario Buccellati, circa 1925, estimated at £10,000-15,000 (US$12,000-18,000).
• A Varicoloured Gold and Multi Gem-Set Bangle by Mario Buccellati, circa 1930-1940, estimated at ?£8,000-12,000 (US$9,700-15,000). The bangle, set with cushion-shaped and circular-cut amethyst and varicoloured tourmalines, features three of the elaborate engraving Buccellati is perhaps best known for: ‘modellato’, ‘rigato’ and ‘ornato’.
Signed jewellery from the 1900s to the swinging Sixties and Seventies feature in the sale Bonhams is widely known as the go to auction house for signed jewellery, and especially for pieces by Andrew Grima, the Anglo-Italian jeweller who pioneered methods of melting and transforming gold into abstract forms, embracing both shape and texture, before setting the jewels with precious and semi-precious stones. Highlights include:
• A Diamond Lichen Brooch by Grima, circa 1975, estimated at £2,000-3,000 (US$2,400-3,600). Andrew Grima made a similar lichen brooch and earring suite for H.R.H The Princess Margaret in 1967. The pieces were cast from lichen that Princess Margaret had picked up on a walk in Scotland and sent to Grima.
• A Fire Opal, Emerald and Diamond Brooch by Grima, dated 1968, estimated at £6,000-8,000 (US$7,300-9,700). The stylised starburst design features a cabochon fire opal within a surround of similarly-cut emeralds. Its border is formed of textured gold rays and scattered with brilliant-cut diamond ‘flashes’.
• An Amethyst and Diamond Pendant by Grima, circa 1970. ?The hexagonal amethyst ‘slice’ sits within a textured gold border, highlighted with brilliant-cut diamonds, and has a pre-sale estimate of £7,000-10,000 (US$8,500-12,000).
Another notable lot which will feature in the sale is A Gold and Enamel Pendant by Lalique, circa 1900, estimated at £40,000-60,000 (US$49,000-73,000). René Lalique was the undisputed master of Art Nouveau jewellery design and this piece is an exceptional example of his work, featuring a scrolling plaque depicting the profile of a maiden, decorated with blue iridescent enamel, within a frame of undulating gold and blue enamel cornflower motifs, highlighted by three fancy-shaped blue glass cabochons.
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 relevantThe 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.
March 25, 2020 - Award-winning London-based jewellery designer Alexander Davis, who has a showroom on Duke Street near Selfridges, has like other UK jewellers shut his retail premises and is now working from home. A well-planned digital strategy will be essential for businesses to thrive through the coronavirus pandemic, he tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.Alexander, what are your plans for your workshop?During this lockdown I have transferred my workshop and stock to my home in Hampshire so that I can carry on making commissions and fulfilling online purchases and I am using technology such as WhatsApp and video conferencing to stay in contact with customers and colleagues.It will also be a good opportunity to work on new concepts and designs. I have a lot of interesting ideas in the pipeline and will be spending the time wisely!!As your customers self-isolate, will you be boosting your digital and social marketing activities and online retail presence?I think it’s important to stay in touch with your customers and use this opportunity to develop your digital strategy.I want to get customers thinking about the possibilities for their next commissions so I’ll be sending out newsletters with lots of cool ideas for pieces of jewellery. How do you see the UK jewellery sector transforming as a result of this crisis? What messages should the sector be sending out to consumers?There will certainly be an increase in online marketing and jewellers with a strong online presence already stand in good stead to maximise this opportunity.I think in these difficult times people should treasure what makes them happy and can brighten their lives, and having jewels that are crafted with love and care can have a very positive effect.www.alexanderdavisjewellery.com
WEBINAR - Customer service key as jewellers regroup in response to coronavirus
By David BroughMarch 24, 2020 - Delivering exemplary customer service will be at the heart of rebuilding and rebranding jewellery businesses around the world in response to coronavirus, consultant Helen Dimmick said in a Jewellery Outlook webinar.Link to Webinar replay: Outlook with Helen DimmickAddressing ways for the jewellery industry to tackle the lockdown and move forward as businesses, Helen, a former retailer and former interim business leader of the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), a buying group, said delivering an authentic, demonstratively different, customer-focused identity was crucial.Helen’s message was part of a media-driven digital effort to support the global jewellery industry, with Jeweller Outlook in the vanguard.In the first of a series of webinars on Jewellery Outlook, this taster session celebrated the need to make bold business decisions in the face of adversity triggered by the pandemic.As jewellery stores are shuttered, how to positively utilise what feels like a new surplus of time, will be at the forefront of jewellers’ minds.“Isolation should not spell the end of innovation,” Helen said.“Virtual and digital technologies can facilitate collective communications and opportunities to ‘think out of the box’ in addressing the fundamental changes ahead, in preparation for a return of footfall to the high street amidst a potential burst of pent-up demand.”Helen addressed an audience of almost 200 people from the global jewellery trade in the Jewellery Outlook webinar, presenting a UK branding case study to encourage dialogue and innovation, ideas and hope, as many retailers switch immediately from an in-store to an online drive.“Crucially this is just the beginning. The platform has sought and received feedback to direct future content strategically,” Helen said.Jewellery Outlook will be staging more webinars on specific themes relating to the industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in the coming weeks from Helen and other industry leaders.Here is a link to the recorded webinar:https://jewelleryoutlook.com/?wswebinars=outlook-with-helen-dimmick