Buying group Houlden reports sales boost
LITTLE HORSTED, England, June, 2012 – Buying group Houlden reported that sales in the first financial quarter rose by one million pounds year-on-year, reflecting resilient conditions at the top end of the UK retail jewellery market.
Independent jewellery retailers and suppliers attending the Houlden Members‘ Day at a golfing complex in southern England on June 19 said the high end of the jewellery market remained buoyant despite the recession. Larger stores tended to fare better than smaller ones, they said.
In a presentation to Houlden members, Tim Denison, director at Ipsos Retail Performance, said he expected retail consumers to demand better value and to bargain harder as the recession dragged on.
He predicted that the euro zone debt crisis would prolong the downturn of the UK economy, and said an upturn was not likely before the first quarter of 2014.
Referring to the negative impact on the retail sales environment of the 2008 financial crisis after a buoyant period for retailing since the 1990s, he said, “The shopper is scarred. We’re not going to go back to where we were.”
Amanda Daniels of digital marketing group Koogar talked of the importance of using social networking such as Facebook and Twitter to develop business opportunities.
She told jewellery Outlook that the sooner companies embraced social networking, the better, as it takes time to build up a following of potential customers.
Prominent Houlden Group suppliers Domino Jewellery, Fossil, Bulova, JSN and Tivon Fine Jewellery gave presentations to promote themselves to the independent retailers attending the event.
Domino’s Sales and Marketing Director Andrew Sollitt reported robust sales across its jewellery ranges, notably a sharp increase in sales of pear shape solitaires and lifestyle rings.
Sam Willoughby, Event Director of International Jewellery London (IJL), said IJL was on track to exceed last year’s number of exhibitors at this year’s show running from September 2-5, 2012.
The event will again feature talented designers such as Babette Wasserman, Sarah Jordan and Alexander Davies, she said.
IJL will feature a watches trail for the first time, new speakers in an ambitious industry seminar programme, and international pavilions including Hong Kong and South Africa.
Sollitt said he believed that IJL was extremely useful for the trade as it gave a window of opportunity to re-stock stores before Christmas.