Suppliers to be cautious about raising prices – CMJ
BIRMINGHAM, England, August 8, 2011 – Jewellery shoppers will choose retailers whom they trust in times of economic crisis, and suppliers will be cautious about raising prices despite soaring precious metals costs, said Willie Hamilton, Chief Executive of the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ).
As financial markets tumbled on investor worries over management of the international debt crisis, gold prices hit another all-time peak of $1,715 an ounce on safe haven buying during trading on August 8.
“Whenever there is any sort of consumer crisis in the UK, in my experience the consumers will go to shop with people they trust,” Hamilton, who spearheads the UK’s biggest buying group, told Jewellery Outlook in an interview on the sidelines of the CMJ’s two-day autumn buying meeting.
“It’s a real thought process of ‘what do I want’, ‘how much will I spend’ and ‘who am I going to spend that with,’” the Chief Executive said.
“Among retail jewellers on the high street, the independents are probably among the most trusted.”
Hamilton said suppliers of precious jewellery would think twice before raising prices.
“There will be a fair amount of panic amongst the suppliers who will be cautious about increasing price,” he said.
“In a way, it will steady the market.”
Hamilton said the proximity of gold and platinum prices might create fresh opportunities for platinum jewellery sales, as platinum had previously been seen as having a premium over gold.
He reported a strong flow of orders at the autumn buyers’ meeting, which took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on August 7-8.