Israel Diamond Institute launches marketing drive “Together Works”
By James Clatford
BASEL, March 27, 2009 – The Israel Diamond Institute on Friday launched a marketing drive called “Together Works” to boost contacts between the Israeli industry and its partners abroad and to counter the impact of the global economic slowdown.
“What we are doing in ‘Together Works’ is creating a close link between the Israeli diamond industry and their customers abroad,” IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar told Jewellery Outlook in an interview after a press lunch at Baselworld 2009 to announce the initiative.
The “Together Works” programme includes print and online advertising in leading trade publications and websites.
It also introduces an exclusive B2B service for Israeli diamond industry partners in the United States, Israel’s largest diamond market.
IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar
This is a call centre through which diamond buyers can call up and have their polished needs posted directly on IDI’s portal site.
Israeli diamantaires with the appropriate goods will be able to provide an immediate response – thus better serving their U.S. clients’ needs.
The call-centre’s toll-free number will be 1-888-42-WORKS.
In addition, IDI will be announcing a series of “Buyers’ Weeks”, whereby selected buyers for high-end retailers will be brought over to Israel and hosted by the Israeli diamond industry.
Avidar told the luncheon gathering that IDI would also focus “Together Works” on the European market.
The Israeli diamond industry has been hurt by the global economic downturn, but the resilient bridal market has supported sales, Avidar said.
“There are significant groups that have been less hit by this crisis. One of these is the bridal market,” he said.
He referred to research showing that most brides were not cutting their wedding budgets and were still holding out for diamond rings.
DIAMOND MARKET OUTLOOK
In the interview with Jewellery Outlook, Avidar said he expected total global polished diamond jewellery sales to fall in 2009, compared with 2008, because of the economic crisis, but he ruled out a sharp drop.
“There will be a decline in 2009, in terms of total turnover of polished diamonds. But it will not be dramatic,” he said.
Avidar said he expected sales at the high end of the diamond market to fall this year.
Opinion was divided over whether the ultra-wealthy will continue to buy top-end goods despite the slowdown, or will hold back on purchases until the global economy recovers, he said.