Italian gold and silver jewellery manufacturers are adapting to the challenges triggered by COVID-19 and are focusing increasingly on marketing and communications, with the accelerating emergence of nimble SMEs, says Vicenzaoro Director Marco Carniello, speaking ahead of the September 12-14 VOICE trade show and summit at Vicenza.
Please click below link to watch a replay of Jewellery Outlook webinar entitled “Challenges for Italian Exports post COVID-19.”
Speakers at the webinar, will include Marco Carniello, Dimitri Stella, Vice-President of Italian goldsmiths’ group Federorafi, and Alberto Milani, President of Italy-America Chamber of Commerce.
In the following interview with Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough, Marco Carniello gives insights into how the Italian gold and silver jewellery exporting sector is responding to the challenges triggered by COVID-19.
What has been the impact of soaring gold and silver prices on Italian jewellery exports?
Marco Carniello: In this extraordinary situation, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the direct effects produced by soaring gold and silver prices on Italian exports.
COVID-19 has affected jewellery consumption around the world so much, that soaring prices are just an extra issue that producers and brands have to deal with.</p>
Based on Italy’s jewellery producers’ association, in the first four months of 2020 exports were down by more than 30%. And this figure includes a very good January with double-digit growth, as we experienced during Vicenzaoro at the beginning of this year.
How is the Italian jewellery sector responding to the challenges caused by COVID-19?
Marco Carniellob: Italian producers never really stopped creating beauty, innovating and designing new collections.
The attitude is still positive and most Italian entrepreneurs are accustomed to navigate through difficulties and to adapt to changes.
VOICE is a significant response to COVID-19: the whole sector is getting together as a single, strong community and will push for the re-start.
Will the marketing focus for Italian gold and silver jewellery exports need to change due to COVID-19?
Marco Carniello: The market will be tougher than before, and consumers will be more and more selective.
There is no single solution, but marketing will play a greater role in companies that have historically been more focused on manufacturing than on communications.
How do you see the longer-term future for Italian jewellery exports, and what will be the contribution of Vicenzaoro?
Marco Carniello: COVID-19 is accelerating the development of Italian SMEs. They will be more prepared to deal with consumers around the world — more connected, and more agile.
Vicenzaoro has shown itself to be the right platform to develop business for companies, supporting their evolving needs, and in the future will be even more strategic with a broader range of services and initiatives.
VOICE is a good example of how (Italian trade exhibitions company) IEG (owner of Vicenzaoro) will support the sector and react to changes in the future.