Stubbs & Co. eyes German market
David Shem-Tov, Managing Director of Stubbs & Co., discusses the attraction of the German market to the UK-based bridal ring and jewellery manufacturer, which was an exhibitor at INHORGENTA MUNICH for the first time in February.
Q. Why has Stubbs decided to target the German market? In which geographical markets is Stubbs already active?
A. We emphasise production quality and design innovation. In terms of design our approach tends to be more restrained and conservative, in line with our British heritage.
We are also focused on service, with the vast majority of our bespoke ring orders produced and dispatched within a week.
However, in one major respect our approach is unusual and we feel it provides us with an opportunity that our competitors in Germany may be overlooking.
We feel that bridal jewellery is a product category that should be owned by the retailer rather than the manufacturer.
The relationship a retailer forms with a consumer when they sell her the wedding band should remain with the retailer rather than with their suppliers.
So, instead of promoting our own brand of bridal jewellery, we work with top jewellers on enhancing their own brand. For example, we provide a software tool called
ConfigureRing which can be used on a tablet device such as the Apple iPad.
It allows the consumer, during a sales presentation, to customise their own ring and see how it would look and how much it would cost with different diamonds, in different colours, widths, etc.
This tool, like our displays and the promotional material we create, carries the retailer’s own brand.
This approach has been very successful for us in our home territory, the United Kingdom.
In recent years we have successfully introduced our concept in other parts of Europe, by exhibiting in BASELWORLD for the last few years.
Germany, of course, is a major European market.
Our presence in INHORGENTA MUNICH for the first time this year has generated substantial interest.
Q. What initiatives and steps has Stubbs taken already to penetrate the German market? Have contacts been established with German retailers? What category/locations of retailers do you have in mind?
A. Our approach requires that we work with a select few jewellers that are “destination shops” in their respective towns for bridal jewellery consumers.
Q. How does the German wedding band market differ from, say, the UK market, and how would your product offering differ from products sold in the UK?
A. Traditionally, German consumers spend more on the wedding ring than British consumers, who consider the engagement ring more important.
Retailers we talked to at INHORGENTA MUNICH, however, reported an increasing demand for engagement rings.
What they were very receptive to were our suites which were designed to flush-fit the engagement ring to the wedding band and eternity ring.
This helps the retailer form lasting and profitable bonds with consumers who will return for subsequent bridal purchases.