IJL seminars focus on retail trends and branding
Seminars will be relevant to jewellery trade in tough economic times
LONDON, September 2011 – IJL 2011, the UK’s most established, premier jewellery-focused event which runs from September 4-7, will stage a series of impressive seminars again this year, with a strong focus on trends and branding initiatives to boost retail sales in a tough economic climate.
Kate Hardcastle and Richard Gomersall of Insight with Passion will highlight the virtues of ‘Retail Theatre’, which they believe has great potential on the high street.
Insight with Passion senior partners – Kate Hardcastle and Richard Gomersall
Kate and Richard will provide delegates with advice on how to create ‘Retail Theatre’ in-store to improve the shopping time and average spend of customers.
“The seminar will focus on how, by transforming the look, feel, sounds, scents and service delivered in-store, retail businesses can transform their sales floor and ultimately, increase footfall and profit,” Richard said.
He said that with purse strings tightening and public spending at an all-time low, retailers are having to cater for a smaller budget, but this shouldn’t impact on the quality of customer service.
“In particular, luxury retailers should seek to exceed expectations when serving customers, who often will look to spend a little more on the ‘perfect item’,” he said.
“What retailers need to understand is that by delighting their customers with spectacular customer service, which takes all 5 senses into consideration, they will win the hearts and loyalty of their customers and indeed, future custom.”
In her seminar, Maia Adams of Adorn Insight will focus on the evolution and life cycle of trends, with specific examples taken from the group’s current trend reports.
“Trends don’t appear out of nowhere,” Maia said.
“They are a product of a whole range of global factors and influences including (but not limited to) music, politics, economics, product design and fashion – most notably the catwalk,” she added.
“During the presentation we’ll look at how trends manifest themselves, how we identify them and how these findings can be distilled right down into commercially viable jewellery applications that are relevant to a target consumer market.”
Maia said that during challenging economic times there is more reason than ever to hone a product offering in order to increase efficiency and accuracy, thus avoiding costly mistakes and maximising sales.
“Advances in digital technology mean that not only are consumers able to shop around before deciding where to spend their hard earned cash, they are developing a more sophisticated understanding of trends and how to apply these to their decision-making process.”
An example of this would be almost instantaneous online access to catwalks during fashion week, and subsequent dissemination of images and analysis via a raft of blogs, through editorial and onto the high street in ever shorter time frames, Maia said.
Elizabeth Galton will focus her seminar on developments in the luxury landscape and luxury and consumer trends in the digital age.
Elizabeth said that this will include a look at new notions of luxury, and the steady move away from “mass prestige” to a greater emphasis on more unique artisan brands.
“I will present the vision behind the launching of my new luxury e-tail platform, www.elizabethgaltonstudio.com with its focus on unlocking the potential of emerging jewellery talent in the global marketplace,” she said.
With the rise of the internet as a solid platform for browsing and purchasing, the wealth and breadth of luxury goods has exploded and is easily and widely accessible to an increasingly younger and savvy luxury consumer, she said.
“Now – more than ever – jewellery brands, however big or small, need to finely curate their digital content in order to stand out, build a qualified online audience, and reinforce their unique brand proposition – particularly in the current economic climate,” Elizabeth said.
“The seminar will consider how to translate the notion of luxury onto a platform that is by its very nature accessible by the masses.”
Elizabeth said the jewellery industry has been behind the curve in comparison to other sectors, and many legacy-heavy luxury brands have been reluctant to grasp new trends such as mobile and social media.
“The seminar aims to cut through the ‘tech’ jargon, looking at trends in luxury, social marketing, m-commerce and online opportunities that add value – in a way that is both relevant and tangible to jewellery brands, designers and buyers alike.”
Jayant Raniga, who has worked at east London retailer PureJewels to promote the work of up-and-coming designers, will direct his seminar at how to build a brand and stand out from a crowd in tough economic times.
“There are new business realities that we have to live with in the current world situation,” Jayant said.
“The commodity price of gold is breaking new records on a daily basis and its volatility is not giving any comfort to small businesses,” he added.
“Also, retailers can no longer compete on price alone as the fundamental commodity value has pushed the product pricing onto price points that can only be aspirational.”
Jayant said that the strength of competition will come from the strongest communication of added value.
“Which retailer can give the best value for money? The value proposition is now even more important than it has ever been in the past.”
Jonathan Hedges of GfK Retail and Technology UK will look in his seminar at what drives watches sales.
Jonathan will examine where people are buying their watches from – department stores or multiple jewellers, for example, and why they are buying.
“The presentation will be relevant because GfK are tracking the sales of watches every week on a continuous basis,” he said.
“We are uniquely placed to be able to talk with authority and accuracy in regard to what is selling and what is not. This is vital to anyone wishing to retail/sell in the current climate.”
The complimentary programme of fifty-three seminars is one of the most comprehensive and largest of its kind and can be viewed in full on the IJL website www.jewellerylondon.com/seminars.
One of the highlights this year is the new purpose built seminar theatre – the Inspiration Theatre which will open on the show floor, providing jewellery trend sessions, panel debates and keynote speakers.
To register for the show go to www.jewellerylondon.com and enter the prize draw to win an IJL VIP experience for two.