Jewelry sales in the United States grew to an estimated $71.3 billion in 2012, according to the 2013 U.S. Retail Jewelry Update by Polygon. This consistently popular product category offers retailers an opportunity to generate profits from emerging styles and timeless classics. Independent Retailer magazine asked Brian Nelson, sales manager for Sun Fashion Designs, to share trends he sees in the industry, along with tips on presenting and selling jewelry. Nelson works with the management team at the company to develop new product lines and advertising. Sun Fashion Designs picks products that offer merchants the strongest profit margins, and also looks for styles that are in the beginning of their life cycle.
Independent Retailer: What trends do you see emerging in jewelry?
Nelson: Wide, thick chains are popular now, especially for women. The large clothing and fashion accessory companies are showing women wearing what we formerly considered to be men’s big hip hop chains from years ago. Fancy fashion designers have women wearing the triple Figaro and Cuban link chains. In the larger cities, women into fashion are also wearing them. This is because real gold is more affordable today than it was a year ago. We have seen a 30 to 40 percent drop in the price of gold, which lowers our costs and makes it easier for the end user to buy it from the vendor. When gold was priced higher, chains and the items that were selling were not big pieces. With the popularity of big chains, bracelet sales are also picking up. The nicer bracelets like tennis bracelets and cubic zirconia are also popular because the price of gold has come down.
Independent Retailer: Why is jewelry a consistent seller?
Nelson: If retailers keep on top of the trends and do not buy too much of one item, they can be successful at selling jewelry. Trends do not change weekly or daily, but they do change over time. Five years ago we were selling different jewelry than we are now. The same goes for two years ago and even one year ago. Obviously there are some timeless classics, but as people get older, personal tastes change so they will buy new jewelry that fits their style and taste. The market is huge because people like new pieces and they continually buy.
Independent Retailer: Why is personalized jewelry popular?
Nelson: It offers customers the opportunity to have a one of a kind piece. There is so much jewelry out there in the big box stores that anyone can have. Personalized jewelry lets people incorporate good-looking jewelry with special moments and special memories, without spending thousands of dollars.
Independent Retailer: How can retailers display their products for sales?
Nelson: Presentation is everything, so retailers should offer customers products in beautiful boxes. You can sell that product for more, no matter what the item is, by including a box. Another merchandizing tactic that works is displaying products on trays, and changing the displays often. If retailers have trays with a few items on each, they can pass them to customers to look at. They should also put the jewelry on customers, so they can see it on themselves. The markup on jewelry is great if the presentation is there.
Independent Retailer: What selling techniques do you recommend retailers use?
Nelson: Fall in love with the items you are selling. Present the details to the customer and always offer a lifetime guarantee. A lifetime guarantee sells the product, because it differentiates a quality product from junk. The guarantee tells the customer they are buying a quality piece, and they do not have to worry.
For more information on Sun Fashion Designs, visit sunfashiondesigns.com, or call Brian Nelson at 800-398-7802.