Jewellery supplier ceases trading
By Dean Millard
An Australian-based fine jewellery manufacturer has ceased operating and closed its business, citing ongoing financial concerns.
After 10 years in business, Australian fine jewellery manufacturer Integral Design & Manufacture closed its doors on Friday.
The decision to cease operating as of the end of the financial year was made around two weeks ago by the company’s four directors, with director sales and marketing Tony Bone saying it had reached a point where it was the only responsible decision without going into administration.
“The business we were getting was insufficient to cover our operating overhead and the future didn’t look all that flash either,” Bone said. “The reality is you can’t live on fresh air, you have to pay bills, so we have had to close the doors.”
Bone said Integral first began experiencing difficulties in 2009 and while a successful 2010 eased the pressure a little, by the end of 2011 the signs were not good. Bone and the other three directors invested a lot of their own money into the business to help ride out the difficult period. Ultimately their efforts were unsuccessful.
Bone cited the fact that they were an Australian based manufacturing company that did all of its work in-house along with the global financial crisis and sharp rise in gold prices as contributing factors to the businesses demise. He added an inability to see two key trends of the past few years coming were also significant.
“I have no doubt one of the things I never saw coming was the writing on the wall regarding the Pandora style of product in charms and beads. When it arrived I could do nothing about it because it was predominately a silver-based product, an area we were unable to manufacture in at a competitive price level.”
He said the rise of silver as a key metal in jewellery also caught Integral out, and was a development that shifted the style and design of jewellery.
“If you look at the ‘New Product Thursday’ section of Jeweller, the products over the past 12 months are totally different products to what they were two to three years ago,” he said. “Some of the product now we wouldn’t have called jewellery two to three years ago.”
“I have no problem with that,” Bone continued. “Retailers must sell what the public demands, it is just where jewellery has gone and as a manufacturer of fine jewellery, we just weren’t in the race.”
Bone said Integral was working to ensure it would be able to repay its debts with its remaining creditors, adding it was important to them to leave on honourable terms.
“I don’t know if we are going to be able to pay every cracker out, but there won’t be any money left in the kitty if we can’t. I would love to stay in the jewellery industry and I couldn’t wander around seeing people who supplied us in good faith and then I say hey, I’m looking after myself, bugger you. I’m not going to do that.”
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