Two major retail industry bodies, the National Retail Association (NRA) and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), have forecast a higher level of consumer spending in Australia over the upcoming Christmas trading period compared to 2014.
CEO Trevor Evans told Jeweller that the NRA anticipated total retail sales for the 2015 pre-Christmas period – the last two weeks of November through to Christmas Eve – would be $44.5 billion, 4.2 per cent up on last year’s figures.
“These estimates are very pleasing and are reflective of increased consumer confidence throughout 2015,” he commented.
Evans said this meant there would be an increase in sales of $1.8 billion across all retail categories, including the footwear and personal accessories category that encompasses jewellery and watches.
“Jewellery belongs to one of the strongest performing retail categories of 2015, which has experienced double-digit growth since the 2014 Christmas period,” Evans said. “The jewellery sector will no doubt benefit from what is projected to be another strong Christmas period.”
ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman agreed that retail sales forecasts for the period from 15 November through to 24 December augured well for jewellery retailers.
“Given that jewellery is often considered a go-to item for gift giving, the ARA is expecting the jewellery sector to perform quite strongly this Christmas,” he said.
“Across the board we expect to see 3.6 per cent growth in Christmas spending to $46.8 billion, of which jewellery will contribute. Roy Morgan Research suggests the apparel and accessories category [incorporating jewellery and watches] will see the second largest growth over the festive season this year at 4.7 per cent, which is a great result given the category has seen much smaller increases over the last couple of years.”
Buying group support
As in previous years, the three jewellery buying groups – which collectively represent almost 1,000 stores – have prepared a range of marketing material and initiatives to help their members capitalise on the busy Christmas trading period.
Nationwide Jewellers managing director Colin Pocklington told Jeweller that the buying group’s Christmas catalogue had been circulated by members since mid-November, and added that this year, Nationwide had increased its assistance with member VIP customer events.
Showcase Jewellers is also offering members a wide selection of pre-Christmas marketing tools and has introduced a new flyer that members can customise at a product level to help promote sales within their area, as well as individual store websites that members can integrate with their inventory management system to display a range of products.
Further to the Christmas resources it provides each year – which includes television and radio ads, store merchandising tips and motivational staff training – Leading Edge Jewellers has conducted a round of group training in which members shared ideas on how to improve Christmas trading. It is also running a competition for the best store set-up during December.
Jewellery supplier promotions
Jewellery suppliers are also doing their part to help jewellery retailers increase sales over the festive season, and Jeweller has listed a selection of some of the specials and promotions on offer below.
Customers can purchase any Endless Jewelry double wrap bracelet from the supplier’s Classic collection as well as any charm valued at $45 for the special price of $99 (normally $135). Endless Jewelry is distributed locally by Nordic Jewellery.
Local distributor Designa Accessories will gift a free Guess jewellery roll storage case to customers who spend $100 or more on Guess jewellery and watches at selected retailers.
Le Corone Australia
Le Corone Australia is currently offering a range of customised displays designed to make its jewellery collections stand out in-store over Christmas. Display types are dependent on collections ordered.
Customers that spend more than $150 on Najo product in a single transaction will receive The Companion sterling silver bangle (valued at $129) in a suede pouch for free.
Local distributor Duraflex Group Australia has developed a competition for retailers to use in-store. Customers that purchase any Nikki Lissoni product will have the chance to go in a draw to win Nikki Lissoni jewellery to the value of $379 as well as an accompanying jewellery box. The offer is available from all Nikki Lissoni kiosk stores and selected retailers.
Peter W Beck
Peter W Beck would like to remind retailers that Volume Seven of its wedding ring and jewellery catalogue is currently available to order. With 350 pages containing details of the supplier’s products, including a new information section specifically for brides and grooms, the catalogue is designed to give retailers all the information needed to sell wedding rings with confidence over Christmas and throughout the year.
Stones & Silver
Stones & Silver has two gift sets available over the festive season. It is offering its Tree of Life pack, which includes the Tree of Life cuff, pendant and earrings, for $29, a saving of 25 per cent. The supplier is also providing a gift set including its 14mm Ball bracelet and Euro Ball stud earrings for $99, a saving of 10 per cent off the combined price of the individual items. Both offers are valid for the month of December while stocks last.
Thomas Sabo’s local distributor, Duraflex Group Australia, is giving customers that spend $199 on any Thomas Sabo product a complimentary Charm Club diamond bracelet. The promotion is available until 13 December or while stocks last, and is available in all Thomas Sabo brand-only stores and in selected retailers.