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Feature Stories, Jewellery Care

Articles from PEARL JEWELLERY (295 Articles), PEARLS - LOOSE FRESHWATER (32 Articles)

Kailis Jewellery
Kailis Jewellery
 










Create a culture of pearls

Nicknamed "Queen of Gems", the pearl is at the centre of a fashion rethink. Jeff Salton explores how retailers can prepare for increased consumer demand.
Supplied by Percy Marks
Supplied by Percy Marks

Not only are old-style pearl strand necklaces and earrings back in vogue – did they ever leave? – but manufacturers are finding fresh ways to capitalise on pearl’s resurgent popularity by expressing the beauty of pearls with ranges of modern designs that incorporate different material combinations.

It’s a great chance for retailers to put their faith in pearls over the next year, if they haven’t already, and an ideal opportunity to upskill staff knowledge about the many varieties and qualities of pearls, including freshwater, akoya, South Sea, Tahitian, Japanese and Australian varieties in black, white, gold, pink, purple and metallic hues.

An easy way to commence training staff in pearls is to instruct them to sell the gemstones much in the same way as they sell diamonds – don’t sell the technical specifications; keep the pitch simple and sell on beauty. Most consumers don’t know anything about pearl grading or the difference between freshwater and akoya pearls, for example, so just give them the basics to start.
 

Know the lingo

Cultured: “cultured” is a confusing term when applied to pearl because practically all pearls, freshwater and saltwater, are cultured; that is, grown in beds and nucleated. There are very few natural pearls in jewellery stores today.

Akoya: akoya pearls grow in saltwater creatures. These are the original “old-school” pearl and the main type found in the necklaces of grandmothers the world over.

Freshwater: freshwater pearls grow in mussels. Years ago, they were irregularly-shaped and very small. Today they are much rounder and make a great foundation upon which to build a pearl jewellery collection due to their wide-ranging price points, colours and prevalence in new designs.

Lustre: “lustre” is a term that sells pearls. Don’t bother with nacre, spotting and millimetre size unless the customer initiates this conversation. Explain all facts succinctly, if the consumer asks, but focus on a pearl’s beauty, class, timelessness, romance and, of course, lustre.

Colour: ask customers which colour or variation of colour is most pleasing to them. It’s an open question that allows staff to explain how some colours are better suited to some skin tones. Get shoppers to try on a strand, starting with the nicest strands first so that they can fully appreciate the beauty of the pearls.

 

 

Sales don’t stop at the register

Kagi
Kagi

As the sale is being finalised, staff should take a moment to educate customers on pearl care. Remind them not to hang their pearl necklaces, but to lie them flat when not worn in the box supplied with their pearls, which has hopefully been branded with the store’s logo to remind the customer of the store every time they use the box.

Remind customers to keep their pearls away from cosmetics, perfume or hairspray, and to wipe pearls down with a soft cloth after each wear to ensure they remain clean ?and lustrous.

Customers should also be reminded to have their pearls inspected yearly, as pearl necklaces and bracelets are often strung on silk that can stretch and even break over time. Naturally, a reminder should be set into the customer database for this.

If pearl sales fail to spark in the coming months, it might be a good idea to revisit the store’s pearl selections in case they are underwhelming.

Contact local pearl suppliers and scrutinise their product offerings. Ask questions, feel the product, and tell them what the store needs to be better-equipped to sell newer pearl designs ?to customers.

 

 


















Sunday, 21 April, 2019 04:21am
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