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Image courtesy: Najo
Image courtesy: Najo

Tips to outshine jewellery competitors on Mother's Day

Mother’s Day should be a joyous occasion for families and jewellers alike. EMILY MOBBS finds out what it takes to get those cash registers ringing.

In retail, special occasions are worth celebrating and now that Christmas and Valentine’s Day are over, attention turns to the emotionally-driven Mother’s Day.

Competition is rife in the gift-giving sector; however, retail industry bodies such as the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the National Retail Association (NRA) have traditionally listed jewellery as a category that benefits from additional sales relating to the all-important event.

“Last year, we predicted jewellery sales would reach a whopping $135.3 million, which was a 4.3 per cent increase compared with 2015 and represented approximately 8.7 per cent of all sales spent in the lead-up to Mother’s Day,” NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says.

Overall Mother’s Day retail spend in 2016 was estimated to fall between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, according to the ARA and NRA. ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman added that Mother’s Day was one of Australia’s biggest spending occasions, second only to Christmas.

It would appear there’s no shortage of sales to be won. With this in mind, Jeweller has sought advice from various retail specialists and suppliers on how retailers can gain their fair share of the sales pie for Mother’s Day, which this year falls on Sunday May 14.  


Click on the sub-headings for fast-track navigation


Dress to impress  Make a good first impression
Testing, testing  Testing window displays
Oh man  Attract men on Mother's Day
Time to re-stock?  Suppliers have their say



Dress to impress

When it comes to making a good first impression, Retail Doctor Group marketing and global retail insights manager Vikki Weston says jewellers should consider the three-second rule.

“In-store and shop window visual merchandising has just three seconds to make an impact on a customer,” she states, adding that it is therefore crucial for retailers to ask themselves if displays capture attention, clearly show what is sold and motivate consumers to enter the store.

Natalie Coulter, director of Belle Flaneur and a teacher for Sydney TAFE’s visual merchandising department, says currency is key to a successful Mother’s Day display.

“Retailers sometimes fall into the trap of creating a display that’s a little bit ‘mumsy’ and perhaps dated,” she explains.

Coulter warns against playing victim to ‘soft’ and ‘nurturing’ presentations that can easily look old-fashioned with dried-up fake flowers and ribbon.

“What we want is to remain really current,” she advises, stating that identifying Pantone colour trends is a good place to start.

“Greenery is the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year but there are other colours in this year’s palette and tones from 2016 like rose quartz and serenity that are still relevant,” she says.

Coulter also points to homewares, florals, textures and objects – she says geometric, empty square shapes are in – as areas of inspiration.

Being current doesn’t necessarily mean allocating large budgets for new display items either.

“I’m all into reinvesting in some really nice Mother’s Day props, and re-purposing those or re-imagining those year after year,” Coulter says. “There’s nothing wrong with faux flowers and fake greenery but let’s take them out [of storage] and look after them like they’re really precious, and then maybe add the colour of the season into the display somehow.”

While Coulter believes a Mother’s Day display should be installed between two and three weeks prior to that special Sunday, Sigrid de Kaste, a former jeweller and marketing consultant and director of Stickybeak Marketing, adds that preparations can start as early as the Christmas before.

“I suggest starting customer research around this [Mother’s Day] as early as Christmas,” de Kaste says. “Gather what the customers say, keep records and then use the customers’ words and likes to create your marketing three weeks out from Mother’s Day.”

So the display is up and running but when should it be taken down?

“No one really wants to look at Mother’s Day the day after Mother’s Day,” Coulter states, adding, “I would say get your Mother’s Day window display out [after Sunday close] and replace it with something really clean.”

“It doesn’t need to include props or anything because you’ve just put a lot of energy into the Mother’s Day installation. Give yourself a proper break; give the consumer a break by paring it right back and then think about what the next holiday is that you can start preparing for.”

Dip for a Diamond

When asked if she has any out-of-the-box examples of how jewellers can stand out from the crowd and increase sales, de Kaste recounts her ‘most successful’ Mother’s Day promotion, Dip for a Diamond, held when operating her jewellery business.

“We put one quality diamond into a glass jar filled with hundreds of cubic zirconia of the same size,” she explains.

“The activity started about two weeks out from Mother’s Day and customers were encouraged to participate by filling in their details on a slip that went into a box in the shop. They would then use a pair of diamond tweezers to pick one stone out of the jar, which was immediately tested.”

Customers who missed out on the diamond were offered a Mother’s Day special where they received a complimentary second cubic zirconia to be made into stud earrings for a set price.

“We also offered to draw the diamond at the end if no one picked it – hence the details kept – and we made a big deal of the final day for customers to come into the store for the draw with lots of other in-store specials,” she adds. “There are many ways this activity can be used with other jewellery and in other forms – think outside the box but inside your customer and target market.”



Testing, testing

Neil Arrowsmith is global CEO of Greater Group, a retail design consultancy with customers including Alex and Ani, Pandora, Bonds, JB Hi-Fi and Vodafone. 

As part of research conducted for a jewellery chain to establish the ‘impact’ of various types of window displays, Arrowsmith’s team installed a different display over four consecutive weeks.

Week 1 – Minimalistic display without prices
Week 2 – Minimalistic display with prominent prices
Week 3 – Massive ‘hello girls’ type sexy poster
Week 4 – Lots and lots of stock with prices

According to Arrowsmith, the winner – consumers that looked and entered the store (closure rate wasn’t measured) – was Week 4 by a ‘significant way’, followed by Week 2.

The test was for a store located in a shopping centre, and Arrowsmith states that if the store was on a high street with lots of passing road traffic, then Week 3 would be his overwhelming choice. Surely, this offers food for thought.

Alex and Ani
Alex and Ani



Oh man

There are many demographics shopping for Mother’s Day gifts; however, Retail Doctor Group marketing and global retail insights manager Vikki Weston says there’s value in paying attention to men.

“A study conducted in the UK by Mintel last year found that whilst women are still more likely to buy a Mother’s Day present than men, when men do spend, they spend more,” she explains. “Mintel’s study saw sons spending £12.18 (approximately AU$20) more on mothers than daughters did on Mother’s Day.”

Weston says the study also highlights that men are more likely to purchase on impulse than women, which is an important factor to consider. How can retailers ensure men buy jewellery for Mother’s Day in 2017? Weston has this advice:

  • Remember men seek an efficient and seamless experience and are less likely [than women] to wander and ponder for inspiration
  • Sale assistants need to be aware of body language when interacting with a male customer – men are often very self-conscious when shopping for a gift or in an environment they are not familiar with
  • Open questions from sales staff based on practicalities such as budget and mother’s style work well in generating conversation and speeding up the process of the sale for all involved
  • Keep the conversation simple when talking about style. For example, big bold jewellery versus elegant small jewellery. The sales assistant should make recommendations based on this information but also suggest the store’s most popular items or Mother’s Day specials as this will give the customer confidence in making a decision
  • If the sales assistant is not getting great responses to these questions, don’t push it as a male consumer will flee if he feels pressured! 
  • Pre-packaged gift sets/boxes and small add-on purchases at POS will always work well as they take out the stress and hassle of decision-making
  • Suggest a gift receipt if possible so that the customer knows their mother can return if they don’t like it. From my experience, men are more likely to purchase if they can get a gift receipt as once again, the risk is minimised
  • When it comes to completing the sale, offer complimentary gift-wrapping. The majority of male customers are time poor, self-conscious and can get frustrated easily within shopping experiences. Make it easy.


Time to re-stock?

No amount of marketing and sales expertise will work unless stores have the goods to back it up.

A selection of suppliers provide insight on some of the products and special promotions expected to whet consumer appetites this year.


“Our Thomas Sabo Charm Club spring/summer 2017 collection release features new charms that are perfect for Mother’s Day gifts. We are also providing a sales-driving promotion: spend $99 on Thomas Sabo jewellery to receive a free Charm Club bracelet.”  – Phil Edwards, Duraflex Group Australia







“We already have a special necklace called My Mother and are working on a new piece that will complement this. In addition, we will give away our limited edition makeup purse to consumers with each necklace sold.”  – Helen Thompson-Carter, Fabuleux Vous







“Our new Cluse La Roche Petite range launches just in time for Mother’s Day – a 33 mm face made from natural marble to create a beautifully unique watch. We are also running a special gift pack featuring two of our best-selling items – the La Boheme watch and additional strap.” – Simon Garber, Heart & Grace







“We are launching a dedicated Alex and Ani collection of Mother’s Day pieces, designed to celebrate the unconditional love of mum. The highlight pieces are a stunning three-piece value set in light blue or light aqua with ‘Mum’ on the enamel. We are introducing another set called Infinite Love, which is a two-piece value set – one with ‘Daughter’ and one with ‘Mother’.” – Karin Adcock, House of Brands






“We have South Sea rings, pendants and stud earrings in 9-carat yellow gold, which can be purchased separately or as a set for a special price. We think on this special occasion, something as beautiful and unique as South Sea pearls are better suited than other more common pearls and setting in 9-carat yellow gold makes it all the more appealing.” – Erica Madsen, Ikecho Pearls






“Mother’s Day is big for our brand, Stow Lockets. We expect pieces such as this 9-carat gold Stow locket and chain featuring various charms, including the gold Stowaway boy, girl and my family, to work well as a precious gift for mum.” – Daniel Adriatico, Stow Lockets







“Consumers who spend more than $129 will receive our ‘Love You’ necklace as a gift. The necklace includes an engraved 12 mm sterling silver disc with thread-through belcher chain and is reversible. The offer is available to retailers in packs of 10.” – Jo Tory, Najo








Ellendale Diamonds Australia

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