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There are two types of people in the world: those who think there are two types of people in the world, and those who don’t. | Source: Freepik
There are two types of people in the world: those who think there are two types of people in the world, and those who don’t. | Source: Freepik

Two types or three?

Some jewellers should stop whining and start focusing on the positives if they want to be successful, according to COLEBY NICHOLSON.

I learnt a long time ago that there are two types of people in the world: those who think there are two types of people in the world, and those who don’t!

It’s a "cute" line, I know, but I really do think that people are divided into those who always see the positive and those who don’t.

We have all had to deal with someone, be them retailer or supplier, who really shouldn't be in business. In such dealings, there always seems to be something wrong – business is never good; rents are killing them; chain stores are slaughtering margins.

There’s always a reason as to why they aren't more successful ... and it's never their own fault!

Some years ago, I coined a phrase after dealing with one particularly negative retailer: He complains that the sun comes up in the morning.

For the record, and because it’s more fun to name things, I have called my two types of people "Type One" and "Type Too".

Unfortunately everything is “too hard” for Type Too people who seem to complain endlessly.

The truth is that the retail jewellery industry in Australia and New Zealand is somewhat shielded from many of the issues affecting other retail categories. And yet, I still hear Type Too complaining about how hard business is and I wonder, "What? Like it ain’t hard in other industries?"

"The truth is that the retail jewellery industry in Australia and New Zealand is somewhat shielded from many of the issues affecting other retail categories."

Yes, the world has changed and business is competitive, but when wasn’t it? These types of people believe that their industry is the only one doing it tough. Sure, it's competitive, but jewellers don’t face many of the burgeoning issues of other retailers.

A slew of media reports over the Christmas break drummed this point home. The Age even labelled Australia "the new Holy Grail" for international retailers, stating that some US and European retailers were considering the Australian market in possible expansion plans for 2010.

Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria's Secret and Forever 21 in the US, French sports store Le Coq, Dutch clothing retailer Scotch and Soda, the UK's Top Shop and Swedish clothing store Hennes & Mauritz were all mentioned.

It is not only fashion retailers that are eyeing Australia. There are also news reports that food brands such as Pretzel Time, Great American Cookies and Shoebox New York could venture Down Under also, while British luxury goods store Harvey Nichols is also reported to have been given an invitation to open a store in the new $600 million Centrepoint development in Sydney.

There are lots of reasons why international retailers, especially American ones, view Australia as a prime target: the retail markets are very similar; we speak English; the demographic profile is mixed, like the US; and it’s relatively easy to do business in Australia when compared with most Asian countries.

All of this is nothing new. Look around you now and you will notice many retailers spanning all categories that came to Australia so long ago that we no longer think of them as "foreign invaders".

But did you notice something? Call me a dumb-arse (and many people do!) but I don’t see any overseas jewellery conglomerates entering Australia.

Whereas other retailers continue to deal with an ever-increasing invasion from high profile competitors, jewellers have not had to worry. There is no sign of Zales Jewelers (over 2,300 stores) or Sterling Jewelers (over 1,300 stores) coming here, not to mention any of the other large jewellery chains overseas. It’s interesting, but somehow I'm sure Type Too will find a way to make this a problem too!

For the record, a good mate of mine disagrees with me. Mind you, O’Flaherty – yes, he’s Irish – has been disagreeing with me for 20 years now, pretty much ever since I told him to change his name!

He believes there are actually three types of people in the world: those who are good at maths and those who aren’t!

 











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