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Articles from BABY / CHILDREN'S JEWELLERY (26 Articles)











Children's jewellery: Big business for tiny tots

Kids are fast becoming a decisive bunch when it comes to accessorising so it’s just as well that suppliers are listening. TALIA PAZ reports.

Jewellery for children has always had a foot – or tiptoe – in the market, starting with traditional items such as christening bangles and commemorative brooches. These days the category has well and truly evolved and now encompasses charm bracelets, earrings and pearls that cater to budding fashionistas.

With the latest trends indicating increased demand in jewellery for babies through to tweens, retailers would do well to jump on board and pursue the blooming sales opportunities.

Michael Tran, director of Disney Couture, has been supplying children’s jewellery for five years. He says the brand’s junior collection has gone from strength to strength and now offers stud earrings, necklaces and bangles for girls aged three to eight.

DPI Jewellery
DPI Jewellery
Paterson Fine Jewellery
Paterson Fine Jewellery



“Many retailers have mentioned that there aren’t many options for this three to eight-year-old demographic so the demand for stylish, inspirational, high-quality jewellery for kids is strong,” Tran explains, recommending that jewellers stimulate sales by stocking items suitable for the full range of gifting occasions rather than just milestone events.

“We feel the key to fulfilling the demand in this area is great product at the right price,” Tran continues. “The most popular styles are our offering of bangles; they are well-priced and can fit a wide range of children during their growth and development.”

Display Plus Imports (DPI) Jewellery is another supplier that has been providing children’s jewellery for five years. The business’ Tiny Treasures range includes bracelets, bangles, necklaces, brooches and stud earrings for newborns through to tweens.

According to DPI Jewellery general manager Justin Meath, the current market and demand for children’s jewellery is “solid”.

Pia & Per
Pia & Per

“We have noticed a steady growth in this category over the last few years,” Meath says, explaining that studs and adjustable bangles are the supplier’s top performers, particularly engravable pieces that can be personalised and which give retailers an opportunity to add sentimental value to a sale.

“There has definitely been more of a demand for sterling silver children’s bracelets and bangles,” Meath continues. “Not surprising, the rose gold popularity in [adult] jewellery has worked well for our children’s range. Girls love shiny and pink so the combination has shown significant improvement when compared to enamel based finishes – it has become ‘on trend’ in a way.”

Ikecho Pearls director Erica Madsen says she introduced baby jewellery approximately one year ago. As a supplier specialising in pearls, Madsen suggests that offering materials not traditionally used for children is another way for retailers to claim a point of difference.

“I think pearls are becoming more popular for babies and young girls,” she states, adding that Ikecho Pearls decided to dip its toe into the youth jewellery market as a way to provide mothers with further choice when buying for various milestone occasions.

“I had just had a baby and wanted to have something to offer other mums for christenings, flower girls and birthdays,” Madsen explains of the range that includes white and natural pink freshwater pearl bracelets and matching necklaces with extension chains as well as stud earrings in button and round shapes.

“We have kept our baby range quite compact,” she adds.

Fresh quality

David Paterson is managing director of Paterson Fine Jewellery, which has been supplying the My Little Angel collection of signet rings, bracelets and brooches since 1980. The supplier also offers the Babylinks range, featuring a sterling silver bracelet that can be personalised with colourful letters and charms.

Paterson describes the children’s jewellery market as “pretty steady”.

Disney Couture
Disney Couture
Paterson Fine Jewellery
Paterson Fine Jewellery



“Whenever we have new products they perform well because retailers are always interested in new ideas in this market,” he says, adding that traditional products also remain popular.

Commenting on recent significant changes in the category, Paterson notes a rise in the demand for gold: “We have had more enquires for gold – in particular, white and rose gold recently. The gold portion of this market dropped away for a long time but seems to be making a comeback.”

According to Vibeke Henriksen, the local distributor of Pia & Per, a Norwegian range specialising in children’s sterling silver enamel jewellery, high-quality product is key to success in the youth category.

Pia & Per
Pia & Per

“I wore Pia & Per jewellery when I was little so that’s why I actually took the distribution,” Henriksen says of the range targeted towards boys and girls aged zero to 10 years.

When asked if children have any power in purchases, Henriksen’s answer is a resounding “100 per cent”.

“If they see something pretty, they tell mum ‘I want it’ and then they get it,” she states. “I love when small kids come into a store because you know retailers will get the sale straight away if they have the jewellery at their eye level.”

By this extension, Paterson believes children hold purchasing power to a degree.

“I think they [kids] have more influence than they used to with the introduction of social media but parents still control what they want their kids to have in terms of jewellery,” he says, adding that retailers should ultimately market children’s jewellery to both parents and their kids.

“Although marketing needs to be colourful and fun to attract kids to the product, there has to be an element of safety, quality and value in the marketing that appeals to the parents or purchaser,” Paterson explains. However, he says retailers must still find ways to make it fun: “Have cheap give aways with each purchase, like teddy bears or packaging that contains stickers.”

Media influence vs pester power
DPI Jewellery
DPI Jewellery

For retailers and suppliers, there is a catch 22 when it comes to this market – how to provide designs that appeal specifically to kids but still attract the adults who are purchasing the items. After all, the adults are the ones analysing the value of the pieces in question.

Christie Nicholas, managing director of communications agency Kids Business Communications, says the issue becomes more complex in the tween market where jewellery needs to be not too grown up or too expensive, while still allowing the young wearer to make a statement amongst their social circle.

“Tweens [children aged approximately between eight and 12] have taken control over demand for jewellery and other fashion accessories,” Nicholas states, adding that even younger shoppers are gaining more influence over purchases.

“With younger children, parents influence keepsake jewellery items, although ‘pester power’ will still kick in with children attracted to the glitz of fashion jewellery,” she says.

Dr Bill Page is a senior research associate at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, part of the University of South Australia Business School. It’s widely accepted that social media is having an increasing influence over the jewellery purchases of adult consumers but does it hold the same power over younger demographics? Page says yes, to an extent.

“Social media has taken the place of magazines and TV shows as far as seeing new fashions and learning about new things to buy,” he explains.

Paterson Fine Jewellery
Paterson Fine Jewellery

“It’s what kids use to see what friends and celebrities are wearing, be they mainstream celebs or just someone with a really great Instagram account; however, while we might imagine that Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat is the next big thing, schoolyard trends are probably going to have more influence over individual purchases.”

Nicholas has similar sentiments, noting that pop stars, Instagram influencers and social media celebrities are just as influential as schoolyard trends when shaping the preferences of kids.

“Social media is certainly a growing influence as tweens are on social media from a much younger age than previous generations,” Nicholas says. “Tweens are following ‘insta-famous’ personalities as well as their own friendship circles and aiming to live up to this image. In addition to this, social media has become a platform for tweens to show off new brand purchases, including jewellery.”

In terms of advising jewellers who want to improve their existing youth-sector jewellery sales and also new entrants who are stepping into the market for the first time, Nicholas says research is key.

“Every generation is different – when marketing to tweens, retailers need to know what kids are talking about in the school yard, which includes what they define as hot brands,” she explains. “With brands targeting tweens and teens, keeping an eye on social media is the way forward. In addition to this, we encourage retailers to be on top of generational marketing habits so that they can converse and engage with their audience the same way their customers want to converse and engage with them.”

As previously suggested, appealing to both children and adults separately is also crucial to sales in this category.

“In the end, retailers still need to appeal to adults as well, given they are the ones making the final purchase,” Nicholas adds. “Parents will be looking at other factors such as quality, price, appropriateness and product guarantees.”

Disney Couture
Disney Couture

Over the next five years, Meath believes children’s jewellery is a category set to rise in popularity.

“Hopefully the upward trend continues and we see more new and exciting developments in this market,” he says. “We will certainly be doing our best to deliver these.”

Tran concurs: “The retail market is creating a strong sector specifically targeted at young people so the market for anything related to children is going to increase in strength.”

For Paterson, one of the evolving trends is the penchant for little ones to mimic their older friends, family and heroes.

“It [children’s jewellery] closely follows trends in adult jewellery but in a more fun and playful manner,” he says, adding, “Kids still want to copy their idols and their parents.”

Children’s jewellery has well and truly moved on from its traditional beginnings. With the category expanding to cater to increasingly-savvy boys and girls, retailers would do well to embrace what this slice of the market has to offer.
 

THE TRENDSETTING ERA

Retailers divulge what consumers are really looking for when it comes to children’s jewellery and who has the final say when purchasing.


“Bracelets and bangles are more popular these days than brooches, while young parents seem to like white gold and silver pieces. Children aged three and up are asked by either parents or grandparents what they like.”
– Jacque Edwards, Barnett’s Jewellery

 


“Key features are normally strength and durability; parents just want to ensure that the jewellery will last and grow with them. Kids have a lot of influence, and they often pick based on their favourite colour or what they’re interested in at that time.”
– Melissa Kojoski, Gold City Jewellers

 


“Customers are mainly looking for birthstone earrings and ID bracelets for christening gifts. If they are older children, [parents] will pull down the little earrings and things and say, ‘Which one do you like?’”
– Michelle List, The Diamond Vault

 


“Price point, originality, good quality, bright colours and classic design are considerations. Children don’t have much influence as they are usually gifts purchased by parents or grandparents.”
– Tony Sofoulus, Village Jewellers

 











ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Talia Paz • Staff Journalist

Talia Paz is a staff journalist for Jeweller, and has more than three years' experience as a freelance journalist for national and international publications, covering a wide range of industries.









Friday, 19 April, 2019 06:23pm
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