Jeweller - October 2020

• Balance of power: How retailers can navigate lease negotiations with landlords • Christmas special: Latest offerings to get stock-ready for the holiday season • Refined touch: Benefit from metal refining in the post-COVID environment

• Balance of power: How retailers can navigate lease negotiations with landlords
• Christmas special: Latest offerings to get stock-ready for the holiday season
• Refined touch: Benefit from metal refining in the post-COVID environment


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Balance of power



Christmas special



Refined touch



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Discover the new Christmas Collection from 29 th October 2020

Available in Pandora concept stores, participating stockists and pandora.net










This Month

Industry Facets

11 Editor’s Desk

14 Upfront

16 COVID-19 Update

20 News

37 ARA







Holdsworth Bros. Jewellers


Time Machine: October 2010


Jade Part I: Jadeite


Rebus Signet Rings


Ryan Haddrell


Christmas stocking

Suppliers showcase the latest products and

services on offer in time for the gifting season.



72 Jewellers Showcase






Seeing eye-to-eye: The retail rent review


Christmas showtime



Liquid gold: Refining & COVID-19


Helen Thompson-Carter



Coronavirus roughs up diamonds

Better Your Business


New lease

on life

4Jeweller explores how

the COVID-19 pandemic

has tipped the balance

of power between retail

landlords and tenants.







RICH KIZER and GEORGANNE BENDER explain the power of branding your store.


Maximise your sales by avoiding time-wasters, advises BRIAN JEFFREY.


A member of your staff could be a sales prodigy in disguise, writes DAVID BROWN.


It’s time to create your post-COVID marketing strategy, says BARRY URQUHART.


ALLISON HALL explains how to create ads for Instagram that increase sales.

Balance of power

Christmas special

Refined touch




4 Discover which jeweller made this piece.


The new Palloys website and

proprietary ordering system

makes it easier than ever to

manage all your jewellery

needs, from refining to casting,

CAD and finished jewellery.


October 2020 | 7



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Editor’s Desk

What is the future of jewellery?

Is the industry resilient because jewellery is an irrational purchase, or is the industry

robust because consumers are irrational about jewellery? ANGELA HAN explores.

Competition for the consumer dollar has

become ever-more increasing. In recent

years, experience-based purchases such

as luxury travel, fine dining and home

entertainment are some examples of

things that have become more important

to consumers, forcing many in the trade

to question jewellery’s place in the minds

of today’s consumer.

All the while, pandemic-induced

unemployment figures keep rising and

belts tighten as we brace ourselves in

for recessionary times. This begs the

question: What is the future of jewellery?

After all, jewellery is largely just ‘rock and

metal’. Indeed, some would say it’s an

irrational purchase; there have been times

of famine in history where a bowl of rice

was seen as valuable as gold bullion.

In an era where consumer satisfaction is

measured by a product’s performance,

usefulness and eco-friendliness, justifying

a jewellery purchase can feel irrational

and gratuitous, particularly during a


So it would make sense if people stopped

buying jewellery and jewellers shut-up

shop ... right? Wrong.

When compared to other retail categories

there’s ample evidence that many fine

jewellery retailers have remained resilient

during the COVID pandemic and economic

crisis. Globally, Pandora and Tiffany stock

prices are on the upwards trajectory,

while Hong Kong retailer, Chow Tai Fook,

has seen its shares rocket back to its

2018 heydays.

The shares of both Michael Hill

International and the US chain, Signet

Jewelers, are recovering since the huge

sell off in the depths of the crisis and

LVMH stock prices are back to what they

were last November.

Closer to home, Retail Edge, the jewellery

management consultancy firm, released

reports of increased sales across 450

customers in Australia and NZ.

In fact, there was a 23 per cent increase

in September sales compared to last year,

despite Victoria remaining on Stage 4


While the number of items purchased fell,

the data shows that the value of each sale

increased, which indicated that consumers

weren’t too shy about pandemic spending.

Given the current economic conditions

and consumer sentiment, this is no

ordinary feat.

Recent trends in the increase of jewellery

repairs, along with valuations and

remodelling of a family heirloom, are not

new. The jewellery trade has thrived in

tough times owing to this work and which

few other retail categories can achieve,

with such valuable custom and unique

foot traffic.

It helps that jewellers can also smelt

unused stock - a luxury not afforded other

retail categories! These behaviours and

trends have contributed to the survival of

jewellers for hundreds of years.

Indeed, Jeweller’s own State of the Industry

report revealed that Australian fine jewellery

chains have remained resilient over the past

decade despite the saturation of fly-by-night

fashion jewellery chains.

In fact, Australia is home to more

than a dozen jewellers that have long

celebrated their centenary and are older

than Chopard and Bulgari. In the past

100 years, empires and conglomerates

have come and gone, but many local fine

jewellery retailers are still standing today.

So what makes fine jewellery so resilient?

By default, humans yearn to be

surrounded by things that are beautiful,

unchanging and meaningful. This

sentiment seems to be magnified in

turbulent times, which may very well

explain our attraction to fine jewellery that

is an object of permanence flying in the

face of modern-day impermanence.

From a signet ring engraved with the

family crest to a grandfather’s old wind-up

watch, these portable totems take on

significance with each new generation.

In turn, they often increase in

In the past

100 years,

empires and


have come

and gone, but

many local

fine jewellery

retailers are still

standing today.

sentimental value, something that

cannot be measured in dollars.

For example, I recently heard a story about

a specialist watchmaker who was asked to

quote a job to refurbish a customer’s greatgrandfather’s

pocket watch.

Given that the watch had no brand,

was in dire need of major repair, and

parts would not be easily accessible,

the retailer quoted the work at around

$5,000, believing that the owner would

not proceed with the job given that the

watch was only ‘worth’ $30.

Much to the watchmaker’s surprise, the

repair job was approved, and the owner

was ecstatic with the final outcome.

I did say jewellery can be irrational!

While Australia’s population generally

has a high discretionary income, there

is a cultural shift towards recycling and

recycled products, in an attempt to curb

consumption. While this may not bode

well for lower-priced fashion jewellery,

it could be the perfect opportunity to

educate and encourage consumers about

the benefits of locally manufactured,

bespoke fine jewellery.

If there is anything we have learned from

COVID - especially through lockdown

periods - it is that we greatly value

human contact and emotion - these

things only become obvious when you

don’t have them.

So people are looking to make more

meaningful purchases, have more

memorable experiences, and build

stronger relationships. For centuries,

jewellers have been at the forefront of

assisting with these human desires.

COVID will demonstrate that this won’t

change, and may even strengthen these

desires, as we now know what we miss.

From where I’m standing, the future

of the jewellery industry is bright.

Angela Han


October 2020 | 11


#Instagram hashtags to follow

Alpha Order




30,930+ POSTS


111,497+ POSTS


721,290+ POSTS

Stranger Things

Weird, wacky and wonderful

jewellery news from around the world


50,382+ POSTS


Napoleon &



4One of the most iconic engagement rings of all time is

the ‘toi et moi’ ring given by Napoleon Bonaparte to his fiancée,

aristocrat Jósephine de Beauharnais, in 1796. The simple gold

ring features a 1-carat pear-shape white diamond and sapphire.

The ring remained in the Bonaparte family until 2013, when it was

auctioned in Paris by Osenat. It was sold for $US1.17 million –

more than 50 times the high estimate of $20,000.

The Facebook

and Deloitte

consumer trends

report, Digital

Tools in Crisis and

Recovery, was

published on 17

September 2020.


486,845+ POSTS



Digital Brainwave


131,710+ POSTS


817,575+ POSTS



4Facebook has released the findings of

a new study it conducted with Deloitte,

examining the impact of COVID-19 on

consumers’ purchasing patterns and use

of digital tools across 13 markets, including

Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

Notably, 40 per cent of those surveyed had

increased their use of social media and online

messaging for business recommendations.

Of those who had started shopping at new

businesses, 73 per cent said at least one was

a small business, while 31 per cent planned

to increase their spending with small, local

businesses after the pandemic.

Celebrity Style

4Red carpet glamour had a welcome

return with the Venice Film Festival, as

stars showcased the most prestigious

fine jewellery creations. US supermodel

Taylor Hill (above) stole the show in

Chopard’s ruby suite.

Trend Spotting

4A classic staple of men’s jewellery,

the signet ring is having something of

a renaissance. An ideal gift for men of

all ages, the ring is traditionally crafted

from gold and features a family seal or

coat of arms (above). However, it can be

adapted to suit modern, youthful tastes

– think sterling silver with a skull,

animal, or minimalist logo.

Getty Images

Signet ring: Circle, Melbourne

Can-do attitude

4A US jeweller’s unusual

jewellery pieces – which are

made entirely from tin cans

– have been thrown into the

spotlight after being featured

in Oprah Winfrey’s magazine.

Thomas Paul Althaus started

his jewellery business, Canned

Goods, seven years ago after

creating a set of earrings and

a bracelet for his wife, using

the traditional 10th wedding

anniversary gift of tin.

Fast (food) fashion

4Tasmanian jeweller Emma

Bugg has revealed a brooch

she made from a real fast-food

hamburger is yet to decompose

after four years in her store.

Bugg set the burger – which

has since shrunk by about 10

per cent – in silver claws. “The

lettuce has changed colour to

brown, but aside from that it

looks pretty much the same [as

when I bought it],” she said.

Diamond discovery

4A US man has unearthed the

second-largest diamond ever

found at the Crater of Diamonds

State Park in Arkansas, after

initially mistaking the 9-carat

stone for a piece of glass.

“I almost didn’t have [staff] check

my finds, because I didn’t think

I had found anything,” Kevin

Kinard said. The park opened in

1972; more than 200 diamonds

are found there each year.


Published by Befindan Media Pty Ltd

Locked Bag 26, South Melbourne, VIC 3205 AUSTRALIA | ABN 64 930 790 434 | Phone: +61 3 9696 7200 | info@jewellermagazine.com

Publisher & Editor Angela Han angela.han@befindanmedia.com • Assistant Editor Arabella Roden arabella.roden@jewellermagazine.com

Advertising Toli Podolak toli.podolak@jewellermagazine.com • Accounts Paul Blewitt finance@befindanmedia.com • Subscriptions info@jewellermagazine.com

Copyright All material appearing in Jeweller is subject to copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly forbidden without prior written consent of the publisher. Befindan Media Pty Ltd

strives to report accurately and fairly and it is our policy to correct significant errors of fact and misleading statements in the next available issue. All statements made, although based on information

believed to be reliable and accurate at the time, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for error or omission. Any comment relating to subjective opinions should be addressed

to the editor. Advertising The publisher reserves the right to omit or alter any advertisement to comply with Australian law and the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher for all damages or

liabilities arising from the published material.

Proudly distributed by

(02) 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au

COVID-19 Update


increase in online

spending year-on-year

during July 2020

* National Australia Bank Online Retail Sales Index,

3 September 2020

$3 billion

Additional support package

announced for Victorian businesses,

including $15.7 million in export

recovery and funding for SMEs

to access digital programs

19 October

Earliest date for Melbourne

Step Three restriction easing,

allowing all retail to reopen




“We face a long and uneven

recovery... One of the biggest

challenges for Australia in

2021 and beyond will be how

effectively we can move [on]

from the substantial and I think

very effective income support

that’s been in place.”




“Not only have we had a smaller

contraction than comparable

economies, but our economic

activity has outperformed

where the correlation between

the stringency of the lockdown

and GDP would suggest.”


of retail businesses say they

would not have survived

without JobKeeper *

* Sensis September Business Index

Retail turnover increased

6.9% in August 2020

compared with August 2019

* Australian Bureau of Statistics, Retail Trade

Preliminary report, 23 September 2020


A ‘trans-Tasman

travel bubble’ between

Australia and New

Zealand could be formed

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled a

suite of insolvency reforms to protect small

businesses from the fallout of the COVID-19

pandemic... [allowing] insolvent companies

with less than $1 million in liabilities to

continue to trade while developing a plan

to restructure their debts.




* Smart Company, 24 September 2020 “We remain deeply concerned

about the closure of [Melbourne]

retail until mid-to-late October

at the earliest – that is simply

too close to Christmas trading

allow viable retail activity.”

Brisbane businesses

are more confident

about the future than

any other capital city

Sensis August Business Index





De Beers

The webinar was

hosted by KPMG’s

Jane Cohen, Matt

Darby, and James

Stewart, with guest

Anthony Heraghty,

CEO Super

Retail Group.

4Professional services firm

KPMG has made its September

webinar, Retail 2021: Home,

But Not Alone!, available to

rewatch online.

The session explores four key

elements influencing retailers,

such as commercial leases,

JobKeeper, and insolvent

trading reforms, as well as the

long-term changes to the retail

sector and shopping behaviour

as a result of COVID-19.

David Kellie, CEO

Natural Diamond

Council, and De

Beers executive

Stephen Lussier

contributed to the

panel discussion

in the webinar.

4The latest edition of

CIBJO’s Jewellery Industry

Voices webinar series,

‘Cultivating Demand for

Natural Diamonds: How

to Do It & Who Should

Pay’, which took place on 1

October, is now available to

rewatch online.

It explores the effectiveness

of generic industry

marketing of diamonds – a

particularly important factor

in the lead-up to Christmas.

The Diamond

Insight Flash

Report #4 notes

that consumers

are showing signs

of optimism,

alongside a need

for reassurance.

4Diamond giant De Beers

has released the fourth

edition of its monthly

Diamond Insight Flash

Report series to identify

trends for the upcoming

holiday gifting season as

well as patterns of

consumer behaviour.

The report includes survey

results from 500 US

consumers and diamond

jewellery trend forecasting

by UK firm Adorn Insight.

16 | October 2020




PO Box 866, Tullamarine, VIC 3043

@wdrings | 03 9338 0091 / 1800 006 388 | sales@worthdouglas.com.au | www.worthdouglas.com

Created by members, for members




Showcase Jewellers was established in 1981 by a group

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Today, Showcase Jewellers is a powerhouse of resources

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Our members have so many resources at their fingertips to

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Alongside these resources, you have the support of an

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provides a community and network in which your business

is supported and will positively thrive. We are enormously

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Dates announced for early

2021 jewellery Trade Days

Jewellery businesses integrated into new

Palloys ordering and account management

means our B2B clients now have

the convenience of ordering everything they

need from one company, on one account, with

one statement.”

Multiple employees to make orders through

each business account, improving order

tracking and accountability.

A series of Capital City Trade Days are set to take place in

Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth next year, as part of

Expertise Events’ 2021 jewellery industry schedule.

In Expertise Events, the organiser of the

International Jewellery & Watch Fair

(IJWF), has released details of its 2021

Capital City Trade Days which will take

place in February and March.

As previously reported by Jeweller, the

Trade Days were developed to help the

jewellery industry reconnect following the

cancellation of the 2020 IJWF, as well as

provide retailers with access to a range

of suppliers without travelling interstate.

Described as “intimate and local focused

events”, the Trade Days offer suppliers

an “easy and affordable opportunity to

connect with local retailers”.

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director

Expertise Events, said, “We recognise that

in 2021, not everyone will want to or be

able to travel, nor have the time to do so.

“Starting at the beginning of February,

we will have a compact Trade Days format

– two days of trade, plus networking

opportunities. People want to get back

to reconnecting and rebuilding, and this

format is cost-effective for manufacturers,

distributors, and retailers.”

While the Brisbane and Sydney events

will focus on jewellery, the Perth and

Adelaide Trade Days will also include a gift

component to reflect the different needs

of these markets.

Victorian retailers will have the opportunity

to view new products at the dedicated

Jewellery Pavilion within the Melbourne

Gift & Lifestyle Fair, which is scheduled

for 6–8 February 2021 at the Melbourne

Exhibition Centre.

A Jewellery Pavilion will also be present

at the Gold Coast Gift & Lifestyle Fair on

3–5 July 2021, and at the Sydney Gift &

Lifestyle Fair on 18–21 September 2021.

Next year’s IJWF will be held from 28–30

August, themed ‘Be Reconnected’.

People want

to get back to


and rebuilding,

and this

format is costeffective




and retailers


Expertise Events


Trade Day



13–14 February


Convention Centre


20–21 February

ICC Sydney

Exhibition Centre


13–14 March

Perth Convention



20–21 March


Convention Centre

The new Palloys digital platform provides “endto-end”

services, from diamonds to refining.

Jewellers can now order products and

services from Palloys, AGS PJW, Regentco

and A&E Metals through a ground-breaking

new ordering and account management


The platform can be accessed through the

redesigned Palloys website and allows

jewellers to place orders for custom finished

jewellery, wedding rings, fabricated metals,

findings, gemstones, and metal refining

through one password-protected account,

invoiced under the Palloys name.

Alison Habbal, assistant operations manager

– jewellery at Palloys, told Jeweller, “Bringing

all of our companies together as Palloys

Pandora to close Sydney flagship store

as lease renegotiations fail

After 10 years, Pandora has opted not to renew

the lease on its flagship store in Sydney’s Pitt

Street Mall.

After failing to reach an agreement with

landlord Scentre Group, Pandora Jewelry

will close its Westfield Sydney flagship store,

located in the prestigious Pitt Street Mall

retail precinct.

The company opted not to renew its lease

on the premises – due to expire at the end

of September – following lengthy discussions

with Scentre, which is Australia’s largest

retail landlord and the operator of Westfield

shopping centres.

Pandora has occupied the site since 2010.

Steven Kratsas, marketing manager – jewellery

at Palloys, said, “This new interface took two

years to design and implement, and is intended

to make Palloys a ‘one-stop destination’ for all

jewellery needs and services.

“It is part of our commitment to leading the

industry in innovation and efficiency, and

upholding the highest possible standards

of service and quality,” he added.

One of the most notable upgrades to the new

ordering system is an ‘instant quote’ feature

for finished jewellery, CAD designs and prints,

fabricated metals, findings, and refining

through ABC Refinery, which holds triple

accreditation from the London Bullion Market

Association, Shanghai Gold Exchange and the

New York Commodity Exchange (COMEX).


David Allen, general manager of the Pandora

Pacific division, said, “Over the past six-toeight

weeks we have had extensive discussion

with Scentre Group in an attempt to come

to a mutual agreement in the lease

renegotiation process.

“Unfortunately these discussions did not lead

to a satisfactory outcome for the business and

as such we have made the decision to end the

tenancy at term and close.”

He added, “It was a tough call and certainly

not one that was arrived at lightly, but without

due consideration from Scentre Group, the

trading conditions at Pitt Street Mall are

untenable and unjustifiable for the wider


A 2019 report by commercial real estate

services firm Cushman & Wakefield found

that Pitt Street Mall ranked among the

top 10 most expensive shopping strips

internationally, alongside New York City’s Fifth

Avenue, New Bond Street in London, Tokyo’s

Ginza, and the Champs-Élysées in Paris.


20 | October 2020











1 jckonline.com 69,848 03:47 USA

2 nationaljeweler.com 173,106 01:58 USA

3 instoremag.com 193,102 02:05 USA

4 jewellermagazine.com 257,849 28:06 Australia

5 professionaljeweller.com 353,450 01:26 UK

6 thejewelrymagazine.com 698,131 00:57 India

7 indianjeweller.in 649,673 01:15 India

8 retailjewellerindia.com 944,527 12:02 India

9 retail-jeweller.com 1,256,596 01:11 UK

10 jewelleryfocus.co.uk 1,898,669 01:29 UK

There are many ways to measure #1, however; when

it comes to media, there’s only one way... readership.

Not only is Jeweller the #1 industry magazine in

Australia and New Zealand by far, we are ranked #4

in the world by Alexa, the global ranking system

for analysing website readership.

Your own Jeweller is one of the most widely read

jewellery publications in the world and, according to

Alexa, the daily time spent on jewellermagazine.com

is more than 20 minutes while other business-tobusiness

websites average between 2–5 minutes

in engagement.

At the same time, Jeweller’s social media presence

dominates and our eMags boast 12 million reads.

It’s our commitment to excellence in reporting, high

quality presentation, and reader engagement that sets

us apart, which is why we say: Follow the Reader!

* Alexa Global Ranking statistics as at 4 October 2020.





In Brief

No reserve for 102-carat

flawless diamond

4Auction house Sotheby’s has

auctioned a 102.39-carat D-flawless

diamond without a reserve price.

The stone is one of only eight white

diamonds of that quality and size ever

offered at auction. The diamond was

cut and polished from a 271-carat

rough from De Beers’ Victor Mine in

Canada, and previewed in Shanghai,

New York, and Taipei before being

auctioned in Hong Kong.

NZ jeweller shows at

New York Fashion Week

4Christchurch-based jewellery

designer Sonia Therese was one of

just 10 jewellers chosen to showcase

her work at New York Fashion Week

in September. “I think the technical

term was ‘gobsmacked’,” Therese

said of being selected. Her pieces are

largely made from recycled materials.

“The jewellery is embeded and

infused with soul,” she added.

Movado signs deal with

Calvin Klein

4Movado Group has signed a

five-year licensing agreement with

Calvin Klein to create a new line of

watches and jewellery, to commence

in January 2022. Calvin Klein watches

were previously manufactured by

Swatch Group. However, the Swiss

company chose to let its licensing

agreement expire in October 2019

after 22 years, citing “turbulence and

uncertainties” at Calvin Klein.

Israel, Dubai bourses

sign historic agreement

4The Israel Diamond Exchange

(IDE) and the Dubai Diamond

Exchange (DDE) have signed a

collaboration agreement during

a virtual conference in order to

strengthen the trade relationship

between the two bodies.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive

chairman DMCC and chairman DDE,

said, “This agreement paves the way

for further collaboration across a

range of commodities in what is a

very exciting time for development in

the region.”

From the mining

and refining

of the gold, to

the spinners

and goldsmiths


in its final


the Melbourne

Cup has been

produced locally

from start to

finish taking

over 250 hours

ABC Bullion

Our business

model is simple,

it is transparent,

and ensures

we give our

retail partners


back for

supporting IJC



Jewellers Collective

ABC Bullion to make 2020 Melbourne Cup

trophy from Victorian gold

The 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy contains 1.65kg of 18-carat gold and valued at more than $200k.

Ahead of the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup on 3

November, ABC Bullion has announced that

the gold used to manufacture the trophy for

the racing event will be sourced entirely from

Victoria, for the first time in its history.

Valued at more than $200,000, this year’s

trophy – which is also known as the ‘Loving

Cup’ – contains approximately 1.65kg of

18-carat gold mined from Kirkland Lake

Gold’s Fosterville Mine, located about 30km

east of Bendigo.

This year marks the 160th anniversary of

the ‘race that stops the nation’, and also

marks one of the most difficult periods in

recent history for the people of Victoria due

to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

A statement from ABC Bullion said, “This year

has proven one of the most challenging yet.

New buying group reaches another

membership milestone

Australia’s newest jewellery industry buying

group, Independent Jewellers Collective

(IJC), has built its membership to 50 stores,

surpassing its target for the year.

IJC was formed in January 2020 and

launched just as the COVID-19 pandemic

began to impact the Australian market.

Its business model promised to give

independent retailers more flexibility than

a traditional buying group, with a focus

on custom-built digital platforms and

“boutique” service.

Josh Zarb, CEO IJC, told Jeweller, “We have

been so humbled by interest in our group.

It is genuinely exciting to have been able to

build such a tight community of retailers

and supply partners so quickly. We had set

ourselves a target to be at 50 stores by the

end of June 2021 and obviously, we are well

ahead of this timeline.”

More than ever it is important to hold on to

the familiar, to our traditions.

The 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup is a beacon

of resilience, when faced with hardship

and adversity.

“From the mining and refining of the gold,

to the spinners and goldsmiths involved in

its final construction, the Melbourne Cup

has been produced locally from start to

finish taking over 250 hours.”

To mark the occasion, ABC Bullion – which

is part of the Pallion group of companies

and has manufactured the Melbourne Cup

since 2016, as part of a deal with Victoria

Racing Club – has released a video about

the creation of the 2020 Cup and its

unique significance.

Zarb said the main driver of membership

with IJC was the “sense of community” and

the experience of the IJC team within the

jewellery industry.

“Retailers are looking for modern marketing

initiatives and a more upmarket look and feel

in external advertising, and this is something

we are supporting in all our campaigns.

“ Our business model is simple, it is

transparent, and ensures we give our retail

partners something back for supporting IJC,”

he explained, adding, “Our technology, our

simplicity of communication, and our bespoke

platforms are some of our biggest strengths.”

Zarb said more than 114 stores had

approached IJC to enquire about its services.

“It is important for us and our existing

retailers to continue to partner with proactive


22 | October 2020

2020 Argyle Tender Diamonds

revealed ahead of mine closure


The 2020 Argyle Tender has been named ‘One Lifetime, One Encounter’ and

comprises 62 loose diamonds and 12 ‘Petite Suite’ sets. Image: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has unveiled the 2020

Argyle Tender of pink, red, and

blue diamonds, which has this

year been named ‘One Lifetime,

One Encounter’.

Described as “one of the final

collections” of Argyle Mine stones

ahead of its closure at the end of

2020, this year’s Tender comprises

62 loose diamonds, weighing a total

of 57.23 carats. In addition, 12 sets

of small pink, red, blue and violet

diamonds, collected over the past

five years, will also be offered.

Referred to as ‘Petite Suites’, the

diamonds weigh 13.90 carats in total.

Of the loose stones, this year’s

Tender features six named ‘hero’

diamonds including the Argyle

Eternity – the largest fancy vivid

round brilliant diamond ever

offered at the Tender. Weighing

2.24 carats, the Argyle Eternity

is vivid purplish pink.

Arnaud Soirat, chief executive Rio

Tinto Copper & Diamonds, said,

“Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine is the first

and only ongoing source of rare

pink, red and violet diamonds in

the world. We have seen, and

continue to see, strong demand

for these highly coveted diamonds,

which together with extremely

limited global supply, supports the

significant value appreciation for

Argyle pink diamonds.”

Commenting on the One Lifetime,

One Encounter collection, Steve Der

Bedrossian, CEO SAMS Group –

which specialises in Argyle diamonds

– said, “The Argyle Tender is always

remarkable and the mine keeps

giving us extraordinary diamonds.

“This year’s Tender is notable as the

‘hero’ stones include the largest vivid

round brilliant cut, the largest vivid

pear shape, the largest purple-pink,

and also a trio of very rare blue and

violet diamonds.

“We have seen, and continue

to see, strong demand for these

highly coveted diamonds, which

together with extremely limited

global supply, supports the

significant value appreciation

for Argyle pink diamonds.”


Rio Tinto

“And of course, this year feels even

more significant as there is the sense

that this will all be history very soon

– in the near future, we will be talking

about ‘the Argyle days’,” he added.

Harsh Maheshwari, director Kunming

Diamonds, shared similar sentiments,

telling Jeweller, “It has been quite an

emotional journey for us, from our

first Tender less than a decade ago,

to acquiring the Everlastings

Collection and being appointed an

Argyle Pink Diamonds Authorised

Partner [this year]. Knowing that we

won’t be able to have the opportunity

of seeing such a global phenomenon

in the near future as the mine shuts

is beyond belief.


LVMH and Tiffany & Co. deal

collapses; court battle looms

LVMH has withdrawn from its $US16.2 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co., with the

US company initiating legal proceedings in response.

Watches: Ellie II

Proudly distributed by

Tiffany & Co. has begun legal

proceedings against Moët Hennessy

Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH) following

the French luxury conglomerate’s

withdrawal from its $US16.2 billion

acquisition deal, with the two luxury

behemoths set to appear in court on

5 January 2021.

The international jewellery company

commenced legal action on 9

September, the same day LVMH

released a statement confirming

that it will not proceed with the

takeover, which was to be the most

expensive in its history, surpassing

the $US13 billion acquisition of

Christian Dior in 2011.

LVMH alleges Tiffany & Co. suffered

“material adverse effect”due

to the COVID-19 pandemic and

mismanaged the crisis.

Material adverse effect is known

as material adverse change under

Australian law, and refers to specific

matters that have a “measurable

financial impact above an agreed

threshold, such as a negative

impact on earnings”, according to

law firm MinterEllison.

A material adverse change clause

usually excludes negative impacts

resulting from general economic

or industry conditions.

Tiffany & Co. recorded a loss of

$US33 million for the first half of

the year, but made a $US32 million

profit for the three months to 31

July, compared with $US136 million

for the same period in 2019.

In addition, Jean-Yves Le Drian,

French European and Foreign Affairs

Minister, reportedly wrote to LVMH

on 31 August requesting that it delay

the final closing date of the Tiffany

deal until after 6 January 2021 in

order to “dissuade” US authorities

from imposing further import duties

on French luxury goods.

Such a delay would breach the

Merger Agreement, which stipulates

a closing date of no later than 24

November 2020. In addition, the

LVMH statement notes that Tiffany

& Co. separately requested a further

extension of the final closing date to

31 December 2020.

Tiffany & Co. filed suit in the Court

of Chancery of the State of Delaware

and “seeks, among other things, an

order requiring LVMH to abide by

its contractual obligation under the

Merger Agreement to complete the

transaction on the agreed terms”.

It claims LVMH failed to honour

its obligations, including filing

international regulatory clearances.

It also refutes assertions that it has

breached the Merger Agreement

and that the Le Drian letter is a valid

reason for LVMH to withdraw.

Roger N Farah, chairman Tiffany

& Co., says, “We regret having to

take this action but LVMH has left

us no choice but to commence

litigation to protect our company

and our shareholders.


02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au



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Michael Hill announces $3.1

million profit for the year;

launches new digital brand

Michael Hill International has released its financial

results for FY19-20, recording a modest profit of $3.1

million – a decline of 81 per cent, largely attributed

to the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue was $492.1

million, compared with $569.5 million in FY18-19,

while same-store sales increased 2.7 per cent,

largely driven by New Zealand and Canada.

Daniel Bracken, CEO Michael Hill International,

described it as “a year of two halves”, noting that

sales had steadily improved until the widespread

lockdowns beginning in March 2020.

Michael Hill stores across Australia, New Zealand,

and Canada were temporarily closed for between

five and 13 weeks; 17 were permanently closed

over the course of the financial year, with one new

opening. Michael Hill International operated 290

stores as at 30 June 2020.

“While the COVID-19 closures had a severe impact

on headline sales and profit, I was particularly proud

of the determination, resilience, and agility of our

team across the business through the shutdown and

temporary closure periods,” Bracken said.

“The re-opening of our store network saw pleasing

sales recovery despite lower foot traffic, and a return

to strong margin performance against [the] prior

year. This reflected the importance of the strategic

progress we have made over the last 12 months

and the dedication of our team members and loyal

customers,” he added.

Notably, e-commerce increased by 54.7 per cent to

a record $24.7 million, compared with $16 million in

FY18-19. Digital sales now represent 5 per cent of total

sales, an increase from 2.8 per cent in the previous

financial year.

Branded collections also performed well,

representing 37.5 per cent of sales – an increase

from 32.5 per cent in the previous year.

Notably, Michael Hill has since launched Medley

Jewellery, a separate brand only available online

from its own website, and focused on young female


Vanessa Brennan, chief brand and strategy officer

Medley Jewellery, said, “There was an opportunity in

the market among a growing customer audience who

have a strong desire for stylish, quality and versatile

jewellery. They want affordable and on-trend pieces

that can be worn across a number of occasions.”

Medley Jewellery currently has five collections

– Alpha Female, The Foundations, Zodiac Hack,

Pearls That Pop and Etched Memories – crafted in

silver, plated 18-carat gold, plated rose gold, and

solid 10-carat gold and priced from $50–$300.

Luxury watch and jewellery box

brand finds new distributor

An image from the Wolf ‘My Legacy’ campaign.

Duraflex Group Australia (DGA) has begun

exclusively supplying European watch and

jewellery box brand Wolf to the Australian


Wolf, which was founded by silversmith

Philip Wolf in Germany in 1834 before

expanding into Sweden and the UK, is

known for its high-quality handmade

jewellery cases, travel accessories, patented

automatic watch winders, and safes.

A statement from Duraflex said, “The Wolf

mark has been a symbol of decades of

innovation and the pursuit of the perfect

Australian Jewellers Supplies

takes over Peekays Findings

Following more than 45 years as a

family-owned business, Peekays Findings

– Australia’s leading supplier of quality

gold and silver findings, settings, and

clasps – has been taken over by Australian

Jewellers Supplies (AJS).

Peekays was founded by Paul Kornmehl in

1973 and his daughters, Anita and Yvonne,

took over the business in the 1990s.

Jim Kornmehl, managing director Peekays

Findings, said, “With Anita Kornmehl

passing some five years ago, the family

recently decided that the business needs

to be taken forward by the industry leader,

Australian Jewellers Supplies.”

He described AJS as “the perfect choice”

as they are also a family-owned business,

with more than 50 years in the industry.

“With nationally located branches, highly

experienced staff and a wonderful online

platform, AJS will certainly take Peekays

to the next level,” Kornmehl added.

Selwyn Brandt, director AJS, said, “Peekays

design. Every day, in beautiful Wolf cases

around the world, centuries-old treasures

live side-by-side with exquisite new designs.

“The five-generation family owned brand

understands that extraordinary objects are

representations of extraordinary moments

in life.”

Phil Edwards, managing director DGA, said,

“The addition of Wolf to the DGA portfolio

complements our existing stable of brands

perfectly. Wolf is a truly unique brand with

an unrivalled product offering that’s a

necessity for our market. We’re delighted

to be the exclusive agent and look forward

to growing this luxury brand locally.”

In addition to the watch winders – which

are compatible with both vintage and new

timepieces – DGA will also supply luxury

watch boxes and jewellery cases, as well as

smartwatch storage trays with integrated


DGA also distributes Swiss watch brands

Baume & Mercier, Luminox and Mondaine,

and jewellery brands Ania Haie, Thomas

Sabo and Bronzallure, among others.

has been one of AJS’ key suppliers for

many years, and we have always enjoyed

a wonderful working relationship.

“[The take over] was first discussed a few

years ago and since then it has evolved

organically to where it was a natural

decision for both parties.

“We plan to continue the amazing legacy

that Peekays has created over the last

40-plus years as the premier supplier of

quality jewellery findings in Australia.”

Brandt added, “As we are also a longstanding,

family-owned and operated

business, we put the highest value in our

customers and will continue to offer them

a personalised high level of service.”

Kornmehl said, “We think that this

positive change will be better for Peekays’

customers, and they will also be happy to

hear that current employee Raymond Tran

will continue to take their orders and that

Peekays’ phone, email and website will

still operate as it does now.”

26 | October 2020


Lovisa profits fall

more than 47 per cent

Second Hong Kong fair

moves online for 2020

Fashion jewellery chain Lovisa has

released its full-year financial results,

revealing net profits slumped 47.8 per cent

over FY19-20 to $19.3 million, largely as a

result of COVID-19 disruption.

Supply chain problems, including freight

bottlenecks and warehouse closures in

China, as well as slower economic activity

and temporary store closures due to

lockdowns, combined to reduce total sales

by 32.2 per cent during the six months to

30 June 2020.

Despite the trading disruptions, revenue

remained relatively stable for the year,

declining 3.2 percent to $242.2 million.

As a result of lockdown closures, Lovisa’s

e-commerce sales increased by 311 per

cent for the financial year.

Shane Fallscheer, managing director

Lovisa, said, “We are pleased with what

our team has been able to achieve through

the disruptions to our business over the

past six months, and whilst it has had a

temporary impact to sales and profitability

we remain confident in our growth

objectives and have been able to maintain

the balance sheet strength required to

deliver on them. This leaves us very well

placed for the future.”

The company incurred costs related to its

continued international expansion, adding

45 stores to its network – 66 new locations

offset by 21 permanent closures, including

two in Australia – bringing its total,

including 41 franchised stores, to 435.

Notably, Lovisa management took the

decision to permanently close all nine of its

Spanish stores “due to poor support from

landlords through the lockdown period”,

incurring an impairment charge of €2.1

million ($3.4 million).

The company has appointed a “senior

leasing executive based in the Northern

Hemisphere” to oversee future

international store openings.

Over the course of the year, Lovisa pursued

its most aggressive expansion strategy in

the US market, opening 29 new stores for

a total of 48. The country is now Lovisa’s

third-largest market after Australia (152

stores) and South Africa (62 stores),

overtaking the UK (42 stores).

It also opened 13 stores in France, bringing

its total from eight to 21.

Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong – formerly the September

Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair – will be run as a digital

event this year, before returning to a physical format in 2021.

Organiser Informa Markets has announced that the

Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong (JGW) – previously

known as the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem

Fair – will be conducted as an online event, Jewellery

& Gem Digital World.

The fair had been postponed to 9–13 November from

its original September dates due to the COVID-19

pandemic. However, with an “uncertain” outlook,

the organiser has now cancelled the physical event

in favour of the digital format, scheduled for 27–29


The news follows the cancellation of the Hong

Kong Watch & Clock Fair – organised by the Hong

Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) – whose

exhibitors will instead be included in the HKTDC

Autumn Sourcing Week Online from 16–27 November.

Informa Markets described Jewellery & Gem Digital

World as a “virtual show experience that seamlessly

integrates digital product meetings with a rich

programme of industry forums, discussions and

practical gemmology workshops”.

It will also include “custom digital catalogues,

assortment management solutions and personalised

showroom technology” for exhibitors.

David Bondi, senior vice-president Informa Markets

Asia, said, “We know how important our Jewellery

& Gem fairs are as powerful platforms where our

community can come together, create strong business

relationships and discover leads to drive up sales.”

A series of webinars focused on the Asian jewellery

industry will be held in the lead up to the event, while

the winners of the JNA Awards will be announced in

a virtual presentation on 27 October, the first day of

Jewellery & Gem Digital World.

The next Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong trade

fair will take place in September 2021, with Bondi

revealing that it will take a “hybrid” structure that

combines physical shows with digital features.


Set with Argyle pink diamonds



E pink@samsgroup.com.au

W samsgroup.com.au

P 02 9290 2199

Diamond organisation launches new

campaign with James Bond actress

Ana de Armas is the celebrity face of the Natural Diamond Council’s latest

campaign, ‘For moments like no other’.


Proudly distributed by

New range

now available

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC)

– previously known as the Diamond

Producers Association – has launched

a new advertising campaign ‘For

moments like no other’ with actress

Ana de Armas, who will star in the

upcoming James Bond film No Time

To Die.

The campaign, which will appear

in the US, UK, Chinese and Indian

markets, comprises a 30-second

advertisement, a variety of shorter

videos, a print media campaign, and

digital advertising.

It is designed to present diamonds as

“not solely the purview of romantic

interests or formal occasions”.

In a statement, the NDC explained,

“[The campaign] was developed to

celebrate the myriad connections with

which natural diamonds are worn or

exchanged, and to bring awareness to

the Natural Diamond Council’s ‘Only

Natural Diamonds’ online platform.”

Kristina Buckley Kayel, managing

director – North America, NDC, said,

“Ana is a true talent… This campaign

redefines traditional diamond

moments, celebrating a variety of

personal connections with these

natural stones.

“It’s a more contemporary approach

to the diamond dream, for meaningful

moments big or small.”

The campaign was filmed in Portugal

in July, and features de Armas in a

variety of settings with friends, family,

and a partner while wearing diamond

jewellery from brands including Anita

Ko, De Beers, Delfina Delettrez,

Jade Trau, Lorraine Schwartz and

Melissa Kaye.

“This campaign redefines

traditional diamond moments,

celebrating a variety of personal

connections with these natural

stones. It’s a more contemporary



Natural Diamond Council

Of the campaign, de Armas said,

“This has been a very difficult year for

so many people, and, in considering

this, I was inspired by the idea of a

diamond representing connection,

or reconnection in 2020’s case, with

our loved ones.

“For moments big and small,

ceremonial to intimate, grand to

spontaneous. There’s beauty and

power but also a sense of familiarity

and ease with natural diamonds.”

The clip debuted during the digital

broadcast of the Emmy Awards on 20

September before being distributed

through TV streaming services; print

advertising will centre on high-profile

consumer publications Vanity Fair

and US Vogue as well as a number of

fashion-focused online platforms.

02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au


Rio Tinto executives resign following

destruction of Indigenous site

Mining conglomerate Rio Tinto has

confirmed CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques

and two other senior executives will leave

the company, with significant implications

for its Australian projects.

The resignations came in the wake of

the company’s internal review into the

destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves,

located in the Pilbara region and described

as having “the highest archaeological

significance in Australia”.

The caves were destroyed by Rio Tinto in

a controlled blast on 24 May 2020 in order

to expand an iron ore mine, against the

wishes of traditional owners, the Puutu

Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people (PKKP).

Following pressure from Rio Tinto

shareholders – including AustralianSuper

and the Future Fund, Australia’s $166

billion sovereign wealth fund – the company

announced that Jacques will step down as

CEO on 31 March 2021 or when a suitable

successor is found.

Notably, Jacques has been a vocal advocate

for Rio Tinto’s diamond division, which is

facing numerous challenges in the nearterm,

including the closure of the Argyle Mine

at the end of 2020 and ongoing legal disputes

with both its Canadian mining partners.

Expressing his desire to expand the diamond

division in 2017, Jacques said, “On average,

from the time you think there is a good

property to the time you get to diamonds

it’s 30 years, so the exploration people have

been under pressure for a long time. It’s an

exploration game for us.”

Arnaud Soirat is currently chief executive

of Rio Tinto copper and diamonds.

Rio Tinto has also pledged to review its

Land Use Agreements, which could impact

its closure plan for the Argyle Mine; like

the Juukan Gorge, Argyle is located in

Western Australia.

At the time of publication, Rio Tinto was yet

to submit its closure plan to regulators.


pressure from

Rio Tinto


the company


that Jean-



will step down

as CEO

New international representatives for colour

diamond organisation

in strategic locations around the world to

promote the desire, the beauty and passion

that natural colour diamonds create.

“Our philosophy, transparency, education

and collaborations with our sister trade

groups, labs, and the media gives us the

ability and strength to provide the service

and the right knowledge and information

about natural colour diamonds.”

The Natural

Color Diamond


is proud to

announce that

we are building

a ‘United

Nations’ of


The US-based Natural Color Diamond

Association (NCDIA) is expanding its

international presence, announcing the

appointment of four new ‘ambassadors’

based in different countries.

The ambassadors will assist the NCDIA in

achieving its mission to promote natural

fancy colour diamonds and educate the

broader jewellery industry and consumers

about their unique traits and appeal.

Alan Bronstein, president NCDIA, said, “In

our effort to show a vision of leadership for

the future of the most extraordinary natural

gemstones, the Natural Color Diamond

Association is proud to announce that we are

building a ‘United Nations’ of ambassadors

The new ambassadors are:

Hong Kong and Asia: Ephraim Zion –

trained diamond cutter, founder of highend

jewellery manufacturer Dehres, and

a former governor of the Gemological

Institute of America (GIA)

Singapore: John Glajz – founder of jewellery

brand Glajz, Argyle Partner, and former

managing director Mondial Jewelers

Switzerland: Matthew Aldridge – director

of diamond and colour gemstone trading

business Gemcut and Argyle Partner

Italy: Marco Pocaterra – director of diamond

cutting and polishing business Diamwill and

CEO diamond trading business Diamond

Love Bond.


Natural Color




2020 Argyle Tender Diamonds revealed

ahead of mine closure


“We, like many others, carry a sentimental

value with Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine and the rare

stones.” He added, “We are extremely excited

about 2020’s Tender and the unique collection,

Petite Suites.

“They always amaze us with marvellous

stones, especially the ‘hero’ stones. It is very

rare to find Argyle Pinks in such sizes, and

they each have a unique attribute to them,

especially the Argyle Eternity.”

Award-winning jeweller John Calleija, whose

namesake brand has boutiques in Sydney, the

Gold Coast, and London, said, “The closure

of the mine is incredibly significant for the

industry and it’s also quite poignant for me

personally as Argyle pink diamonds have been

my passion for more than 30 years.

He added, “This year’s Tender really has some

extraordinary diamonds. Just look at the

magnificent Argyle Eternity, and you’ll know

that you really will have to wait an eternity for

another gem to rival this beauty.

“Having three spectacular blue ‘hero’

diamonds really showcases these precious

gems. Blue diamonds are often forgotten

when their pink and red sisters take centre

stage, but they absolutely deserve their place

in history!”

Michael Neuman, director Mondial Pink

Diamond Atelier in Sydney, said he was

most excited by the selection of violet-blue

diamonds in the Tender.

“The Argyle blues are unique in the world.

All other blues are coloured by the element

boron, whereas the unique, hydrogen-rich

chemical composition of Argyle blues is what

leads to the occasional ‘violetish blue’ or

‘blue-violet’ diamonds which are so sought

after by diamond connoisseurs and collectors

the world over,” Neuman explained.

“As far as we know, these are the only

diamonds which attain this rare and quite

beautiful violet hue.”

Neuman noted that a number of red diamonds

had also been included, continuing a relatively

recent trend in the Argyle Tender.

“This has been one of the main points of

difference of the past 10 years – the inclusion

of straight red diamonds, as opposed to

purplish-red, in each and every one, with

several reds in most.

“There’s probably been an average of less than

one straight red for every year of the Tender,

and more than half of them have appeared in

the last decade,” he added.

Of the Petite Suite sets, Der Bedrossian said

that in previous years, melee tenders often

took place separately in March.

However, including the most striking

smaller diamonds as sets in the main

Tender increased their appeal for jewellers,

as they could create a “special and unique

masterpiece” using all the stones from a set.

Neuman added, “They will enable jewellers

who end up purchasing them to create ‘legacy’

pieces as a testament to the range of colours

available from Argyle and for collectors to own

a ‘set’ of diamonds which had been carefully

curated over the mine’s final years.”

Indeed, Calleija told Jeweller, “My passion for

these magnificent gifts of nature will certainly

continue, as Calleija is fortunate to have one

of the world’s finest collections of Argyle pink

diamonds and their beauty will continue to

inspire me for years to come.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, selected

buyers have been invited to ‘virtually preview’

the Tender stones.

Physical viewings will take place later in

the year at the Argyle Mine in the Kimberley

region, and in Perth, Singapore and Antwerp.

Bids close on 2 December 2020.

Jewellery businesses integrated into new Palloys ordering

and account management platform


There is also a new ‘Diamond Database’, which allows

jewellers to order certified or non-certified stones loose

or set in finished designs, in sizes 0.30-carat to 6-carat

and melee.

“Our jewellery division offers an end-to-end jewellery

service including design, print, mould, casting and

finishing and now we also offer diamonds online. Handmaking

jewellers can also purchase our fabricated

metals, findings and casting granules at the same time,”

Habbal said.

“This new interface took two years to

design and implement, and is intended to

make Palloys a ‘one-stop destination’ for

all jewellery needs and services.”


“The instant quoting for CAD files, casting from their

own mould library, fabricated metals and diamonds

allows jewellers to enjoy accurate and instant quotes

they can pass onto their customers, giving the jewellers

the competitive advantage the need to secure a job by

giving the customer a quote on the spot, or eliminating

the guesswork when designing to fit within a budget.”

The platform also has an emphasis on customisation,

with jewellers able to select from more than 245,000

designs and adjust the metals, features, and stone size

according to the customer’s budget. The jeweller can

then view a 360-degree render of the design before

placing the order.

The first version of the site launched on 2 July and the

number of active accounts has since reached nearly 4,000.

Kratsas said the response had been “very positive,

with the vast majority of users speaking highly about

the website and its ability to report live prices in a few

clicks.” He added that more features are planned to be

added this year, including metal accounts and a Palloys

account status.

Pandora to close Sydney flagship store as lease

renegotiations fail


It was the second most-expensive in the Asia-

Pacific region, behind only Causeway Bay in

Hong Kong, and recorded the largest yearly

increase in rent of any location in the top 10.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in

a dramatic decrease in footfall. An analysis

by Roy Morgan and UberMedia found that the

number of mobile devices in the Sydney CBD

on Sunday 20 September was 8,842, compared

with 24,147 recorded on Sunday 5 January.

When approached for comment on the

Pandora negotiation, a spokesperson

for Scentre Group told Jeweller, “We

don’t comment on individual commercial

arrangements with our retail partners.”

The Group – which recorded a $3.6 billion loss

in the first half of the year – recently made

headlines for its rent dispute with long-term

tenant Mosaic Group, which resulted in the

temporary closure of 129 stores. The dispute

was later resolved under confidential terms.

Scentre Group collected 86 per cent of its

monthly rental billings for August, totalling

The decision

to close the

Pitt Street

Mall store



with three

Sydney CBD


$183 million. Pandora is not alone in

permanently closing stores due to failed

landlord negotiations during the COVID-19

crisis. Michael Hill International has

rationalised its store network in Australia,

while fashion jewellery chain Lovisa entirely

withdrew from the Spanish market due to

landlord intransigence.

The decision to close the Pitt Street Mall

store leaves Pandora with three Sydney CBD

locations. Two are company owned, and one

is franchised to “an owner with whom we

enjoy a great partnership,” Allen said.

30 | October 2020



P r o u dly d e sig n e d a n d

m a n u fac t u r e d in the U K

New buying group reaches another membership milestone


retailers that want to learn from each other and share with each other.

We are here for the marathon, not the sprint so we value the close

working relationships we have with all of our stores,” he explained.

IJC also recently held a two-hour Zoom session for suppliers, which

was “well received” and will be conducted regularly in the future.

“We set this buying group up with equal importance placed on our

suppliers and retailers,” said Zarb, adding, “We used this Zoom session

to present our IJC point of difference and delivered a wealth of information

on current retail trends and opportunities, as well as providing numerous

ways in which IJC can support suppliers in this changed [post-COVID]


Ahead of the busy holiday shopping season, Zarb said IJC would

continue to offer “hands-on support and expertise” as well as an

exciting Christmas promotion.

LVMH and Tiffany & Co. deal collapses; court battle looms







Tiffany is confident it has complied with all of its obligations

under the Merger Agreement and is committed to completing the

transaction on the terms agreed to last year. Tiffany expects the

same of LVMH.”

He added, “We believe that LVMH will seek to use any available

means in an attempt to avoid closing the transaction on the agreed

terms... There is no basis under French law for the Foreign Affairs

Minister to order a company to breach a valid and binding agreement,

and LVMH’s unilateral discussions with the French government

without notifying or consulting with Tiffany and its counsel were a

further breach of LVMH’s obligations under the Merger Agreement.”

“We are not aware of any other French company receiving such a request,

[therefore] it is all the more clear that LVMH has unclean hands.”

LVMH filed a countersuit in the Delaware court on 28 September. In a

statement, it asserted that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a “devastating

and lasting” impact on the jewellery company and that Tiffany & Co. failed

to include a “pandemic or epidemic carveout” clause in the original Merger

Agreement, which would have excluded the COVID-19 downturn from

being considered a Material Adverse Effect.

The filing also states: “Tiffany’s mismanagement of its business

constitutes a blatant breach of its obligation to operate in the

ordinary course,” adding that it was “burning cash”, “slashing capital

and marketing investments” and “taking on additional debt” while

improperly paying dividends to shareholders.

However, Tiffany & Co. said the claims of taking on debt were

“misleading” and that it “has never missed or reduced a dividend

payment” since 1987, including after the September 11 terrorist

attacks and during the Global Financial Crisis.

Proudly distributed by

Reports that the deal was in trouble first surfaced in early June,

when the LVMH board met in Paris to discuss its progress. However,

as recently as 30 June, Antonio Belloni, group managing director

LVMH, said, “We believe that Tiffany is one of the most iconic

jewellery brands. As such, it fully has its place in the LVMH portfolio.”

The four-day trial will be presided over by Joseph Slights III, Vice-

Chancellor of the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.

02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au


Now & Then

Holdsworth Bros. Jewellers

Celebrating 136 Years • MELBOURNE, VIC • A moment with Chris Holdsworth, co-director



Hampden William

Holdsworth opens a

jeweller and watchmaker

store at 241a Chapel

Street, Windsor


George Holdsworth

joins his brother in

the business, which is

renamed Holdsworth

Bros. Jewellers

L to R: The first store, located at 241a Chapel Street, Windsor, featuring its original name H.W. Holdsworth

Watchmaker & Jeweller; inset, Hampden William Holdsworth | The ‘new’ store at 21-23 Chapel Street in 1923

Holdsworth Bros. Jewellers was

established as H.W. Holdsworth,

Jeweller & Watchmaker, on Chapel

Street in the thriving suburb of Windsor,

Melbourne, in the spring of 1884 by

Hampden William Holdsworth.

Hampden was trained as a jeweller in

Geelong, and opened his store at age 24.

His premises replaced that of a parasol

and umbrella maker.

Hampden was rewarded for his choice of

location as this is where he met and later

married a pretty local girl named Ellen.

Later, Hampden asked his older brother

George – also a jeweller – to join the

business and in 1891 they changed the

business name from H.W. Holdsworth

to Holdsworth Bros. Jewellers.

After 20 years the brothers were able

to buy corner premises at 21-23 Chapel

Street. In 1913 they built a beautiful

modern jewellery store and factory,

consisting of a two-storey shop and

dwelling on the site.

That shop is still standing, although it

is now a convenience store.

World War I and the subsequent Great

Depression were major periods of

difficulty. During World War II, the shop

was forced to close as resources were

spent on the war effort and essential

goods and services.

I clearly remember the 1990 recession,

during my father’s time with the business;

we had to sell our family home and the

wholesale side of our business was put

into voluntary administration.

We emerged on the other side with two

stores, Knox and Eastland – which are

the same two we have today – and we

repurchased the wholesale business.

Holdsworth Bros. Jewellers is one of

three original tenants at Eastland.

The curfew and lockdown of Melbourne

during COVID-19 is the first time in 75

years Holdsworth Bros. Jewellers has

been forced to close its storefront, so this

would be the greatest challenge of my

ownership of our family legacy.

Finding your way into the family jewellery

business is not very hard! I started on the

shop floor when I was 14, doing whatever

was needed.

After completing my commerce degree

I took on the bookkeeping and computer

work for the head office, then completed

the Gemmological Association of

Australia courses in Gemmology and

Diamond Technology.

Following that, I travelled the world for a

year with no intention of returning. Dad

died from cancer in 2000, leaving the

business to my mum, so my brother Tim

and I returned to help her. Within five

years she had retired, and Tim and I

were running the business ourselves.

There is an ad I like from the Prahran

Chronicle dated 19 September 1884

announcing the opening of Hampden’s store.

It reads: “Jewellery! Jewellery! H.W

Holdsworth respectfully begs to announce

that he has opened a manufacturing

establishment at the above address where

he is prepared to execute any article in the


The brothers buy the

corner store, 21-23 Chapel

Street, and build a new

modern jewellery store,

factory, and dwelling


Hampden’s sons Roy,

Keith and Wallace

Holdsworth take over

the business after

fighting in WWI


Roy retires and his son

John Holdsworth takes

over the business


John Holdsworth

opens a second store

at the new Eastland

shopping centre


John opens a third

store in Frankston


Stores in Knox City

shopping centre,

Brighton and Highpoint

are opened


Australia falls into

recession; Holdsworth

Bros. Jewellers closes

four stores – including

Chapel Street


John Holdsworth

passes away, leaving

the business to his

wife Anna


Anna retires, with

sons Chris and Tim

Holdsworth taking

over the business

Above: The Eastland store is one of the shopping

centre’s original tenants, opening in 1967

trade that may be entrusted to him at

the lowest charges compatible with good

workmanship and guaranteed material.”

I could print this ad today, 136 years later.

We do a brilliant job of fixing, restoring

and making fine jewellery to an extremely

high standard for a fair price.

The business surviving for four

generations is, I think, a matter of


Holdsworths are notoriously slow

breeders, meaning there were never

more than two generations of the

right age to work together. If there

were more, I imagine that would

have created conflict!

Doing things the same is just as

important as adapting to change.

Maintaining our values and the core

aspects of what we do is part of why we

are still here. However, where we see

advantages to changing the way we do

things, we will take those on board.

Our business is traditional and looking

at photos from our stores in the ‘50s

isn’t much different from looking at

them today. Resisting the changes from

external factors that aren’t in line with

our business model is just as important

as recognising changes in the market.

Jewellery has a history spanning tens of

thousands of years – it is probably the

second-oldest profession! I don’t see

jewellery disappearing in my lifetime.

Read the full length interview

on Jewellermagazine.com

October 2020 | 33

10 Years Ago

Time Machine: October 2010

A snapshot of the industry events making headlines this time 10 years ago in Jeweller.

Historic Headlines

4 Pandora gears up to launch IPO

4 Online aid to push Swiss watches

4 Robberies take a nosedive in 2010

4 Georgini expands into bridal market

4 Life after beads for jewellers

Diamond Exchange spirals

into trouble

Prominent online jewellery retailer Diamond

Exchange has been hit by an application to wind

up the company, which resulted in the business

putting trading on hold in September while

it sought to resolve the issue. The shutdown

coincided with a series of consumer and trade

complaints made to the JAA.

Supreme Court documents state that Timothy

Stanford of Morgan Trusscolt Capital – who

is claiming an amount of $235,923.38 against

Diamond Exchange – made the application

Diamond Exchange chief financial officer Simon

Middleton told Jeweller he was hopeful the issue

would be resolved that week, without the need

for legal action. The JAA had began working with

Diamond Exchange to expedite refunds.

October 2010

ON THE COVER Protea Diamonds

Editors’ Desk

4Fight! Fight! Fight!: “This turf war

[between diamonds and charms]

reminded me of a schoolyard incident.

In one corner was the older student

– the incumbent who considered the

other to be an upstart... not worthy

of the attention they received.

In the other corner was the new kid

at school, wanting to be admired and

trying new things to become popular

and trendy.”


Make Sales Sparkle at Christmas:

“Inventory control is crucial in the

lead-up to the Christmas period, when

over-and under-stocking can have dire

consequences for your annual figures.

Retailers should aim to be more flexible

with their orders over this period.”

O’Neils to pursue growth with

Sapphex acquisition

Brisbane gem wholesaler O’Neils is gearing

up for growth after buying rival Sapphex from

industry veteran Terry Coldham.

Sapphex has two offices; one that trades as

Affiliated Importers in Melbourne, and the

other in Sydney. O’Neils will expand under

the new name of O’Neils Affiliated.

Brendan McCreesh, O’Neils co-owner, said

the acquisition provided both “economies of

scale” and “gives us a whole new scope to

fully develop some of the ideas we’ve been

working on for the last few years.”



Employment rules could catch

out retail jewellers

Retailers are unclear about the distinction

between part-time and casual workers under

the new employment Acts, it emerged at a trade

fair seminar presented by EMA Consultants

principal Rod Reid.

Reid said that if casual staff come to work at the

same time every week and work a predetermined

number of hours, they could be classed as parttime

under the new rules.

He suggested jewellers could sign individual

“flexibility arrangements” with staff, or pay

employees over the Modern Award rate to offset

overtime penalties.


4The One and Only Brand: “A change

in consumer thinking can only be

achieved with a bit more risk-taking

on the part of the jewellery industry

to highlight that not all jewellery is

the same.

Your own brand – your store and

identity – is your personal pot of

gold. It is what will transcend trends,

fashions, and fads. As a result, it

will be most effective when it is a

genuine reflection of you.”

– Natalie Barney, director Deborah

Windfield Jewellery

iPad technology to

transform industry?

Already touted as the future of retail store

service, one jewellery photographer believes

the iPad could revolutionise how suppliers

operate too.

Conrad Vanecek of Jewels Australia, who

catalogues product for jewellery brands including

Opals Australia, Cashelle and Ikecho Pearls, said

the new techology has dispensed with the need

for a paper portfolio, calling it “a game changer”.

With the iPad, a sales rep can update their stock

styles as soon as stock becomes available.

Meanwhile, photos of jewellery appear very

crisp and attractive on the iPad screen, with its

accurate colour calibration and high resolution.

34 | October 2020




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Retail Update

A time for hard work and optimism

The Christmas shopping season is crucial for retailers, and in the lead up to this most important time,

the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is advocating for our sector to increase government support.

When last we spoke in May I was talking

about the ARA’s Retail Recovery Protocol

– ways for storeowners to stay open amid

the COVID-19 pandemic across Australia.

But as we’ve learned from this event,

anything can happen, and predicting the

future is impossible at the best of times.

Firstly, we are encouraging members

to actively undertake the government’s

subsidised and accredited infection control

training, which the ARA provides.

We are also supporting broader measures

that will enhance safety:

Back then, no-one foresaw the events that

have since occurred in Victoria, where a

second wave of the virus prompted the

imposition of a protracted lockdown.

• The restriction of movement to one

person per household in the same way

we have for essential services

and supermarkets in recent weeks.

It’s a lockdown that is decimating not only

that state’s economy, but also having ripple

effects across the nation given Victoria’s

importance in the supply chain.

The ARA is working with members to

mitigate the impact on the retail sector

there, but unfortunately, what the state

is offering as far as a financial lifeline –

especially to small retailers – is not enough.

In fact, we are sadly anticipating a large

number of small retail operations in Victoria

will not survive, leaving thousands of

employees out of work.

And it may take as long as a decade to see

the once bustling and vibrant shopping

districts of Melbourne regain their full glory.

At the federal level, we are encouraged by

the extension of the JobKeeper program,

which has proven to be a vital tool in

supporting retail spending.

But as the economy continues to worsen,

we will see more people unemployed, and

for those on JobSeeker, we don’t believe it

is fair that their social safety-net returns to

below-poverty levels.

COVID-safe shopping

This is a critical time of the year for

retailers, particularly those in the

discretionary categories where as much as

two-thirds of their revenue is made in the

summer shopping season.

As of 1 September 2020, the ARA had

277 members from the jewellery sector,

representing 1,208 stores.

We realise how important this time of year is

particularly for jewellers. Hiring extra casual

workers and bringing in new inventory is

a difficult task when shops are closed, so

leading up to the holidays, each day counts.

The longer the wait to fully reopen, the more

difficult it will be to cash-up and fill the

coffers before the end of the year.

We believe a progressive opening up of the

retail space – in a safe manner – is the most

important first step in Victoria.

Shopping is safe – COVID-19 transmissions

within retail remain extremely low, with a

recent survey of ARA members across the

country indicating that 93.4 per cent had

no cases of COVID-19 transmission in their

stores or distribution centres.

From a practical point of view, there are

many steps retailers throughout Australia

need to take to not just create but maintain

a COVID-safe environment.

We realise how

important this

time of year is,

particularly for

jewellers. Hiring

extra casual

workers and

bringing in new

inventory is a

difficult task

when shops are


• Mandatory mask wearing by both

customers and staff to help protect

and mitigate any risk of transmission.

• The introduction of COVID marshals,

consistent with the South Australian

approach, for larger retailers.

• Extra COVID-safe measures identified

by the Victorian government to avoid

strict lockdowns.

Hope springs eternal

I understand the pain many of our retailers

are feeling right now, but I also know how

resilient and innovative we are. To see so

many businesses successfully adapt from

a pre-COVID environment to a post-COVID

environment is very heartening.

The bricks-and-mortar shops that adapted

to online delivery and/or click-and-collect,

and the clothing brands that made masks

fashionable to wear, there are countless

stories about how retail businesses have

transformed since COVID.

Yet there is still much work to be done

as we embark on the rebirth of retail.

Paul Zahra is CEO of the Australian

Retailers Association. As a leading retail

expert, he has worked in the industry for

nearly 40 years, from ASX-listed companies

to small businesses. retail.org.au

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the largest association representing the country’s $310 billion

retail sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. Providing expert advice across multiple disciplines

including leasing and wage rates, the ARA’s mission is to ensure retail success by informing, protecting,

advocating, educating and saving money for members.

October 2020 | 37

Completing my Diploma in

Gemmology has benefited

me as a jeweller in more

ways than I ever expected.

I have always had an interest

in gemstones and found

the course was not only

informative and challenging

but immensely rewarding.

Studying with the GAA has also

allowed me to meet like-minded

people from many facets of the

jewellery industry and grants me access

to resources that I will continue to use

throughout my professional career.

Emma Meakes FGAA

Jeweller, John Miller Design - WA

Diploma in


Enrolments now open

For more information

1300 436 338





Gem-Ed Australia


Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts

and consumers about gemstones



Jade Part I: Jadeite

L to R: Yewn High Jewellery earrings | Tiffany & Co. pendants | Wallace Chan brooch

Below: Artisan Jewelry Ring, Lydia Courteille ring

The lustrous texture and luminous colours

of polished jade have been prized for

thousands of years. Ancient cultures in

North, Central and South America, New

Zealand, Asia and Europe valued jade

for its beauty, hardness and durability;

properties that made it suitable for use

in implements, jewellery, regalia and

decorative items.

Wearers believed jade endowed them with

long life, good health and fortune, and today

jade jewellery still has strong traditional

associations in many cultures.

The name ‘jade’ is the commercial term

used for jadeite and nephrite. Despite their

similar appearance, these minerals have

distinct gemmological properties.

Both are silicates; jadeite is a sodium and

aluminium silicate, while nephrite is a

calcium and magnesium silicate.

Both are polycrystalline in structure, with

many interlocking microscopic crystals,

making them some of the toughest

materials in the gem world.

So, what is the difference between the two?

This month, we focus on jadeite.

Typically, the name jadeite is associated

with a rich deep green colour, but the gem

is found in many hues – pale green, deep

green to black, shades of mauve and blue,

as well as white, red, brown and yellow –

and is often mottled. The richer and more

even the colour, the higher the value.

In China, jadeite of fine green colour

and translucency was once reserved

for the Emperor’s court and is known

as ‘imperial jade’.

‘Tomb jade’ is the name used for reddish

brown jade, while ‘icy jade’ or ‘water jade’

denotes the colourless, almost transparent

form of the gem.

Jadeite has a hardness of 6.5-7 on Mohs’

scale, making it suitable for use in a range

of jewellery. However, it is the gem’s tenacity

and capacity to be carved and fashioned,

along with its vitreous lustre, that makes it

attractive to jewellers and gem carvers.

As with many other gemstones, jadeite is

treated to improve colour and lessen the

appearance of blemishes.

A classification system based on the type

of treatment applied to the gem is used

to describe the quality (and hence value)

of jadeite.

The system uses the letters A, B and C, and

was developed by traders in Hong Kong

where much of the world’s jadeite is traded.

‘A’ refers to untreated jadeite; however, it

may be waxed and as this is a removable

treatment that affects only the surface of

the gem, it does not have to be disclosed.


From the French

translation of the

Spanish phrase piedra

de ijada, meaning

‘stone of the side’

Colour: Many, from

pale and deep green

to pink, lavender,

and black

Found in: Myanmar

(Burma), Guatemala,

and Russia

Mohs Hardness: 6.5–7

Class: Pyroxene

Lustre: Subvitreous

Formula: NaAlSi 2

O 6

‘B’ jadeite has been treated with acid to

remove stains and noticeable inclusions.

This treatment can damage the gem’s

surface, making it fragile. Consequently, a

further treatment using resin to impregnate

the gem is used to enhance its durability.

The classification ‘C’ refers to ‘B’ jadeite

that has been also been dyed to improve

the gem’s colour.

Both ‘B’ and ‘C’ jadeite must be disclosed

as treated gems.

Given that the prices of ‘A’ jadeite can be

in the millions of dollars whilst ‘C’ jadeite

can be a few dollars for the same sized

piece, it is helpful to be able to distinguish

between them!

There are many simulants sold as jadeite.

Some gems that can look similar and are

sold to confuse the buyer include bowenite,

aventurine, prehnite, chrysoprase and

chalcedony. Standard gem testing will

identify simulants quite easily.

Key sources today of quality jadeite are

Myanmar (Burma), Guatemala and Russia.

Susan Hartwig FGAA combines her love

for writing with a passion for gems and

jewellery through her gemmology blog,

ellysiagems.com. For more information

on gemmology courses and gemstones,

visit gem.org.au

October 2020 | 39


Retail Rent Review




The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the bubbling tension between

retailers and landlords to boil over – but the crisis has cleared the way

for a new paradigm, writes ARABELLA RODEN.


Retail Reality

Leasing premises is one of the highest

fixed costs associated with traditional

retail, alongside staff. Yet unlike staff

contracts, lease agreements are largely inflexible

– often with fixed minimum terms of five years

– and can increase beyond inflation for years

at a time regardless of trading conditions,

demanding tenants sacrifice margin or

constantly increase sales.

During good economic times, these fixed terms were

somewhat tolerable for businesses. However, the retail

environment has become increasingly challenging in

recent years; changing consumer habits, shrinking

margins, and increased competition have all served to

erode profitability.

Simon Fonteyn, managing director of retail leasing data

firm LeaseInfo Group, says, “Over the past five years, there

has been an increasing amount of capital required for

retailers to do business. In terms of leasing structures,

rents have generally been outstripping sales. Typically,

rents have escalated between 4–5 per cent per annum,

whereas retail sales have increased by, on average, 2 per

cent per year.”

Fonteyn says there was already a “shake-out” occurring

in the sector prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to

the high-profile collapse of several fashion and footwear

retailers – such as Bardot, Ed Harry, and Ziera – in 2019.

The arrival of the virus in January 2020 “accelerated

and amplified cracks that were already visible” in the

retail sector, according to the KPMG white paper Beyond

COVID-19: The Shifting Foundations in Retail Property,

which was published in June 2020.

“Retail precinct footfall had been in decline for years as

e-commerce penetration grew – recording 8.1 percent in

cumulative footfall losses over the three years to 2020.

Retailer profit margins and retail landlord yields were

being squeezed since 2017 and consumer confidence had

been in decline for most of 2019,” the paper’s authors note.

By mid-year, the Australian economy was in recession for

the first time in nearly three decades, and the effective

unemployment rate had reached 13 per cent, according

to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Consumer spending see-sawed, with the Australian


retail precinct

footfall decline,


KPMG, Beyond COVID-19:

The Shifting Foundations of

Retail Property


average yearly

increase in retail

rental cost

Simon Fonteyn



shopping centres

in Australia

The Retail

Doctor Group


vacancy rate in

shopping centres,

June 2020 – a

20-year peak

JLL Australia


proportion of

Australian retail

sales that took

place online in

March 2020

Australia Post, 2020

eCommerce Industry Report

Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recording the most precipitous

fall and meteoric rise in retail trade figures consecutively

in April and May. At the same time, foot traffic at shopping

centres and retail precincts collapsed by up to 80 per cent,

leaving businesses out in the cold.

In the midst of the unforeseen and turbulent conditions

precipitated by the virus, Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian

Retailers Association, notes that some landlords have

been unwilling to accept this new reality.

“The challenges endured by retailers over the course of

the pandemic have put a spotlight on the high cost of

rents,” he explains.

“Unsustainable annual increases to rent have been

a persistent problem for some time now, with rents

far outpacing revenue growth amid a changing retail

environment. We expect many stores will require ongoing

rent relief to help them recover – and when retailers win,

landlords win.

“Unsustainable annual increases to rent have

been a persistent problem for some time now,

with rents far outpacing revenue growth amid

a changing retail environment.”

PAUL ZAHRA, Australian Retailers Association

“Landlords need to remember that we are in a recession.

It’s a false economy for landlords to try to extract rent from

retailers that need cash reserves to survive,” he adds.

Indeed, Scentre Group, Australia’s largest shopping centre

landlord, recorded a $3.6 billion loss in the first half of

the year, including a $4 billion reduction in the value of its

property portfolio.

Negotiations with long-term tenant Mosaic Group – which

owns Rivers, Katies, and Noni B – collapsed in August,

resulting in the temporary closure of 129 stores by Scentre

Group. The dispute was resolved under confidential terms.

In September, Scentre Group’s negotiations with Pandora

Jewelry over its Pitt Street Mall flagship store also

collapsed. Pandora opted not to renew the lease and close

the store, which had been operating at the Sydney CBD

site for 10 years.

Peter Ryan, director of retail strategy firm Red

October 2020 | 41




Retail Property

Groups by Gross

Lettable Area

Communication, predicts that retailers will be in ‘survival

mode’ for at least the next two years as a result of the

pandemic. “Foot traffic is down, there has been a ‘forced’

shift to online retail, and sales and margin are under

enormous pressure,” he says.

“As household disposable incomes succumb to economic

pressure, stores will be subjected to intense pressure –

some of it appropriate, a lot of it unwarranted. Lease costs

and inclusions must be reduced or they run the risk of

becoming uneconomic.

“No retailer will be able to support high rents any longer

and therefore renegotiating terms is a critical success

factor both in terms of survival and growth,” Ryan says.

It’s a conclusion supported by the KPMG paper, which

notes, “Even if COVID-19 is quickly resolved, retailers

and landlords will need to ‘lean in’ to create a new and

more sustainable retail business model, which in turn

will require adaptations to the property model.”

Given the impact of the pandemic, two questions remain:

what will the retailer-landlord relationship look like, post-

COVID, and how can retailers shift the balance toward

more favourable terms?

Examining the retail landscape

According to analysis by the Retail Doctor Group’s Brian

Walker, Australia has 1,338 shopping centres, which

comprise 85 per cent of stores and attract 85 per cent

of overall shopping visitation.

These shopping centres are, in the main, owned and

operated by real estate companies including Scentre

Group, Vicinity Centres, and Stockland, many of which

are publicly traded.




Ideally, the relationship between retailer and landlord

is one of mutual benefit; while the latter collects rental

income, the former is meant to enjoy increased and highquality

footfall as well as reduced occupancy cost.


37 shopping centres in

Australia and 5 in NZ


3.8 million sqm

lettable retail space


64 shopping centres


2.5 million sqm

lettable retail space


35 shopping centres


1.02 million sqm

lettable retail space

QIC Global Real Estate


26 shopping centres and

retail precincts

Approximately 1.42 million

sqm lettable retail space


12 shopping centres


960,800 sqm

lettable retail space

Yet it is not always so.

Frank Salera, director Salera’s – a jewellery chain which

has been dealing with landlords since 1953 and operates

20 stores across Victoria and Queensland – observes,

“The key challenge is that landlords seek to maximise

the returns to their shareholders, who expect year-uponyear

increases – and this objective is irrespective of the

challenges of increasing retail performance, which is

often declining.

“This results in a situation where now, more than ever,

retailers are required to ‘throw the keys on the table’ [threaten

to vacate] before the landlords will consider a rent that affords

the retailer a minimum return on investment.”

“The key challenge is that landlords seek to

maximise the returns to their shareholders,

who expect year-upon-year increases –

and this objective is irrespective of the

challenges of increasing retail performance,

which is often declining.”


It’s a perspective shared by Balaji Sambasivam, chief financial

officer of large chain The Jewellery Group (TJG), which

operates 67 stores under the Mazzuchelli’s and Zamels

brands. Notably, TJG’s store count has decreased dramatically

since 2010, when it operated more than 120 stores.

When asked about the challenges of negotiating leasing

agreements, he said, “Landlords were unilaterally

considering only their property valuation and returns, with

less scope to look at the retailer’s commercial viability of

operating the store.”

He added, “There was lots of pushback in negotiating the

multiple stores as one portfolio, as they were stating that

each store has different cost dynamics and the owners’

expectations were different.”

When negotiating the terms of a lease, retailers have

historically been at a disadvantage, with Ryan noting

that they must often supply trading information to

landlords “only for them to turn around and use that

information to negotiate onerous terms based on a

percent-of-sales formula”.

42 | October 2020

Retail Rent Review | STRATEGY FEATURE



If current trends continue unabated, without

a flexible and reasonable response from

landlords, the retail landscape in Australia

could look dramatically different in the

coming years.

Overall, retail footfall has been in decline

since at least 2017 and at an accelerating

rate – which will likely continue as

e-commerce penetration increases.

Yet over the same period, rents have

increased, on average, by 4–5 per cent

per year, according to LeaseInfo Group

managing director Simon Fonteyn.

Tellingly, the vacancy rate across Australian

shopping centres reached its highest rate in

more than 20 years – 5.1 per cent – in June

2020, according to data from commercial

real estate firm JLL Australia.

For CBD-based shopping centres, the

vacancy rate is at more than 10 per cent.

Shopping precincts and strips have fared

even worse; an analysis by real estate

advisory firm Plan1 Project Management

found that Melbourne’s Chapel Street had

a vacancy rate exceeding 20 per cent

in June 2020.

Across the city’s 11 major retail strips, the

vacancy rate was 12.3 per cent, an increase

of more than 4 per cent when compared

with 2018.

Speaking at the Australian Financial

Review’s Virtual Retail Summit earlier this

year, Julia Forrest, a portfolio manager at

investment firm Pendal Group, speculated

that vacancy rates would likely increase

further, and that more retailers would opt

for holdovers – month-to-month contracts –

rather than long-term leases.

Peter Ryan, director of retail consultancy

RED Communication, says “The economic

reality is that we face an extended period

of poor market conditions with some

economists suggesting the impacts could

last a decade or more and that we have not

seen the worst of it yet.”

“The economic reality is that

we face an extended period of

poor market conditions with some

economists suggesting the impacts

could last a decade or more

and that we have not seen

the worst of it yet.”

PETER RYAN, RED Communication

However, Ryan believes “online is only part

of the solution” and that stores will “regain

their position as the centre of the customer

relationship – [but] when that happens

though is the critical question.”

Without a sustainable reduction in rent,

Ryan says retailers will face increasing

pressure to exit tenancies.

Meanwhile, Fonteyn argues that shopping

centres will not disappear from the

Australian landscape – but that they will be

“forced to change”: “Their model is getting

shoppers in, getting them to spend, and

getting them to stay as long as possible.



that has to be readjusted.

There will

be another iteration of

different types of use within

shopping centres.”

He adds that shopping centre

owners are constrained by strict

planning laws. “It’s not that easy to

introduce new shopping centres.

“There have been a couple of new centres

built [in the past 10 years], but the majority

have been there for decades and have

simply expanded their trading area.”

However, the shift toward mixed-use,

including residential, offices, services, and

lifestyle, may be hampered as consumers

increasingly opt to avoid crowded spaces

due to safety concerns.

Additionally, the KPMG white paper Beyond

COVID-19: The Shifting Foundation of Retail

Property notes that ‘destination shopping’

at large-scale centres is in decline, with

consumers increasingly preferring to

spend locally in what is referred to as

‘village shopping’.

At the same time, replacing tenants has

become “increasingly difficult”, with

landlords “having to work much harder to

attract new tenants and repurpose their

centres to make them relevant to their


In order to justify rental costs, the report’s

authors suggest that landlords provide

“supporting infrastructure” for retailers

who are moving toward omni-channel

sales, such as “kerb-side pick-up zones,

dark stores/floors, shared click and collect

counters, or parcel lockers”.

If these changes do not occur, the value

of shopping centre assets will continue to

decline – as will the Australian retail sector.

October 2020 | 43



0% Investments by retailers and landlords in

Australian retail footfall had been in decline for years - 1%


before COVID-19

the shopping Investments experience Australian by retailers had been and consumer landlords in confidence

- 1% working to the reduce shopping the experience rate of footfall had been decline

12 month rolling average YoY growth rate

- 2%

Index (>100 = positive outlook)


STRATEGY FEATURE | Retail Rent Review

working to reduce the rate of footfall decline

Jan 2017 – Mar 2020

- 2%

Jan 2017 – Apr 2020

- 3%


- 3%

- 4%




- 4%

Australian retail

Investments by retailers and landlords in

- 1%

- 5%



footfall had been

the shopping experience had been

- 5%

working to reduce the rate of footfall decline

in decline for years

- 6%

- 2%

- 6%


before COVID-19

- 7%

- 3%

- 7%


12 month rolling average

2017 2017 2018 2018 2019 2019 2020 2020

YoY growth rates from - 4%


January 2017 – March 2020

2017 2017 2018 2018 Positive 2019outlook

2020 2020

- 5%

-3.9% -3.9% -6.7% 100-6.7% -8.1% -8.1% -11.7% -11.7%

Source: KPMG report,

Negative outlook

using ShopperTrak data,

- 6%


Jan 2017-March 2020

. .

- 7%


Consumer confiden

2017 2018 2019


Cumulative Cumulative % growth % in growth footfall in footfall since 2016 since 2016


deteriorating prior t

Zahra describes another “information imbalance”:

“Smaller retailers, in particular, don’t fully know

their rights and what they can ask for. Landlords

are in the business of collecting rent, whereas

for retailers, rent is just one of many parts of the

business they need to manage.”

Additionally, many Australian states and territories

have required a minimum five-year term for

commercial leases. While providing stability for

retailers and security for landlords, these terms

have made it more challenging for retailers to

respond to downturns.

As a result, several states have taken steps to

amend the legislation governing commercial


“In NSW, which accounts for about a third of all

Australian retail, there used to be a requirement

of minimum five-year terms, but that has now

changed [with legislation passed in 2017],”

Fonteyn explains.

In South Australia, amendments to the Retail

And Commercial Leases Act came into force

in June and have streamlined the process for

acquiring a certified exclusionary clause to

shorten a lease term.

The changes also provide added protection and

reduce confusion for small and medium retail

tenants. John Chapman, South Australian Small

Business Commissioner, explains that the

amendments resulted from a lengthy period of

consultation and an independent judicial review.

“Some of the changes that have flowed through

2017 2018 2019 2020

Notes: (1) Based on ShopperTrak 60 data, ShopperTrak uses in-store foot traffic counters to collate foot traffic data;

-3.9% -6.7% -8.1% -11.7%

Notes: (1) Based on ShopperTrak data, ShopperTrak uses in-store foot traffic counters to collate foot traffic data; (2) G

Sources: Livewire Markets, Chart of the day: foot traffic for Australian retailers; AFR, Weak retail spending an un

Sources: Livewire Markets, Chart of the day: foot traffic for Australian retailers; AFR, Weak retail spending an uninten

include that landlords will be required

2019; ANZ - Roy Morgan Australian consumer confidence; KPMG analysis (2020)

2019; to provide ANZ - Roy Morgan in Australian penalties consumer for parties confidence; “not KPMG providing analysis (2020) the right


prospective tenants with a disclosure statement information or doing the right thing, or seeking


and a draft lease as soon as negotiations

information they are not required to,” according to

commence,” Cumulative % growth Chapman in footfall says. since 2016

Chapman. These 2017 penalties had not been 2018 updated 2019

since 1995.

“What that is aiming to do is make sure people

have as much information up front so they can

Notes: (1) Based on ShopperTrak data, ShopperTrak uses in-store foot traffic counters to collate foot traffic data; (2) Growth rate from previous to current year’s 12-month average (e.g. Jul 16

Sources: Livewire Markets, go Chart away of the and day: think foot traffic about for Australian it early. retailers; That provides AFR, Weak retail spending an unintended consequence of the banking royal commission; Savills Research Qua

2019; ANZ - Roy Morgan Australian consumer confidence; KPMG analysis (2020)

transparency around the stages of negotiation.”

“Shopping centres have tried, generally,

to change the mix to ‘experiential’

retailing – lifestyle precincts, casual

dining precincts, gyms – and away from

more traditional retail... Unfortunately

that has backfired during COVID-19

because experiential retail has been

hardest hit.”

SIMON FONTEYN, LeaseInfo Group

Additionally, the South Australian Small Business

Commission has produced a Retail Commercial

Leasing Guide, which is now required to be

provided to prospective tenants.

“This document is very much aimed at helping

tenants understand their obligations and what

a lease may contain, with frequently-askedquestions

and indeed tips on what to look out for,”

Chapman says.

Other changes include a “significant increase”

In the past five years, Fonteyn notes that shopping

centre landlords have also made significant

efforts to improve footfall, namely by shifting the

retail mix toward services and lifestyle.

“Shopping centres have tried, generally, to

change the mix to ‘experiential’ retailing – lifestyle

precincts, casual dining precincts, gyms – and

away from more traditional retail like apparel

and footwear.

“Unfortunately that has backfired during

COVID-19 because experiential retail has been

hardest hit,” he explains.

“Centres have also become more ‘all hours’ –

opening early and closing late – and they appeal

to different types of shoppers throughout the day.”

It’s a trend Salera has also observed: “With or

without COVID, the centres have spent the last

few years in considering how to maintain centres

as a hub of consumer activity.

“In the past, specialty retailers and department

stores formed the basis of attracting shoppers to

centres, which then created a demand for food

and lifestyle – such as cinemas.

“The apparent trend is that now landlord owners

are focusing on food and lifestyle as the primary

attraction for consumers, who will then frequent

the specialty stores.”














44 | October 2020

Retail Rent Review | STRATEGY FEATURE

As Fonteyn notes, the viability of the lifestyledriven

strategy has been significantly hampered

by COVID-19, at least in the short-term.

Whether footfall will recover to previous levels

remains to be seen, given that COVID-19 has also

accelerated another major retail trend of the past

five years: e-commerce.

Facing the headwinds

COVID-19 dealt a devastating blow to the

Australian economy, plunging it into recession

and increasing the official unemployment rate to

7.5 per cent, its highest level in 22 years.

At the same time, shopping centre footfall

declined by more than 80 per cent in 2020, when

compared with 2019, during the nationwide

lockdown. It remains about 20 per cent lower

in states that have emerged from restrictions,

according to data from ShopperTrak.

The KPMG white paper notes, “The higher the

footfall, the more time consumers dwell and the

more confident consumers are in their financial

wellbeing, the more money they spend with

retailers, who can then pay rent to landlords and

make a profit.

“The COVID-19 physical distancing measures

and the resulting recession work against all

three of these value drivers – footfall, dwell times

and consumer confidence.”

For practical reasons, consumers increasingly

turned to e-commerce while under lockdown and

have adapted to its convenience.





Since 2015, several major trends have

been noted in shopping centres. These

have occurred as a result of changing

consumer behaviour as well as external

pressures on specific categories within

the retail sector.

Foot traffic has been driven by different

factors: The number of department

stores and discount department stores

in shopping centres has shrunk.

Meanwhile, supermarkets – such as

Woolworths – and lifestyle businesses,

such as gyms, as well as cinemas

have been making up some of that lost

foot traffic.

Shopping centres have become

more ‘all hours’: Early opening and

late closing has increased in order to

appeal to different types of shoppers

throughout the day.

A move toward mixed-use

development: Shopping centre

landlords have shifted their model

to include a combination of retail,

residential, and offices. In the future,

this mixed-use model could also

include hotels.

Instability in the discretionary retail

sector leading to changing tenancy

mix: Retailers, particularly in fashion

and footwear, have been vulnerable

to increased competition from large

international entrants to the market, as

well as online-only fast retailers. This

has led to a ‘shake out’ of such tenants.

The Australian Financial Review reported that in

August 2020, e-commerce sales increased 56 per

cent for omni-channel retailers when compared

with April 2019. For online-only retailers, the

figure was 109 per cent.

That shift – however temporary – away from

bricks-and-mortar shopping has placed significant

pressure on retailers and landlords alike.

Vicinity Centres – which operates 60 shopping

centres across Australia, including Melbourne’s

Chadstone and Chatswood Chase in Sydney – was

recently forced to launch a $1.4 billion capital

raising to mitigate the decline in rental income,

while its overall real estate portfolio declined in

value by $1.8 billion for the first half of the year.

While retail sales fell a record 17.7 per cent in

April due to widespread lockdowns, the figure

rebounded 16.3 per cent in May as government

stimulus flowed through to consumers and

businesses, before stabilising in June.

However, the spending was largely concentrated

in necessities such as groceries, hardware, and

homewares. Fonteyn said the jewellery category

had been “heavily impacted”, though urban areas

had again borne most of the brunt.

With bricks-and-mortar retailers across

discretionary categories in dire straits, the

necessity of rent reductions, waivers, and

deferrals became clear.

“Meeting rental obligations is a significant

concern for retailers, with many stores still

suffering diminished revenue, particularly





16.3% 2%










October 2020 | 45

STRATEGY FEATURE | Retail Rent Review


The Response

to COVID-19

When it comes to

assessing the impact

of COVID-19 on

shopping centres,

Simon Fonteyn,

managing director

of retail data firm

LeaseInfo Group,

argues that the

figures paint a

nuanced picture.

“[The impact is]




specific – and within

shopping centres,

certain categories

are doing better than

others. Generally

speaking, the

smaller shopping

centres – what we



% change

by precinct


Sm all shopping


Large format

stores 2


shopping c entres


retail strips

Large shopping


Me lbourne




Reference periods

A vs. BA vs. C

27/01 –1 6/03 27/01 –2 7/04















Impact of COVID-19 on shopping centre

footfall by type. Source: KPMG/GapMaps.

term Neighbourhood centres – have been the least impacted

because customers are tending to spend and shop locally,

particularly for groceries. The most impacted have been

CBD shopping centres, for obvious reasons: the lack of office

workers and no international tourists,” he explains.

“In between those, in general the bigger the shopping centre,

the more impact has been felt, usually because of what their

mix entails. The exception to that rule would be shopping

centres in regional areas, which have not been impacted to

the extent of metro areas.” Fonteyn’s analysis is supported by

data from KPMG and GapMaps (see chart, above).

In terms of shopping strips or precincts, Fonteyn says the data

point to even more of a “mixed bag”.

“Some have been devastated by COVID-19. As an example, I

was recently at a strip mall in northwest Sydney which used to

be very busy, and the number of vacancies astounded me. Strip

malls have been affected because a lot of the businesses that

tend to go there are SMEs [small and medium enterprises] and

they have been hit really hard.”

“There are also high vacancy rates in Oxford Street in Sydney

and Chapel Street in Melbourne – the fashion districts – and

that gives you an idea that it’s really a mosaic.”

This information should be taken into account when predicting

how centres may recover in the medium- and long-term.

Paul Zahra

Australian Retailers


“Many landlords are treating

the Code’s minimum

provisions for rent relief as

their maximum requirement,

and are unwilling to offer

rent abatement higher than

50 per cent of the total rent

relief. However, it is unfair to

be entirely critical, as we’ve

also received a lot of positive


Peter Allen

Scentre Group & Shopping

Centre Council of Australia

“We all accept that

retail leases are legal

obligations and enshrined

in the laws of the states and

territories, yet we are also

commercial people and we

understand there needs to

be many factors taken into

consideration as we come to

an agreement.”

John Chapman

South Australian Small

Business Commissioner

“The vast majority of the

[mediations have been]

successful with the parties

in agreement. We don’t

expect a lot to go to court.

What we are finding is that

a lot of people, once we go

to the other party, come to a

resolution. They go away and

start talking again, and that’s

a great outcome.”

discretionary retailers and stores in CBD or tourist-dependent

locations,” Zahra says, adding that retailers would also incur

costs due to COVID-19 safety requirements.

On 7 April, the National Cabinet released a Commercial

Tenancy Code of Conduct to guide good-faith rent

renegotiations between retailers and landlords.

At the time, Peter Allen, CEO Scentre Group and chairman

of the Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA), said,

“We all accept that retail leases are legal obligations and

enshrined in the laws of the states and territories, yet we are

also commercial people and we understand there needs to

be many factors taken into consideration as we come to an

agreement on temporary arrangements.

“Our aim is, in a proportionate and measured way, to share

the financial risk and cash flow impact during the COVID-19

[pandemic] with the interests of all our stakeholders.”

“It is in our commercial interests as well as the

broader economy that SMEs have longevity within

our centres as they provide products and services

our customers want and support local jobs.”

ANGUS NARDI, Shopping Centre Council of Australia

Between March and May, SCCA members were able

to complete more than 6,400 revised rent agreements

with small and medium-sized retailers, representing

approximately 45 per cent of those who had requested relief.

As of 14 August, the SCCA’s assistance extended to retail

tenants totalled $1.6 billion.

Angus Nardi, executive director SCCA, said, “Our industry

has provided substantial rental assistance to both SME

[small-and-medium enterprise] and non-SME retailers...

We have strived

to strike a balance between helping those who need it while

at the same time confronting our own financial pressures in

the face of ongoing disruptions to regular trading to protect

public health.”

He added that SCCA members would continue “working closely

and co-operatively” with SMEs, saying, “It is in our commerical

interests as well as the broader economy that SMEs have

longevity within our centres as they provide products and

services our customers want and support local jobs.”

46 46 | October | August 2020 2020

Retail Rent Review | STRATEGY FEATURE

Top 3 retail categories offered

rental assistance












Meanwhile, Grant Kelley, CEO Vicinity Centres, has drawn ire

for suggesting that lease agreements could include base rent

plus a variable component based on retailers’ e-commerce

sales, justified by bricks-and-mortar stores acting as

‘showroom and fulfilment channel’.

Across the retail spectrum, the ARA’s Zahra reveals that

renegotiation results have been moderately successful:

“We have heard from retailers that the majority of landlords

are sticking strictly to the provisions specified by the National

Cabinet’s Code of Conduct, however some landlords are

extending better offers than the code requires which is

welcome feedback.

“Disappointingly, we have heard that many landlords are

doing as little as possible under the law. Many landlords

are treating the Code’s minimum provisions for rent relief

as their maximum requirement, and are unwilling to offer

rent abatement higher than 50 per cent of the total rent

relief,” he says.

“However, it is unfair to be entirely critical, as we’ve also

received a lot of positive feedback. One medium-sized

landlord wrote to all tenants to advise them of a six-month

holiday for rental payments to affected tenants.”

The most potent and visible example of the conflict between

retailers and landlords has been the public campaign of Premier

Investments, Australia’s largest retail tenant and the owner of

brands such as Peter Alexander, Just Jeans and Smiggle.

Led by chairman Solomon Lew and CEO Mark McInnes,

Premier refused to pay rent during a six-week shutdown in

the first wave of the pandemic, and has since advocated for

a percentage-of-sales-only model.

Prominent chains, such as jeweller Michael Hill and fashion

retailer City Chic, chose to rationalise their store network

and close locations due to the intransigence of landlords.

In the jewellery category, Salera said his business was offered

the opportunity to renegotiate with landlords, but the terms

were “not acceptable”.

In contrast, Sambasivam said The Jewellery Group’s

landlords were “by and large more than willing to discuss

the opportunities to defer, renegotiate or waive rent”.

On the state level, support has been extended by various

governments to assist retailers. The Victorian Government’s

lCommercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, which includes a

moratorium on evictions for SME tenants meeting certain

criteria – has been extended to 31 December 2020.

Judy O’Connell, Victorian Small Business Commissioner,

Judy O’Connell

Victorian Small Business


“We want to help tenants and

landlords negotiate the best

possible rental outcomes, so

they have one less thing to

worry about and can focus on

coming out of this pandemic

in good shape. We’re

confident the new reforms

to commercial tenancy laws

will give tenants and their

landlords the much-needed

support and security they

need during these incredibly

tough times.”

Jane Cohen


“I don’t necessarily think

retailers will be able to get

more out of the landlords,

but both will be able to

create more value if they

shift to a more collaborative


Peter Ryan

RED Communication

“The problem about

renegotiating rent is one of

fairness to both parties. A

landlord must get a return on

investment or the asset will

become starved of capital

and operational expenditure

– and that includes

promotions which attract






Examine your business model and decide whether it is

viable for the long-term: what is the existing occupancy

cost, and what is a sustainable rent going forward? How

expensive is the store fit-out and how long will it take to

amortise the cost?

Analyse market trends and uncertainty to determine

whether a short, flexible lease is preferable to a longer term

Analyse the performance of your store and the shopping

centre or precinct: is it in the best possible location in terms

of the centre’s retail mix, and delivery of quality foot traffic?

Would it be better suited to another area, or even moving to a

shopping strip?

Given the changes in consumer behaviour, how is the

shopping centre management planning to support retailers

and drive foot traffic over the next two to five years?


Seek advice from your buying group or industry

organisation, such as the Australian Retailers Association:

inform yourself about the landlord’s obligations, what you are

entitled to as a tenant under legislation, and what you are not

required to provide – such as cash flow projections or financial


Refer to the relevant retail tenancy legislation in your state

– several have been updated in recent years with increased

protections and flexibility for tenants

Check your relevant Small Business Commissioner’s

website for guidelines and frequently asked questions

regarding commercial tenancies


Bring an attitude of fairness and good faith to the

conversation, but recognise that the survival of your business

is paramount

Be honest with the landlord about what you can afford

The Australian Retailers Association recommends retailers

avoid signing a non-disclosure agreement, as this limits

their options for collective bargaining

If you are unable to come to an agreement, seek support

from your state or territory’s relevant Small Business

Commissioner, as many are equipped to provide mediation

services at low or no cost

August October 2020 2020 | | 47 47

STRATEGY FEATURE | Retail Rent Review





told Jeweller, “We want to help tenants and

landlords negotiate the best possible rental

outcomes, so they have one less thing to

worry about and can focus on coming out

of this pandemic in good shape.

“We’re confident the new reforms to

commercial tenancy laws will give tenants

and their landlords the much-needed

support and security they need during

these incredibly tough times.”

By July, O’Connell’s office – the Victorian

Small Business Commission – had received

825 applications to resolve rent disputes;

of those that were finalised, 96 per cent

resulted in rent relief for the tenant.

Meanwhile, South Australian Small

Business Commissioner Chapman said,

“The vast majority of the [mediations

have been] successful with the parties in

agreement. We don’t expect a lot to go to

court. What we are finding is that a lot of

people, once we go to the other party,

come to a resolution. They go away and

start talking again, and that’s a great

outcome,” Chapman said.

He added, “There will be those periods for

businesses who were shut down and a lot

of them have already come to agreements

with their landlords.

“There will be others that haven’t. There will

be those that open up and landlords saying,

‘Well, you’re open now, I want all my rent.’

That is not realistic in some cases and there

will be a lot subject to negotiation.”

Indeed, the need for negotiation and

managed expectations – on the part of

both retailers and landlords – is critical

in the post-COVID period.

Bridging the gap

For retailers, the COVID-19 pandemic

dramatically rebalanced the value

equation with landlords, most notably by

the decrease in footfall, the increase in

e-commerce trading, and the rising

number of store vacancies.

“Since the early 2000s at least, supply has

always exceeded demand for shopping

centre space. As a result of COVID-19, with

the number of retailers that have gone out of

business, you are seeing a situation where

demand exceeds supply,” Fonteyn explains.

“Retailers can’t afford now to hold any space

that is not making money. Large groups

may have one or two stores that they are

prepared to take a loss on, but the majority

will have to be profitable or breakeven. The

pandemic has simply created a seismic shift

in supply and demand – and hence, rent.”

“There will be [consumers] who

jump straight back to the way

they were, but even if just a small

percentage move [their shopping

patterns], it makes such a difference

on these fixed-cost businesses – both

the landlords and the retailers.”

Jane Cohen, KPMG

Indeed, at the Australian Financial Review’s

Virtual Retail Summit, held on 25 June, Ian

Bailey, managing director Kmart Group,

confirmed that 10–20 year leases and

yearly increasing rents would no longer be

acceptable to large anchor retailers.

“None of us are going to be signing anything

like that in the future because what this

period of time has told us is things can

happen where sales decline completely

outside of the control of the retailer – and

rents do not,” he said.

Jane Cohen, a partner at KPMG Australia

and co-author of the white paper, observes

that consumer behaviour has been

drastically changed by the virus and those

trends are likely to continue, placing more

pressure on both landlords and retailers to

create a more sustainable framework.

“There will be people who jump straight

Higher vacancy

rates means

there is less

competition for

retail space, both

in centres and




creates a good

environment for

negotiating a

new, better deal

as landlords

look for repeat


Large shopping

centres are still

beholden to


putting upward


on rents

The consumer

shift to ‘village


makes smaller

centres more

appealing for


As e-commerce

grows, shopping

centres must

adapt to offer


for omni-channel


back to the way they were, but even if just

a small percentage move, it makes such a

difference on these fixed-cost businesses –

both the landlords and the retailers,” she says.

It’s a conclusion supported by Fonteyn, who

says, “Post-COVID, it’s a whole new world.

People are preferring to work from home,

at least part of the time, because they don’t

have to bother with the commute and it’s

convenient for them.

”That means the consumer behaviour will

change; they might shop more locally, so

there will be less demand in the CBD.”

Salera notes, “Landlord’s expectations of

achievable rent will need to change. In the

short run, the only way that landlords will

accept the possibility that they will generate

less rent from sites is when they get an

increased level of vacancy.

“This may well escalate in the years

immediately after the end of the COVID

financial support as more businesses

are very likely to close their doors due to

unsustainable rent.”

Zahra adds, “If retailers fall over due to

rental costs, landlords may not be able to

replace them – it’s better to have a tenant

with reduced rent than an empty store. It

would make more sense to come to an

arrangement that allows that tenant to

continue to trade profitably.”

For retailers, the balance of power has

tipped slightly in their favour. In addition to

further regulatory protections and free statebased

mediation services, the Australian

Competition and Consumer Commission

(ACCC) issued a draft determination granting

new collective bargaining powers to the ARA

and its members.

“The ACCC’s draft determination will help

our members exchange information and

collectively bargain with landlords to achieve

more productive outcomes during this

uncertain time,” Zahra says.

“The provision is time-bound, and is

48 | October 2020

Retail Rent Review | STRATEGY FEATURE

scheduled to elapse on 1 September

2021, which will provide retailers with a

crucial opportunity to inform themselves

and understand what is going on in the

marketplace. This will help press the reset

button on future lease agreements.”

Meanwhile, Sambasivam predicts that “the

valuations and cost structure of operating

the stores will come to realistic levels, and

landlords’ objective at this point in time is

ensuring that more stores are open for trading.”

When it comes to the timing of a negotiation,

Fonteyn observes that landlords have been

“very accommodating” for his clients and

have presented the most favourable terms

in 10 years.

“Landlords are desperate for certainty or

repeat income, so the next year or two is a

great time to negotiate if you are due for a

lease renewal,” he says, adding the caveat

that with so much uncertainty retailers may

instead take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.

He notes that many commercial tenants are

“on holdover” – paying rent month-by-month:

“They are dealing with all the COVID-19

legislation and paperwork, so most are not

even thinking of renewals at the moment, they

are just getting through to September.”

In the long-term, Fonteyn predicts rents will

adjust in line with the retailer’s sales:

“Retailers can’t continue to run businesses

that are not profitable. It’s going to be

much more about what’s sustainable for

“If retailers

fall over due

to rental costs,

landlords may

not be able to

replace them

– it’s better to

have a tenant

with reduced

rent than an

empty store.

It would make

more sense

to come to an


that allows

that tenant

to continue

to trade


Paul Zahra,




that business – and if the business is

profitable, then the rent should align more

broadly with the average for that sort of

category,” he explains.

While jewellery stores have previously

been “in the crosshairs of shopping

centres” to pay a higher rate per square

metre for premium sites, Fonteyn advises

that jewellers will be less receptive, as the

vulnerabilities of the category have been

laid bare.

Speaking at the Virtual Retail Summit,

Julia Forrest, a portfolio manager at

investment firm Pendal Group, said,

“We’re looking at it as an opportunity for

rents to be reset to sustainable levels

and once they’re at sustainable levels it

will give us the confidence to put a high

multiple on those earnings as retailers

and sales improve.”

She rejected a Premier Investments-style

model as unacceptable to shareholders.

Salera views the future of retailer-landlord

negotiations through a pragmatic lens:

“There are certain lease parameters that

landlords have considered to be nonnegotiable,

and I doubt that we will see a

situation where small to medium retailers

will be able to vary these core terms.

“However, I believe that landlords will be

inclined to be more lenient in areas where

they have greater latitude to negotiate,

rent being one such area.”

Those sentiments were echoed by

KPMG’s Cohen, who said: “I don’t

necessarily think retailers will be able to

get more out of the landlords, but both

will be able to create more value if they

shift to a more collaborative approach.”

Sambasivam reached a similar

conclusion, saying, “I am sure the

relationship will be more amicable with

more mutual benefits, rather than it being

a ‘my way or highway’ approach.”

Meanwhile, Ryan cautions both retailers

and landlords against dismissing the

requirements of the other. “A landlord

must get a return on investment or the

asset will become starved of capital

and operational expenditure – and that

includes promotions which attract

customers. A retailer needs the lowest

rent possible to survive,” he explains.

“It is not landlords’ job to subsidise a retail

business, but lease costs should reflect

what is being delivered to the retailer.

If it is the wrong type of foot traffic or a

low level of foot traffic, then the onus

falls to the landlord to either improve the

outcome or reduce the rent.”

With realistic and flexible terms in place,

retailers can thrive in the new trading

environment – and landlords can expect

stable profits over the long-term. The

result is mutually assured success,

rather than destruction.


Victorian Small Business Commission

13 87 22

NSW Small Business Commissioner

South Australian Small Business


Small Business Development Corp. (WA)

13 31 40

Queensland Small Business


1300 312 344

Business Tasmania

1800 440 026

Tenancy Unit, Consumer Affairs (NT)

1800 019 319


Australian Retailers Association (ARA)

1300 368 041

National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct

Australian Treasury

KPMG Beyond COVID-19: The Shifting

Foundations in Retail Property

October 2020 | 49




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Holiday Stock Special



Ahead of the all-important

Christmas shopping period,

Jeweller has compiled a selection

of jewellery and watches ready

to stock that will inspire and

delight your customers.

October 2020 | 51

Holiday Stock Special


Ania Haie

Duraflex Group Australia

302 Fine Jewellery


Balancing a centrepiece

of natural labradorite

with a scattering of

sparkling cubic zirconia,

the unmistakably chic

Midnight Star pendant is

the perfect addition to a

day or evening ensemble.

This holiday season, help your

customers find the perfect gift

with 302 Fine Jewelry, Stuller’s

collection of on-trend, relatable

pieces that help women express

their individuality. In stocking

the 302 Fine Jewelry range, you

will also receive ready-to-use

marketing materials and a preloaded

social media calendar.


Set to become your everyday

favourites, the Pearl Mini Hoop

Earrings – crafted in 14-carat

gold-plated 925 sterling silver

– feature an on-trend baroque

pearl drop.


Bella Donna Silver

Harmony Ball pendants are timeless

and uniquely classic, coming from

the ancient tradition of chiming

jewellery, also known as ‘angel

callers’. The magical, gentle chiming

sound soothing and relaxing when

worn, bringing joy to everyday life.

Handmade in sterling silver, Harmony

Balls represent friendship and love,

which makes them the perfect gift for

loved ones.

Australian Fine Jewellery

This Sterling Silver Adjustable 50cm

Necklace featuring an Australian

South Sea cultured pearl is the musthave

jewellery piece for this summer.

Available in both 1mm and 2mm chain

thickness and in black Tahitian pearl.


Affirmation Harmony Balls are often

given by best friends and family as a

special keepsake. Each day you wear

your Harmony Ball, you will set your

intention for yourself and for the world

with an affirmation, such as ‘love’,

‘prosperity’, or ‘peace’. Every time you

hear your pendant chiming, you will be

reminded of your affirmation, helping

to focus your mind toward positive

manifestation and potential.



Duraflex Group


Fall for the

luminous details

in the Altissima


including sparkling

pavé cubic zirconia.

An audacious and

authentic feast for

the eyes, the Preziosa

collection blends a

selection of genuine

gemstones with either

white cubic zirconia or

black spinel.


Coeur de Lion


The Natural Selection collection includes beautiful

natural gemstones that give each piece a unique

and special look. This iconic GeoCube set features

gorgeous soft purple amethyst, soft green

aventurine, pastel pink rose quartz and white howlite,

interspersed with sparkling Swarovski crystals.


Dansk Copenhagen


The spring/summer range introduces

new finishes in earthy matte grey and

gold, with statement earrings and

pendants, such as these softly looping

tiered earrings and pendants from the

Tabitha collection.


52 | October 2020


Athan introduces the Italian-made

adjustable double-loop trace chain,

with lobster clasp. Available in

9-carat and 18-carat yellow, white,

and rose gold, and in lengths 42cm–

45cm and 50cm. Also available as a

standard chain.

For more than 20 years, Athan

has supplied the jewellery industry

with the highest quality 18-carat

Italian-made tennis mounts. In

addition to the classic four-claw

diamond cut style in a variety of sizes

and settings, Athan now offers the

traditional wire-prong style in sizes

3pt to 20pt.


Blush Pink Diamonds

SAMS Group Australia

Each Blush Pink Diamonds piece

is created with certified pink

diamonds from the Argyle Mine

and carefully crafted in 18-carat

gold with fine white diamonds.


Diamonds by DGA

Duraflex Group Australia

DGA is proud to

partner with one of

the world’s leading

diamond jewellery

manufacturers to bring

you high-quality pieces

at exceptional price

points. Our diamonds

are all ethically sourced,

natural stones. The

range includes 9-carat

and 18-carat gold bridal

sets, wedding bands,

and fashion earrings,

bracelets, rings and

pendants. New designs

now available in rose

gold. dgau.com.au

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Holiday Stock Special


Fabuleux Vous

The Le Ombré Crown Necklace

sits on a 45cm wheat chain and

is made from sterling silver,

with the coin pendant oxidised

to create an intriguing shadowed

effect. The matching Le Ombré

Crown Earrings feature the same

striking oxidised effect, and sit on

sterling silver hooks.



Miln & Co.

Hurst hinged silver bangles are

handmade and hand-engraved

in New Zealand. The 5mm EN

5G S/S Bangle (far right) is set

with five red garnets, and is

also available with sapphire,

amethyst or emerald.


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Ichu Jewellery

Freshwater pearl is the centrepiece

of Ichu Jewellery’s new sterling

silver and gold-plated collection.

The elegant Twisted Pearl Necklace

frames a single freshwater pearl,

coupled with a fine cable chain –

perfect for layering or solo wear

and paired with the matching

earrings. Available in white pearl

with sterling silver, white pearl with

9-carat gold plated, and lavender

pearl with sterling silver.




West End Collection

The newly-released Lusso

Earrings are a standout

feature of the Georgini Luxe

Collection. Featuring 4.5

carats of cubic zirconia,

the earrings make a

statement and are ideal

for bridal and other special

occasions. With new Georgini

collections released every

two months, the range

remains contemporary and

fresh all year round, catering

for seasonal influences and

celebrated dates.




Create Special Memories

KL Diamonds

KL Diamonds is the home of all the incredible Argyle

natural fancy colours, from light champagne to the

deepest pinks. Locally made with a lifetime warranty,

KL Diamonds jewellery makes for the perfect Christmas

gift. The beautifully crafted Argyle Champagne Rain Drop

Pendant (left) features a stunning champagne centre

stone surrounded by white diamonds, while the Argyle

Pink Moon Ring (above) sparkles with a blush Argyle

pink set with sparkling white diamonds.


Mark McAskill

New to the Mark McAskill range this year, these

bold E730 Shepherd Hook Drop Earrings

feature a pair of octagonal radiant-cut London

blue topaz in 8x5mm size. Eight round brilliant

cut diamonds in three claw settings highlight

the centre stones, totalling 0.10 carats. Also

available in morganite and peridot.

with the perfect Christmas gift for that

special young lady she will treasure forever.

The stunning new Penelope Diamond Ring

can be worn alone as a striking dress ring or

paired with a variety of engagement ring styles.

The dainty design features both marquise and round

brilliant cut diamonds in claw settings, styled to create

a crowned effect, totalling 0.18 carats. Available in

9-carat or 18-carat white gold, or platinum.


FREE gift box included

Ph: +61 3 9587 1215

Email: info@stonesandsilver.com.au


Holiday Stock Special





New from Nomination is

a collection of fun and

enticing composable links. From

cheeky little boys and

cute puppies to double links

for super mums, or 18-carat

gold links with crystal 18, 21,

30 or 40 numerals – perfect for

celebrating a milestone birthday

– the latest links make for the

perfect gift or self-expression.


DGA diamonds are all natural and

ethically mined. The range includes

9K and 18K gold bridal sets, wedding

bands, fashion earrings, bracelets,

rings and pendants.

New season designs now available.

Paterson Fine Jewellery

Given the high gold price, it is an ideal time

to think of platinum for a strong fully-lined

men’s signet ring – one of this season’s

biggest trends. From classic minimalist

rings ready to be engraved, to stylish

designs set with natural gemstones, these

pieces are a must for your Christmas stock.


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New from Qudo are the gorgeous

shimmering Swarovski Crystal Delite

interchangeable tops in Royal Blue,

Royal Red and Laguna Turquoise –

bright, vibrant colours perfect for the

warmer months. Also just released is

the new Aurora Boreale Sesto top (top

left), which picks up the colours around

it and changes as the light reflects.

Alongside the exciting fresh colours are

new shapes, including the softly rounded

10mm Sesto top. Meanwhile, the new

Canino Deluxe 10.5mm is a smaller,

flatter style, surrounded by crystals.


02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au

Holiday Stock Special


Nomination Instinct

The new Instinct Collection from

Nomination offers beautiful natural

stone bracelets in stylish designs,

ideal for layering and representing

excellent value for money. The

perfect unisex gift, these pieces

look great layered together or

with the Composable bracelets.



Pandora helps to celebrate the

holidays with elegant, hand-finished

jewellery that makes every moment

shine a little brighter. From

sparkling sterling silver to Pandora

Rose pieces, the Pandora Timeless

collection is designed to elevate and

celebrate. Give the gift that shows

loved ones how special they are.


Holiday Stock Special


Stones & Silver

Introducing the new Zodiac Range of rings

and stud earrings, made from 925 sterling

silver and measuring 10mm diameter. All 12

zodiac star signs are available. An ideal gift

for Christmas and all year round.



New to Australia and New

Zealand, RAS delivers the

best in Spanish design

and craftsmanship, with

a unique and artistic feel.

These beautiful earrings

from the Orange Bouquet

collection feature a

brightly coloured enamel

florals, perfect for a fresh

summer look, with a

matching pendant.


The signet ring is an iconic piece of

jewellery for men, but these accessories are

also being embraced by women. Simple and

timeless, this feminine heart-shaped signet

ring is crafted from 925 sterling silver set with

a small sapphire. Also available in 14-carat

yellow gold plated and rose gold plated with

either a pink cubic zirconia or ruby.


Pink Kimberley

SAMS Group Australia

Argyle pink diamonds are beyond rare, and among

the most precious in the world. Pink Kimberley

jewellery is crafted from an exquisite blend of white

diamonds and natural Australian pink diamonds

from the Argyle Mine, located in the East Kimberley

region of Western Australia. An Argyle Pink Diamond

Certificate accompanies all Pink Kimberley pieces

containing pink diamonds greater than 0.08ct.



Mens Signet Rings

Order now

to get in time

for Christmas!

Go platinum for a strong fully-lined men’s signet ring.

Don’t miss out on sales and ensure you’re keeping stock

of this season’s most trending item.

03 9555 9344



Thomas Sabo

Duraflex Group Australia

Discover the new Charming Collection from

Thomas Sabo! A limitless variety of dainty and

fun necklaces, bracelets, rings, pendants and

earrings awaits. Express your personality – stack

and layer sterling silver and gold plated designs

to create your own mix-and-match looks.




Iconic. Swiss. Sustainable.

Worth & Douglas

Worth & Douglas is inspired by all things Australian

with the latest addition to the Memento line, the

Australiana Collection. From kookaburras to koalas,

these pendants are available now in silver or gold,

and each comes with Memento box and chain.

Signet rings are

enjoying a revival

right now as a key

jewellery accessory for

all genders and price

points, and sales are

on the rise. Worth &

Douglas’ new sleek and

solid signet designs are

available in all precious

metals and optionally

set with white and blue



The stop2go


This timepiece stands for

quality, precision and style.

The stop2go has the unique

functionality of the Original

Swiss Railway Clock: Whilst

the second hand temporarily

halts at 12:00, the minute hand

gracefully jumps to the next

minute in time. Since 1944,

this unchanged design offers

perfect readability day and

night thanks to the patented

BackLight design.




Maleras – formerly known as

Mats Jonasson – is internationally

acclaimed for crystal sculptures of

wildlife, flowers and folklore themes.

It has been in production since

1890 at the glassworks in southern

Sweden’s ‘Kingdom of Crystal’

region. Using techniques such as

casting, glassblowing, hand painting

and engraving, Maleras reflects a

sustainable artisan tradition. Each

piece is a collectable work of art.


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Holiday Stock Special


Baume & Mercier

Duraflex Group Australia

The Clifton Baumatic Day-Date,

Moon-Phase creates a new

aesthetic for the Clifton range,

exceptionally crafted in a solid

block of rose gold or steel.

It features a new, smaller

complication with a unique

look as well as a self-winding

movement with five-day

power reserve. In addition

to functional excellence, the

timepiece exemplifies Baume &

Mercier’s pursuit of proportion

and harmony in the choice of

materials and colours.



The Citizen Promaster

BN0158-18X is proof that a

dive watch can be fun and

functional. Equipped with

Eco-Drive technology, it is

powered by light and never

needs a battery. Featuring

a one-way rotating elapsed

time bezel and screw

down crown, it is stylishly

understated with its

dazzling emerald green

dial. It take you to your

limits and is the perfect

companion for a life of




SAMS Group Australia

Classique was created

to provide quality Swiss

timepieces to the

world, and now proudly

boasts the widest range

of watches in Australia.

We create innovative

timepieces whose

components are of the

highest quality and

possess a distinctive

and unmistakable

personality. Fashions

may change, but

Classique watches

retain their uniquely

timeless quality.


EasyRead Time Teacher


EasyRead Time Teacher

EasyRead’s best-selling standard

watches feature a Seiko movement,

fabric strap and a special teaching

dial that children find very easy to

understand and remember. Mums and

dads will love this watch as it makes

teaching this skill simple and fun.

EasyRead Time Teacher


EasyRead Time Teacher

This high-quality waterproof watch

from EasyRead Time Teacher is

perfect for the active child. Milled

from a stainless-steel billet, with a

stainless screw-in back plate and

four O-rings at the crown, it has

a toughened glass lens recessed

0.5mm for protection, and houses a

Seiko movement.



West End Collection

Maserati tells a story

about the past and future;

about a brand that

became an icon of

elegance, uniqueness

and power. West End

Collection is extending

the incredibly popular

Maserati watch range

this year with the

Gentleman’s Accessories

Collection of Maserati

pens, bracelets and

cufflinks, to answer that

all-important question:

what do you give a man

who has everything?



Duraflex Group


Carrying through



modern style,

the Official

Swiss Railways

Essence 41mm

watch is the ideal

Christmas gift for

the minimalist in

your life. As stylish

and smart as it is

bold and casual, this

is the ultimate goanywhere



Pierre Lannier

Heart & Grace

The perfect balance

between glamour

and minimalism,

this timepiece

is designed with

beautiful Swarovski

crystals around

the dial. The watch

features a stainless

steel case and silver

face, paired with a

genuine white leather

strap. Elegant, chic

and inspired by

haute couture, it is

the perfect gift this


60 | October 2020


Heart & Grace

An extension of

Cluse’s elegant

Feroce range, the

Feroce Petite features

a smaller case size

for a delicate and

feminine look.

The gold mesh

strap and blue

mother-of-pearl dial

add to the watch’s

uniquely stylish

finish. Packaged in

a limited-edition gift

box, it is the perfect

addition to the

Cluse collection.


The simplest time teaching

system for children

Be Smart | Be Cool

12 months warranty


Duraflex Group


JAG is internationally

renowned as an iconic

Australian brand. The

new JAG fashion watch

collection offers a range

of styles for men and

women with a casual

urban feel.



Duraflex Group Australia

The Bear Grylls Survival

3749 timepiece is designed

for the extreme, combining

the legendary ability

of Luminox watches to

withstand the elements

with special new details

from Bear Grylls. Whether

it’s the countdown

dive zone, the SOS in

Morse code or the 300m

water resistance, these

timepieces will be your

trusty companions and

help you conquer any

conditions. Also available

with an orange strap

equipped with a compass.


Bright Colours • Interchangeable Straps

Cool Designs • Perfect Gift Idea

Their parents are

your existing customers.

Made and

designed in France

with an automatic

movement, this


watch has been

crafted so that

you can see the

intricate movement

through the glass.

A classically stylish

yet striking addition

to any man’s wrist,

the watch features a

stainless steel case

and matching link

strap with a black

skeleton dial.



Duraflex Group


The Batur model

from Police,

pictured with blue

dial and dark blue

silicon strap, is

equipped with both

analog and digital

time display. The

large 48mm case

and bolt-and-screw

designs add to the

tough masculine

feel. Water

resistant to 50m.


EasyRead fashion watches feature a

unique time teacher dial that children

understand, with a step by step system

they can easily remember.


Speak to Roger on 0418 970 214







ONLY RRP $119 .00

(normal RRP $169)

Holiday Stock Special



Duraflex Group Australia

The SK1845 Men’s Watch

(right) features a stainless steel

case with a stylish blue and

champagne bezel, with matching

blue dial and baton time markers

and a date function. Meanwhile,

the SK40035 Ladies’ Watch (far

right) boasts elegant, feminine

details including a white motherof-pearl

dial with crystal halo

and time markers, paired with a

classic fine mesh strap.


TW Steel

Duraflex Group Australia

The limited-edition ACE403 (left)

offers the highest quality at an

exceptional price. Powered by a

Swiss chronograph, it features antireflective

sapphire crystal, Swiss

Super Luminova hands and time

markerts, water resistance to 300m,

and a five-year worldwide warranty.

Meanwhile, the Canteen TW1013

gives the original Canteen timepiece

a fresh new look. It combines a

steel case with shiny bezel and

anti-reflection sapphire crystal with

a stylish dark grey strap of crocodile

leather lined with black rubber.




RRP $203 .95

And receive a

Trucker hat for free


• 100m Water Resistant

• Screw In Crown

• Screw Down Back

• Stainless Steel

• Day / Date Indicator

• Anti Smash Glass Protection bezel




Duraflex Watch Bands

Duraflex Group Australia

This stainless steel link watch

band with steel buckle is the

perfect companion for your dive

watch. dgau.com.au

Hirsch Straps

Duraflex Group Australia

Embodying classic style, the

18mm Crocograin Exotic

Embossed Leather Strap in

Brown adds a sophisticated

touch to your timepiece.


E orders@samsgroup.com.au

W samsgroup.com.au P 02 9290 2199

Holiday Stock Special


K&K Export Import

With Australia’s widest range of gemstones, K&K can

assist you with all your coloured gemstone needs.

Lively blue and teal shades, minty greens, warm peach

and pink gems are our current favourites for their

brightness and cheer. Natural fancy colour diamonds

are also available in a variety of sizes and hues, as well

as rose cuts and salt-and-pepper diamonds.

Discover a rainbow of possibilities with K&K.

03 9654 4449

Argyle Pink Diamonds

SAMS Group Australia

When thinking pink, look no

further than SAMS Group

Australia. With one of the largest

ranges of Australia’s most

precious Argyle Mine diamonds, all

SAMS Group pink stones are cut

and polished by Argyle, with Argyle

certificates and lot numbers.




(03) 9663 2321



Holiday Stock Special


Fabuleux Vous

Featuring Forté, a classic sterling

silver collection representing all

things strength & courage.

Kimberley Rough Diamonds

Established in 2011, Kimberley Rough Diamonds

specialises in uncut, natural diamonds straight

from the Argyle Mine. Explore your creativity and

try a rough diamond in your jewellery design.


Kunming Diamonds

The Argyle Tender is

a beguiling treasure

of nature that many

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Local Talent


Hand Carved Pearl &

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Metal: 18-yellow gold

Gemstones: Baroque

Australian South Sea

pearl, white diamond

Alan Linney

Perth, WA


Alluvial Three-Piece Suite –

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Metals: 18-carat white and yellow gold

Gemstones: White, yellow, cognac,

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Broome, WA



Waves Ring

Metal: 18-carat

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Gemstones: White


Berj Ohanessian

Sydney, NSW

Australia and New Zealand are not only home to some of the

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Le Dragonfly En Tremblant Brooch

Metal: 18-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: Blue topaz, peridot, green,

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sapphire, white diamond

Julian Bartrom

Auckland, NZ


Gatsby Ring

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Rod Valenz

Melbourne, VIC

72 | October 2020


Samos Earrings

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Ian Douglas

Wellington, NZ


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David & Michael Robinson

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October 2020 | 73


My Store

Rebus Signet Rings

LONDON, UK with Emmet Smith, founder and managing director • SPACE COMPLETED January 2018, following a five-month renovation

4Who is the target market?

The Rebus customers are a diverse bunch – young,

old, male, female, traditional, hip, traditionally-hip,

and many from overseas too.

I did not design the store with a particular

focused demographic in mind; I just went with

my gut and created an environment that I wanted

to spend time in – and one that my staff were

also proud to be part of and in which they could

feel comfortable.

The ambience feels warm, like a relaxed, welcoming

members’ club. This is achieved through the colour

palette, gold fixtures and details, and inviting

furniture. I figured if I could get the basics right and

my staff felt good, then this would naturally translate

to our customers, who we think of as guests.

4Which features encourage sales?

I’ve never had the attitude of ‘encouraging sales’.

I’ve always felt very proud – even protective – of my

craft, which is hand-engraving, so I want to display

and communicate the processes Rebus craftsmen

go through to create our jewellery.

So, our display cabinets are not stuffed full of

product. Instead, I like to be a bit more considered

and tell a story by displaying things that pose

questions and conversation. ‘Communicate

and celebrate’ is our ethos. The bar helps

with that as well!

4What is the store design’s ‘wow factor’?

The people. Downstairs, the Rebus workshop

has 10 incredible craftsmen.

To the unfamiliar eye, it appears crammed with all

sorts of strange-looking objects – chisels, arcane

heraldic imagery, jars of liquids and powders, gas

torches burning, and Victorian reference books.

Introducing our guests to this environment

and the Rebus team is a pleasure which

everyone appreciates.

74 | October 2020


Refining Stock




& COVID-19

Booming precious metal prices, coupled with lower

jewellery spending, have increased demand for

refining services in 2020, writes ARABELLA RODEN.


Precious Metal


During times of economic uncertainty,

conventional wisdom dictates

that precious metal prices rise;

this is attributed to increased demand from

investors, who flock to ‘safe haven’ assets

which historically hold their value.

This trend has held true during the current global

health crisis due to COVID-19. “Metal prices had

already been trending positively pre-COVID-19. The

pandemic has lead to ‘binge-buying’ of investment

bullion which has, in turn, affected metal prices for

the jewellery industry,” says Chris Botha, operations

manager Pallion.

Peter Beck, managing director of Adelaide-based

company Peter W Beck, which refines gold, silver,

platinum and palladium, notes, “We have observed

that precious metal prices at this point in time are

strong. However, we are not sure if this is directly

related to the COVID-19 pandemic or the general

uncertainty of the world’s economic position [due

to other factors].”

“Metal prices had already been trending

positively pre-COVID-19. The pandemic has

lead to ‘binge-buying’ of investment bullion

which has, in turn, affected metal prices

for the jewellery industry”



One of those factors may be the ongoing trade

tensions between the US and China.

“Precious metals have always filled that [safe-haven]

role,” says Richard Hayes, CEO The Perth Mint, which

is owned by the Government of Western Australia and

refines the majority of gold mined onshore, in addition

to gold and silver scrap.

At the same time, restrictions on retail trading, rising

unemployment, and plummeting consumer confidence

have combined to flatten discretionary spending on

luxury items, depressing jewellery demand.

The combination of higher prices for metals and lower

demand for finished jewellery makes metal refining an

attractive option for jewellers.

Darren Sher, director Chemgold, says, “While the

impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for us all,


gold price per

ounce in US Dollars,

August 2020

a record high

Source: World Gold Council


decline in global

demand for gold

jewellery, H1 2020

Source: World Gold Council



decline in

platinum jewellery


Source: World Platinum

Investment Council


silver price per

ounce in US

Dollars, August

2020 – a sevenyear


Source: Stockhead


palladium price

per ounce in

US dollars,

September 2020

Source: Kitco

the one positive aspect for the jewellery industry is

that precious metal stock can be refined, and jewellers

can then get the fine metal back, receive payments, or

pay their accounts.”

He adds, “With the major increase in the gold price

in the last few years, in some cases, there may be

minimal loss on the original cost of the metal they

purchased years ago.”

The potential is not limited to gold, however – it also

applies to other major refining metals, including

silver, platinum, and palladium.

Golden opportunity

The gold price reflects myriad factors beyond mere supply

and demand, as it is frequently used as a financial “hedge”

against currency fluctuations, inflation, and interest rate

cuts, as well as geopolitical instability.

Notably, the gold price has been rising for nearly a

decade – and has increased by 30 per cent this year

alone. In July 2020, it surpassed its previous high of

$US1,921 – reached in 2011 – and in August broke

through the $US2,000 per ounce threshold.

Hayes explains that the price of gold has also been

“turbo-charged” in Australian Dollar terms, due to

the exchange rate with the US Dollar.

“While the impact of COVID-19 has been

devastating for us all, the one positive

aspect for the jewellery industry is that

precious metal stock can be refined, and

jewellers can then get the fine metal back,

receive payments, or pay their accounts”



At the same time, demand for physical gold has been

constrained by the pandemic.

“The global gold market has been turned on its head

by the novel coronavirus [COVID-19], with demand in

China and India collapsing due to lockdowns while

in the West investors rushed to buy bullion as a safe

asset to weather a period of financial turmoil,” noted

a recent Reuters report.

Indeed, the World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends

Q2 2020 report, published 30 July, revealed that global

gold jewellery demand had fallen to half its 10-year

average, and tumbled 46 per cent in the first half of

2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

October 2020 | 77





“Q2 saw a continuation of the hostile

global environment for gold jewellery

demand. Lockdown restrictions

shuttered many markets, and

consumers faced the challenging

consequences of economic downturn

at a time when gold prices were

moving from strength to strength,

making affordability an issue for

many,” the report explained

During the same period, platinum

jewellery demand fell 27 per cent,

according to The World Platinum

Investment Council (WPIC)’s most

recent Platinum Quarterly report.

“Lockdown restrictions

shuttered many markets,

and consumers faced the

challenging consequences

of economic downturn at a

time when gold prices were

moving from strength to

strength, making affordability

an issue for many”

– Gold Demand Trends Q2 2020 report


Platinum jewellery manufacturing

saw sharp declines in China and India,

alongside a collapse in demand in the

US and European retail markets.

Meanwhile, silver jewellery

fabrication is predicted to decrease

by 7 per cent in 2020 – its most

significant contraction in four years.

Yet Hayes points out that despite

reduced demand from the jewellery

sector, the silver price has mirrored

gold’s upward trajectory.

“Silver has very much followed gold,

but in the last couple of weeks silver

prices have strengthened more

strongly – they have outpaced the

gold price increases [in the first

quarter of 2020],” he says.

Adam Van Sambeek, treasury

manager at Morris & Watson in

Auckland, notes that alongside

increased demand from investors,

“supply constraints brought on by

trade and production restrictions

have also pushed gold and silver

prices higher”.

These factors – ‘safe-haven’ appeal


increase in

palladium price

per ounce, 18

March – 22

September 2020


capacity of South

African gold,

platinum and

palladium mines

under COVID-19


Peter W Beck.


ounces reduction

in platinum supply

due to COVID-19


Source: World Platinum

Investment Council


decrease in

silver jewellery


throughout 2020

Source: The Silver


and reduced supply – assisted gold,

silver, platinum and palladium prices

to a robust recovery from an initial the

coronavirus demand shock, which saw

prices plunge in March as the pandemic

peaked in the US.

“Silver has very much followed

gold, but in the last couple

of weeks silver prices have

strengthened more strongly –

they have outpaced the

gold price increases [in the

first quarter of 2020],”


Perth Mint

In particular, palladium – a key agent in

creating white gold, aside from nickel

– fell 43 per cent from its February

peak of $US2,754, driven by a dramatic

decrease in demand from the Chinese

automotive industry.

However, by 22 September, it had

recovered to $US2,229.60.

Indeed, palladium has been the best

performing commodity for the past two

years, according to Forbes, with prices

increasing by more than 85 per cent

between August 2018 and March 2019.

The pandemic’s impact on platinum

is less dramatic, and prices have

also stabilised. The WPIC report,

published 8 September, noted, “Due

in part to supply issues unrelated to

the pandemic, plus the robust nature

of physical investment demand, the

potential efects of the pandemic on

platinum’s market balance are far less

negative than previously expected.”

It predicts supply and demand will remain

relatively balanced for the remainder of

2020, with declines of 14 per cent and 11

per cent respectively.

The lower volumes are largely

attributed to COVID-19 closures and

restrictions in South Africa, the largest

producer of the metal. South Africa is

also also a key producer of gold and,

notably, palladium, alongside Russia.

Russian palladium mines have been

largely unaffected by the pandemic, and

its production of the metal is expected

to increase by 2.5 per cent for 2020,

according to an analysis by data firm

Fitch Solutions.

The world’s largest palladium producer,

Nornickel, has not changed its 2020

guidance, with operations chief Sergey

Dyachenko saying, “We expect saleable

metal production volumes to recover

during the rest of this year.”

Refined strategy

With precious metal prices remaining

high and jewellery demand subdued,

jewellers have an opportunity to create

liquidity through refining.

“In terms of normal working stock,

having stuff just sitting around –

especially if you’re paying lease costs

on it – is relatively expensive.

“So having it refined and turning it into

cash, so that you can recycle that cash

into additional manufacturing stock,

would tend to make a lot of sense at

this stage,” says Hayes.

“This period of strong precious

metal pricing and difficult

trading is an opportunity

for jewellers to manage any

precious metal stock, in either

finished or unfinished form,

through refining... It is possible

that precious metal value alone

will return more than the

original purchase price of the



Peter W Beck

At Chemgold, Sher observed that when

COVID-19 restrictions came into effect,

“The demand for our refining services

increased substantially. Jewellery

retailers and manufacturers sent in

large amounts of scrap and lemel to

ensure they could have extra funds if


“We also found an increase in the number

of sweeps received. With restrictions

easing, we have found the demand is back

to its normal level,” he adds.

At Pallion, Botha says, “Our refinery

facilities refine next to half of Australia’s

precious metals output and have

continued to work round the clock to

meet marketplace demand since the

pandemic. We have seen record-high

refining jobs coming through [from] the

jewellery industry.

78 | October 2020


Key Points

“Many jewellers during these trying

times have been conducting spring

cleans and sending their lemel scraps

for refining to assist them to weather the

storm. This was also compounded by the

upcoming end of the financial year.”

Meanwhile, Van Sambeek says,

“Temporary [store] closures as a

result of COVID-19 gave our clients an

opportunity to do some long overdue

house cleaning.

“Due to the high gold and

palladium prices, high-carat

and white metals containing

platinum and palladium are

the best to refine first”


Morris & Watson

“The high gold price, in conjunction

with economic uncertainty, has seen an

increase in refining, with many clearing

old or slow-moving stock, surrendered

for cash or metal.”

Beck has also noticed a “definite increase”

in demand for precious metal refining in

recent months. “We believe this is mainly

to act as a source of cash flow for both

retail and manufacturing jewellers in these

difficult times,” he explains.

“This period of strong precious

metal pricing and difficult trading is an

opportunity for jewellers to manage any

precious metal stock, in either finished

or unfinished form, through refining.”

Beck recommends jewellers begin by

refining old stock that has been in store

for more than four to five years.

“Because of the current strong precious

metal prices, it is possible that precious

metal value alone will return more

than the original purchase price of the

product,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Sher says jewellers should

refine “fairly regularly” as fees are low

in proportion to the payments received

for precious metals.

“The advice is to, where possible,

keep all your metals separate in these

categories: silver, yellow gold, white gold

and platinum,” he adds.

“This can make refining charges more

economical as two-metal refining (gold/

silver) is less expensive than four-metal

(gold/silver/platinum/palladium) and

platinum-only. We provide guidance on

how to separate metals to ensure fees

are as low as possible.”

Van Sambeek advises, “Due to the high

gold and palladium prices, high-carat

and white metals containing platinum

and palladium are the best to refine


“But as most metal prices are up, any

refining will help release funds quickly

during this time,” he adds.

And when choosing a refiner during

the uncertainty of COVID-19, Hayes

recommends taking a careful approach,

pointing to several US refiners who

have declared bankruptcy in recent

years, leaving their customers’ metal

in the general creditors’ pool.

“Avoid taking unwanted credit risks –

especially if there are financial

liability issues,” he




“There are very

few true ‘refiners’ in Australia – many

who claim to be refiners are merely

aggregators. Make sure you send your

refining job to an entity that actually

refines; otherwise all you are doing is

paying a middleman.

Peter W Beck.

“We are the only independent London

Bullion Market Association (LBMA)

and Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE)-

accredited refinery in Australia and you

can take a virtual tour of our refining

facilities on YouTube.”

Indeed, stock management is a critical

component of retail even in periods

of growth, but the importance of

generating cash flow by refining – where

appropriate – is vitally important during

the current crisis.

As jewellers begin to reopen their doors

and consumer spending on discretionary

items increases throughout the second

half of 2020, a solid refining strategy

strengthens a jewellery business’

position – and gives it a better chance

to survive and thrive.

Precious metal

prices have




has pushed

investors towards

‘safe havens’


demand has


Falling consumer


and retail

restrictions due

to COVID-19 have

combined to

reduce jewellery


Refining can




In the short-term,

refining can assist

in maintaining




is critical


refining ensures

jewellers have

fresh stock

and resources

October 2020 | 79


Diamond Industry Update




The coronavirus has forced shutdowns at every stage of the diamond ‘pipeline’, from mines

to bourses, the polishing centre of Surat, and retailers. Yet, the pandemic may represent an

unlikely opportunity to rebalance the supply chain, writes ARABELLA RODEN.


Impact on

the Diamond


The unprecedented challenge of the

COVID-19 pandemic has added

another burden to the already fragile

international diamond industry, producing

concurrent shocks to both demand and supply.

“We’ve never had an environment where commercial

activity right across the whole pipeline, let alone the

whole luxury goods industry, has simply come to a halt,”

David Prager, executive vice-president corporate affairs, De

Beers, said earlier this year.

Most significantly, the virus has crippled the retail sector in the

US, which is the world’s largest diamond jewellery market and

has been the epicentre of the pandemic since late March.

Limitations on social interaction, as well as widespread

unemployment, financial uncertainty, and reduced

confidence saw the country record a 7.5 per cent reduction

in consumer spending in March, followed by a 12.9 per cent

decline in April.

While the ensuing months have seen a modest recovery,

the lost ground is yet to be regained.

Examing retail by category, a New York Times analysis

of data collected by market research firm Earnest Data

– which tracks the debit and credit card purchases of 6

million Americans – found jewellery spending was 75 per

cent lower in the week to 1 April than it was in 2019.

Notably, publicly-listed US-based jewellery company Tiffany

& Co. reported a 45 per cent decline in US revenue for the

first half of the year.

This was, in part, responsible for French luxury

conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH)’s

decision to pull out of its planned acquisition of the jeweller.

Even with many US states easing lockdown restrictions,

industry experts note that the retail jewellery sector’s

recovery will not be immediate.

The JCK State of the Industry Report 2020, published in

September, surveyed nearly 1,000 retail jewellers, with 58


US jewellery retail

spending in the

week to 1 April

Source: Earnest Data


Indian polished

diamond exports

Apr. - Aug. 2020.

A decline of

41 per cent on 2019

Source: GJEPC


US jewellers who

predict a recovery

to 2019 levels will

take eight months

or more

Source: JCK State of the

Industry Report 2020


decline in polished

imports to Antwerp,

June 2020

Source: Antwerp World

Diamond Centre

per cent predicted a recovery of their business to 2019

levels would take eight months or more; 11 per cent put

the figure at two years.

With the US struggling, some industry experts pinned hopes

for a robust recovery on the Chinese market; in April, Kent

Wong, managing director of Chow Tai Fook – China’s largest

jewellery company – predicted it would take “three or four

months” for the company to be “back to normal”.

“We’ve never had an environment where

commercial activity right across the whole

pipeline, let alone the whole luxury goods

industry, has simply come to a halt”


De Beers

However, its quarterly report for the three months to June

30 indicated sales had declined 20.2 per cent compared

with the same period in 2019; same-store sales declined

by 75.5 per cent in Hong Kong and Macau, and 11.2 per

cent in Mainland China.

The results were even more dismal for major jewellery

retailer Luk Fook, which also operates stores throughout

the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macau. Revenue

was down 60 per cent during the June quarter, while

profits slid 80 per cent.

Matters of the midstream

Alongside retail, the diamond midstream has also

suffered. In Antwerp, polished imports fell 71 per cent

in March and exports 51 per cent.

The trend continued in June, with only a marginal

improvement: imports declined 66 per cent, and exports

44 per cent, according to figures from Antwerp World

Diamond Centre.

In India, where approximately 90 per cent of the world’s

Otober 2020 | 81


L to R: Jewellery retailers around the world are hoping for consumer confidence to return


Mined Over


diamonds are cut and polished, the

manufacturing industry was already

under pressure even before the

pandemic reached its shores.

The sector has also

been embroiled in an

ongoing liquidity crisis

since 2018, attributed

to lack of demand and

tightening of lending


Dinesh Navadiya,

Gujarat regional chairman of the

Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion

Council (GJEPC), stated, “The industry

has already witnessed [a] $US846

million fall in exports in February 2020

compared to the same month last year,

and the crisis is deepening further

and could get worse than what was

witnessed during the 2008 [crisis].”

A GJEPC provisional report for the

April–August quarter noted that cut

and polished natural diamond exports

totalled $US3.9 billion, compared with

$US8.3 billion for the same period in

2019 – a decline of 41 per cent.

Rapaport reported that US polished

diamond imports “fell 50 per cent, to

$US806 million, in July” – a steeper

decline than in June. Approximately 39

per cent of Indian-cut diamonds are

exported to the US and 41 per cent to

Hong Kong and Mainland China.

With sluggish demand from these

markets, Indian manufacturers have

been left with a significant amount of

excess inventory – to the point that

trade organisations have called for

members to stop importing rough.

“A good part of the inventory is not

moving, and the trade should be

cautious and take steps to reduce

inventory further,” the GJEPC said

in a statement issued in August.

Diamond industry analyst Chaim

Even-Zohar previously recommended

the Indian government discuss a threeor

even four-month moratorium on

diamond imports.

He posited that implementing such a

measure would rebalance supplies,

clear the glut of material in the

midstream, and avoid a price collapse

similar to the current oil crisis.

Indeed, Navadiya recently confirmed,

“The GJEPC’s move to call for a

voluntary ban on rough imports for

a couple of months has helped clear

the diamond pipeline, which, in turn,

has generated some liquidity for


Colin Shah, chairman GJEPC, added,

“As there are orders coming from the

US, Hong Kong and parts of Europe

for certain types of polished goods, the

sector is on the path of recovery. The

upcoming holiday season in the western


deferrals offered

to De Beers

sightholders at

mid-year Sights

Source: De Beers


De Beers revenue

decline H1 of

2020 compared

with 2019

Source: De Beers


Alrosa rough

diamond sales

increase, July

2020–August 2020

Source: Alrosa


Alrosa revised

2020 diamond

production target

Source: Alrosa

countries, would further boost the demand for

gems and jewellery.”

“The situation at the start and at the

end of our trading session in March

was completely different – that is

why we had to adjust and offer

more flexible sales terms”



As of 11 September, approximately 5,000

diamond manufacturing firms had reportedly

returned to operation following lockdown,

at 70 per cent of capacity to accommodate

social-distancing guidelines.

A rough matter for mining industry

With diamond manufacturers unable –

or unwilling – to build inventory due to

suppressed retail demand in the first half

of the year, mining companies were forced

to offer unprecedented flexibility to sight


These terms have included 60-100 per

cent deferments, lifting mandatory buying

requirements, and buying back up to 30 per

cent of inventory.

Sergey Ivanov, CEO of Russian mining

conglomerate Alrosa – the largest diamond

producer by volume – noted how quickly the

situation changed.

82 | October 2020


Above: De Beers Rough Diamond Sales, Cycle 1 2019 to Cycle 2 2020.

“In this turbulent environment, the

situation at the start and at the end of our

trading session in March was completely

different. That is why we had to adjust and

offer more flexible sales terms on the go,”

he said.

“The uncertainty in February was followed

by severe restrictions and even the

suspension of trading because of border

closures and quarantine measures across

the world. Needless to say that this has had

an extremely adverse effect all along the

diamond pipeline,” he added.

In April, Alrosa’s rough diamond sales

fell 96 per cent compared to March and

remained subdued throughout May, June,

and July. However, August saw sales figures

almost entirely recover to pre-pandemic

levels, increasing from $US22.7 million in

July to $US202.1 million.

Meanwhile, De Beers’ rough diamond sales

revenue declined by by $US1.3 billion –

56 per cent – compared with 2019.

The average realised price per carat

declined by 21 per cent, compared with an

8 per cent decline in the overall average

rough diamond price index.

Indeed, De Beers has recently reduced

prices by 5–10 per cent for rough below

1 carat.

However, like Alrosa, its sales results for

the period of 19 August–10 September

appeared promising; it recorded a

provisional result of $US320 million,

compared with $US287 million during the

same period in 2019.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group, said:

“Diamond markets showed some continued

improvement throughout August and

into September as COVID-19 restrictions

continued to ease in various locations, and

manufacturers focused on meeting retail

demand for polished diamonds.

“Overall industry sentiment has become

more positive as jewellers in the key US

and Chinese consumer markets gained

confidence ahead of the important yearend

holiday season, supported by strong

bridal diamond jewellery demand across


Notably, the volume of diamonds entering

the pipeline also declined due to mandated

closures as a result of the pandemic.

De Beers’ overall rough diamond production

decreased by 27 per cent in the six months

to 30 June; it has reduced its 2020 forecast

by 20 per cent, to 25–27 million carats, while

Alrosa indicated in May that it would reduce

its output by up to 17 per cent, to 28–31

million carats.

Concluding perspective

Beyond coronavirus lockdowns, the

diamond industry must maintain prices by

managing ongoing supply and

demand shocks.

Even-Zohar pointed to the necessity of

diamond mining companies to support

the midstream by complying with import

moratoriums, should they be put in place,

and even offering credit in order to “share

the financial burden of their customers”.

“Producers need the Indian cutters, and


Key Points





Some signs of


in the critical

US and China



out the



clearing due to

flexible terms

from miners



in recovery

Robust sales in

August despite

lower prices

Demand and

supply may


Reduction in

supply coupled

with holiday

demand augur

well for price


there is no alternative to India. Over the years

the Indian industry has produced enormous

wealth for them… Now the shoe is on the other

foot,” he says.

“Once the diamond supply chain

begins to reopen... trading volume

will gradually begin to normalise

and prices will likely find a more

sustainable and reliable level”


Diamond industry analyst

Meanwhile, diamond industry analyst Paul

Zimnisky noted in April, “Once the diamond

supply chain begins to reopen, which will

require the opening of borders, retail outlets

and manufacturing and trading hubs globally,

trading volume will gradually begin to normalise

and prices will likely find a more sustainable

and reliable level.”

At the time of publication, it appeared his

prediction was coming to fruition. The Zimnisky

Global Rough Diamond Price Index appears

to have plateaued over the past six months,

following a precipitous drop between January

and March.

Further down the pipeline, the RapNet Diamond

Index has shown continual improvement over

the past three months, across virtually all

sizes of polished diamonds from 0.30-carat

to 3-carat.

This improvement has indeed been attributed to

a rebalancing of supply and demand: “polished

supply gaps” and “improving holiday orders”.

Thus it appears that, while presenting

significant challenges in the short term, the

coronavirus pandemic may yet solve the

persistent problem of the unbalanced diamond

supply chain and at last deliver the price

stability that is crucial to all in the pipeline.

84 | October 2020

We Are Here For You


Retail Strategy



Target Innovation Strategy Marketing Story Advertising Awareness Quality Loyalty

Brand aid: how to build brand equity

for your business

The way your business is perceived by potential customers can be the difference between making a sale or losing it to

a competitor – and the key to controlling that perception is branding, advise RICH KIZER and GEORGANNE BENDER.

Branding is a buzzword that’s been around

for a long time, and with good reason;

your brand and its perception in your

community are critical to your store’s

success. But along with that branding

buzz, there is also a lot of confusion.

The good news is that branding isn’t hard to

implement – it is easy once you understand

what it is, and what it is not.

Defining your brand

You may have spent hours designing the

perfect logo for your store – or paid for

someone else to do so – but that’s not your

brand. You know the ‘swoosh’ that appears

in every Nike ad? It’s a logo, not a brand.

Your brand is more than your website, your

blog, or your presence on social media. It’s

more than your ads, brochures, business

cards, bags and everything else you use to

put your store name out there. Your brand is

even more than the name you chose to hang

over your front door.

Each of these things are critically important

to your brand identity, but they are the

components used to build your brand, not

the brand itself.

A brand is the emotional connection – the

physical reaction – customers feel when

they hear your store name, see your logo,

visit your website or walk in your front door.

It’s the space you occupy in the mind of the

customer, and the experience they can get

only from you.

The best way to describe a brand was

coined by Adrienne Weiss, CEO of branding

and marketing business Adrienne Weiss

Corp: “A brand is a country with its own

unique language, customs and traditions.”

Using this definition, here is a checklist of

things to do to help you build your brand.

Step 1: Write your store’s story

It’s hard to write about the things that got

you to where you are today, but you have to

do so. Start with why you decided to open a

store, then write about what makes you and

your store unique; talk about how you make

a difference in your customers’ lives and in

your community.

Make it a fun adventure people will want

to read. If you get stuck, ask your family and

staff – and maybe even customers – for help.

A brand is

the emotional

connection –

the physical

reaction –


feel when they

hear your store

name, see your

logo, visit your

website or

walk in your

front door

When your story is finished, spread the

word about who you are through your instore

signage, on your website, your social

media channels, marketing, advertising –

anywhere and everywhere you can.

Step 2: Create an ‘elevator pitch’

We used to kick ourselves after someone

asked us what we do and we’d reply, “We’re

professional speakers.”

Afterwards, we’d think of all the ‘cool’

things we should have said. Now we say,

“We are consumer anthropologists. We

study consumers in their natural habitats

and share what we find in our keynote and

seminar presentations.”

If you’ve ever answered, “I own a jewellery

store” when asked what you do, then you

know that feeling of missed opportunity.

Write a 60-second condensed version of

your store’s story – known as an ‘elevator

pitch’ – and you’ll never find yourself in that

position again.

Step 3: Create a unique look

Branding requires discipline and

consistency. Every single thing – from the

smallest details like bags to fonts, need to

86 | October 2020

Retail Strategy

be properly tell your brand story.

Weiss says the brand itself should act like a

water filter.

With that in mind, think about who you are

and what you want representing your store.

If the item, or service, you are considering

is in alignment with your store’s story and

would easily pass through your brand filter,

then go ahead and use it.

Here’s an example: Bunnings is widely

known for using the colour dark green, so

if a supplier offered employee aprons in

yellow, even at a great price, would they fit

through Bunnings’ brand filter? No.

Tiffany & Co. has trademarked its unique

shade of robin’s egg blue, and McDonald’s

has the golden arches.

Any other colour in each of these examples

would be unacceptable because they would

never make it through the company’s filter.

Branding tips

Expanding on Step 3, here are some of the

things you need to ‘filter’ to ensure they

properly represent your brand:

• Select a signature colour, or colours, and

use everywhere – We once met a retailer

whose signature colour was red. Her store

was well known for its bright red shopping

bags; people saved them and carried them

around town, and they became walking

billboards for her store.

One Christmas, she decided it would be

fun to try silver shopping bags. It was a big

mistake as no-one in her town recognised

that the bags came from her store.

As a result, she had to rebuild that part of

her brand identity.

• Choose your fonts carefully – It’s a good

idea to use both upper- and lower-case

letters in your branding as all-caps can be

tough on older eyes.

Additionally, make sure that your font is

easy to read – some that look great in a

14-point become hard to read when blown

up on signs.

that’s not who you are.

You can always add your signature colour

to good quality plain bags with inexpensive

custom stickers, and the same thing goes

for boxes.

Get creative with your gift cards too; we

have encountered a lingerie retailer who

nestled gift cards in scented tissue paper

inside a shiny box.

• Bring your brand to the sales floor – Your

sales floor is your largest brand-building

element. There isn’t a single part of your

store (restrooms included) that’s not part of

your brand identity.

Take an objective look around: Have you

included your signature colours? Are you

using quality fixtures? Is the merchandise

well-signed and do the signs incorporate

your brand’s font? Are sales staff easily


• Create one-of-a-kind in-store

experiences – Customers will stay close

to your store if you give them a reason.

Classes, in-store events and loyalty clubs

are all good reasons.

Build your brand and your visibility by

hosting one major and two to three minor

in-store events each month – note that

even in the midst of a pandemic, you can

do virtual events or a combination of virtual

and physical.

A major event attracts new customers to

your store; minor events, like classes and

demonstrations, attract smaller numbers

of shoppers. Both are important.

• Build a strong brand presence online –

In the past, shoppers let their fingers do the

walking through the phone book; today they

visit your website.

These days a website is not an option.

You need a real website that is easy to

remember, as in www.thenameofyour


Websites have become the equivalent of

business cards, and your homepage is also

your ‘greeter’.





Articulate the

story, values, and

‘personality’ of

your business


a brand


Use visual

and verbal

cues –such as

slogans, colours,

and fonts – to

reinforce your


Be consistent

and cohesive

Monitor your

brand frequently

and allow

enough time

for it to be


The photos and information you post on

your website, social media and emails also

represent your brand. Think about what you

post before you post it. Check your spelling

and test links to make sure they work.

Even your email address says a lot about

who you are and is useful in building

your brand. Create an email address that

comes from your own domain name, as in


• Become a shameless self-promoter –

Other than word-of-mouth, the cheapest

way to build your brand is through PR –

public relations. That’s why you should send

out a press release for everything of interest

that you do.

The media wants and needs your input. Did

you know that the majority of stories that

appear in your local media came from a

one-page press release sent by someone

like you who had a story to tell? You can

build brand equity simply by tapping “send”

in an email.

If you’re too busy to handle the public

relations by yourself, then promote a staff to

the position of ‘PR manager’.

They will act as the media contact person,

who will collect the names of local editors

and reporters, write and distribute press

releases, be your store ambassador at

local functions and Chamber of Commerce

events, and more.

• Be patient – You will likely to get sick

and tired of your brand before it begins to

automatically register with your customers

or potential customers.

The ‘marketing rule of seven’ says that a

person must see or hear your message at

least seven times before they take action or

even remember you.

So, resist the urge to change your logo,

colours or tagline – anything that is

considered part of your brand identity –

and give it time to stick.

• Customise bags, boxes and gift cards

– You run a unique and upscale store, and

while it might be easy to purchase plastic

bags similar to those used in supermarkets,

Make sure that it’s consistent with your

brand image, and a good example of

what shoppers can expect when they visit

your store.


are retail strategists, authors, and

consultants. Visit: kizerandbender.com

87 | October 2020



Stop talking to PWOTs and use your

sales time effectively

The art of maximising sales centres on weeding out those customers who are a PWOTs – a ‘potential waste of time’

– and instead identifying the shoppers who actually want to buy from you, writes BRIAN JEFFREY.

If you’re going to sell anything, you must

deal with real customers, and your

challenge as a salesperson is to separate

the real from the unreal.

While it’s not difficult, too few salespeople

do it – and end up wasting their time trying

to sell to people who have no intention

of buying.

Why do so many salespeople spend time

on customers who are PWOTs – ‘potential

waste of time’? In some cases, they haven’t

learnt to recognise one. In other cases,

they don’t have anyone else to talk to and

would rather spend time with a PWOT

than with no-one.

Another problem with spending time with

PWOTs is the opportunity cost: you’re not

spending your time with someone who

might actually buy something from you.

And if you think a PWOT is bad, try dealing

with his close cousin, the DWOT – a ‘definite

waste of time’!

The attraction of the PWOT

A lot of sales staff are heavy-duty ‘people

persons’; they really enjoy talking and

socialising with others. Often, this means

their focus is on developing the relationship

and less on developing business. As a result,

they spend too much time with other nice

people persons who just want to have a chat.

Salespeople who have the ‘amiable’

personality type need to be particularly

sensitive to this. People with an amiable

personality are known as ‘shopkeepers’ and

their strength is building relationships.

Unfortunately, sometimes they are so

keen on being friendly that they forego

the unpleasantness of actually having to

ask someone to buy something for fear of

upsetting the relationship.

Identifying time wasters

As mentioned previously, some sales staff

fall into the PWOT trap because they simply

don’t know how to recognise them.

Here are some clues to help you detect

real customers from the unreal ones – aka

PWOTs and DWOTs:

Failing to keep appointments and ignoring calls are sure signs of a PWOT.

Disguising their lack of power – PWOTs and

DWOTs often try to create the impression

that they wield more purchasing influence

than they really do, and they will often evade

questions regarding money or funding.

Resenting you for asking questions – your

questions put them in danger of exposure

as time wasters, so they give vague or

dissatisfying answers to your specific

enquiries regarding their needs and

intentions. They won’t make it easy for

you to sell to them.

Showing little respect for your time and

effort – these people will often fail to keep

appointments, hide behind their voicemail,

and don’t return your calls, emails, or texts.

Trying to get you to alter your standard

operating procedures – PWOTs and DWOTs

will try to muddy the waters to delay the

ultimate non-decision; they will quibble on

price, product, terms, and more.

PWOTs and DWOTs are not all bad or

thoughtless people; often, they are fine

individuals who simply can’t say no to a

salesperson because they don’t want to

hurt his or her feelings. On the other hand,

sometimes they are ego-driven individuals

who live in a make-believe world.

Focus on real customers

The opposite of PWOTs and DWOTs are

real customers or potential customers.

PWOTs often

try to create the

impression that

they wield more


influence than

they really do,

and they will

often evade




These people are where you and your sales

staff should focus your efforts in order to

maximise results.

Here are some key characteristics:

Questions are welcome – these customers

or shoppers know you need to get certain

information if you are to help them make an

informed buying decision.

Realistic about money – simply put, these

people are not trying to buy two dollars’ worth

of business for a dollar, and they understand

the concept of cost versus value. For those

bigger purchases, they have a budget in

mind, and know the difference between

wished-for money and money in the bank.

Clear decision-making process – these

customers know what they want to buy,

and they know that the sooner they make a

decision, the sooner they will get that item

or service.

Demonstrate value for their time and

yours – interactions with real customers are

respectful and professional, and they will

hesitate to make an appointment if they feel

it would be a mutual waste of time.

Cut your losses

Real salespeople want to spend their time

with real customers, so make sure you find

out who’s who and start qualifying your way

to even greater sales success.

Learn to differentiate the real from the

unreal and focus your efforts where it

counts. You’ll find your sales going up and

your frustration going down.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a PWOT,

extradite yourself from the situation as

quickly and courteously as possible and

move along. You may end up keeping them

as friends or acquaintances – just don’t let

them eat up your valuable selling time!

Replace your PWOTs with real buyers and

put more money in your pocket.

BRIAN JEFFREY has more than 40

years’ experience in sales management,

training and business consulting.

Visit: quintarra.com

88 | October 2020



Do you already have a sales prodigy

working in your business?

While natural skill can play a part in anyone’s success, the element that makes the biggest difference

comes down to another factor entirely – the willingness to learn, explains DAVID BROWN.

We’ve all met those people who are

blessed with skills that the rest of us

don’t have.

Whether it be in business, playing the

piano, memorising information, or even

excelling at golf, these people exhibit their

skills with effortless ease while the rest of

us flap around like fish on a jetty!

We tend to credit them with exceptional

natural skill – and for many of them skill

is an important factor, but not always as

much as you would initially think.

In his book Outliers, author Malcolm

Gladwell introduces us to the ‘10,000

hours rule’ – the transformative impact

of spending 10,000 hours of concentrated

learning on a specialised task.

Gladwell credits much of the success

of many famous people to the time they

spent developing their craft as much as

their natural talent.

With 10,000 hours of training, he

maintains, most people can achieve a

world-class level in a particular field,

simply by putting in the time to hone

their skills.

This is backed up by Matthew Syed in

his book Bounce.

Syed focused on the high percentage

of young men and women, including

himself, who lived on the same street

and achieved national level success in

table tennis.

The odds that one street in an English

city could possibly have such a high

statistical probability of generating so

many champions, in a relatively lowprofile

sport, is low.

Clearly the environment, which included

a table tennis facility which was open 24

hours a day, along with a local coach who

excelled at teaching the sport, played a

significant role.

Nature and nurture

Hungarian behavioural psychologist

Laszlo Polgar studied the impact of

starting early and subjecting a child to

Practice –and patience – makes perfect when it comes to business.

intensive training in a particular field.

He based his conclusions on the family

history of 400 famous child prodigies.

Eventually, Polgar decided to test his

theories on his own family.

He deliberately chose a partner – his

Russian-born wife – who was willing to

go along with his plan to turn their future

children into prodigies.

They selected chess as their avenue

for learning and, upon the birth of each

of their three daughters, subjected them

to intensive training.

All three went on to become world-class

players, despite the fact that women are

noticeably underrepresented in the elite

levels of the game.

So, what does all of this mean for your

retail business?

You may not share the intensity of Laszlo,

but evidence tends to show that you can

teach yourself, and your staff, whatever

skills you wish.

The key to success is whether or not you

are willing to commit the time and energy

required to get results. Now, this does

not mean you need to start hiring five-

The staff

member who

seems unable to

sell diamonds

could become

your best

diamond seller

if you are

willing to invest

the time in their

training and


year-olds to get them up to speed by a

reasonable age!

Nor does it mean you have to spend

10,000 hours to master a new skill –

which equates to six hours of practice

a day for 4.5 years – or expect that from

your staff.

The central point of both Gladwell and

Syed’s books is that expertise and skill

can be learned rather than innate –

anyone can master a skill with sufficient

desire and willingness.

The staff member who seems unable to

sell diamonds could become your best

diamond seller if you are willing to invest

the time in their training and support.

Foster your skills

At the same time, business success itself

says less about talent and more about your

ability to embrace the topic and spend the

time understanding the skills you need.

Understanding numbers is a case in

point. Many business owners feel that

handling their company’s financial affairs

is something that only a select few can do,

but this is not the case. No-one is born an


Getting your head around your finances

and overall business performance is

about taking the time to understand the

different factors involved.

While some have an innate ability to

grasp numbers, for the vast majority it is

something that is learned – and the more

you expose yourself to the necessary

lessons, the quicker you will comprehend

the data required.

So, in order to be successful, take the

time to develop your skills – and those

of your staff – in the areas of expertise

that will pay the highest dividends for

your business.

DAVID BROWN is is co-founder

and business mentor with Retail

Edge Consultants. Visit:


89 | October 2020


Marketing & PR

Adapting marketing strategies to the changing

patterns of consumer behaviour

During and post-COVID, consumers have been exhibiting unfamiliar buying patterns. For retailers, it’s a case of

same, same, but different – and the approach to marketing should reflect that, says BARRY URQUHART.

They’re back: in every state and territory

in Australia, bar Victoria, consumer foot

traffic in key shopping centres and prime

retail precincts is reportedly at around 86

per cent of the levels recorded in March,

immediately prior to the declaration of the


And in nearly every way, the consumers

are the same as before; the faces

are familiar, addresses have not

changed. Neither have the credit

and debit card details.

Loyalty cards are still valid and

accumulating points – however,

there appears to be little consumer

commitment to the businesses

issuing them.

Advertising messages are eliciting fewer,

and slower responses, while promotional

activities are generating less interest,

fewer responses and attendances.

Customers are, quite simply, exhibiting

differing buying patterns. So, what is a

retailer to do in this new ‘COVID normal’?

Scouting the landscape

First, let’s examine those marketing

strategies that have been ineffective in

the wake of COVID-19.

Big price-discounting campaigns are,

seemingly, not increasing revenues as

the price savings are being accepted –

if not expected.

However, volumes do not reflect the

enhanced value offers.

Consumer loyalty and repeat business

with individual stores and brands

appears to be tenuous at best.

Relationships are founded on each

transaction, alongside competitive

pricing, payment options, and incentive

post-purchase services, yet those

relationships are now fractious,

hard-earned, and short-term.

At the same time, online sales have

not proven to be the saviour for all

stores, particularly those with a bricksand-mortar

presence alongside an

Post-COVID, consumer psychology has seen a profound shift.

e-commerce offering. Indeed, during

June, total national online sales declined

by some 2 per cent for the first in more

than seven years.

Analysis shows this was an expression

and qualification of consumer

dissatisfaction with poor, slow and

variable delivery standards.

As it turns out, delivering the e-commerce

promise – which Australian consumers

were already more reluctant than most to

embrace – is both difficult and expensive.

Closing the gap

Many bold statements and declarations

by corporate management about their

‘customer-focus’, ‘customer-driven

service’ and ‘customer-centricity’ have

been found to be shallow over the course

of the past few months.

The recognition of customers has

frequently been limited to demographic

profiles and historic buying patterns –

such are the characteristics and typical

deficiencies of algorithms and artificial



messages are

eliciting fewer,

and slower

responses, while


activities are

generating less

interest, fewer

responses and


Intuitive reasoning, understanding and

responses are sparse. The nuances

inherent in the spoken word and bodylanguage

are seldom recognised,

comprehended and appreciated.

In the offline channel, the allure of

personal contact with in-store sales

and service providers has remained for

consumers, yet sadly the expectations

and promises have often fallen short

because of rationalised staffing levels.

Put simply, the large capital investments

in social, digital and online capacities

have not been matched by complementary

and contributing capabilities of

experienced, qualified and enthusiastic


From a marketing perspective, it appears

too many eggs have been placed in the

wrong baskets – especially now that

stores, for the most part, have reopened

their doors.

The physical presence of consumers has

been, and continues to be, conspicuous.

However, their psychological perceptions,

aspirations, expectations and purchase

criteria have changed, often substantially.

Each is a consequence of lockdowns,

social isolation and inhibited mobility. Yet

looks can be, and often are, deceiving.

Converting sales and fulfilling needs

requires closer analysis, understanding

of the ‘new’ consumers, and refinements

to business practices and promises.

When strategising for the next period,

it is advisable to start wholly from

scratch, rather than assuming the same

marketing incentives will be as effective

as they were before.

At the same time, it is critical for

businesses to learn from the mistakes

of others in adapting to COVID-19, and

determine where their energies are

best spent in attracting and retaining


BARRY URQUHART is managing

director of Marketing Focus. He has

been a consultant to the retail industry

around the world since 1980. Visit:


90 | October 2020


Logged On

How to create an Instagram ad that increases sales

Instagram advertising is an important and efficient tool in building your business, writes ALLISON HALL –

but it is essential to have the correct strategy in place to make the most of this social media platform.

Small business owners – particularly

independent retailers – are told time and

time again that they ‘should’ be advertising

on Instagram. Yet it can be challenging

to harness the true power of this social

media platform.

Instagram advertising is like a magnetic field

that attracts customers to your business.

According to Instagram’s figures, it has

400 million active daily users who create

80 million posts each day. This means your

advertising has the ability to reach a very

large number of people.

At the same time, you can also create very

targeted ads to maximise your chances for

converting sales.

Paying for Instagram ads need not be a

large financial commitment, and the types of

ads you create can be tailored to your budget

– whether it is $10 per day or $10,000.

Most importantly, Instagram ads are

extremely effective. Some digital marketing

experts say that Instagram ads are twice as

cost-effective as Facebook ads due to the

higher number of clicks they receive.

Developing a strategy

Once you decide to create an Instagram ad,

the first step is to determine your objective.

Some of the most common goals include

driving traffic to your website, increasing

sales, gaining more social media followers,

and increasing engagement to build brand


Don’t try to ask a viewer to both follow you

(increase your follower count) and make a

purchase (increase sales). The total viewing

time of your ad will be short, so the goal

needs to be succinct and attainable.

The next step is to decide who your audience

is. Instagram’s targeting options can be

broken down into three categories:

• Core Audiences – The app’s default option

• Custom Audiences – Numerous data

sources are used to pull a group of users who

have previously interacted with your brand

• Lookalike Audiences – Data is analysed

Instagram is more than a popularity contest – it’s a powerful sales tool.

to create a group of users who have similar

characteristics to your existing customers

or followers

Look at your Instagram page’s Insight tab in

order to find out the demographics of your

pre-existing followers.

Alternatively, you can make decisions based

on the type of person who is going to be

interested in your specific product or service.

Creating the content

Once you have your objective and audience

in mind, the next step is to determine which

type of Instagram ad would be the most

effective to achieve your goal.

You can choose from single photo ads,

carousel ads – that is, multiple photos that

users ‘swipe’ through – video ads, Instagram

Stories ads, and ads on the ‘Explore’ page.

There are different benefits to each type.

For example, static photo ads are visually

compelling, and users can ‘Save’ and return

to the post.

Video ads can be up to one-minute long

which allows you to tell the story of your

business, present a problem and solve it,

or go in-depth about how a product works.

When you create an Instagram video

ad, optimise it for mobile viewing.

Natasha Courtenay-Smith, CEO of digital

One of the best


to avoid being

skipped over

is to make

your Instagram

ad look like a

post created

by a friend

marketing firm Bolt Digital, says this means

incorporating movement in the first three

seconds. The audio of the Instagram video

will also be muted by default, so it is crucial

to add text or captions to let viewers know

what is going on.

Meanwhile, carousel ads allow up to 10

images or videos and give you the ability

highlight multiple products, or ‘deep dive’

into the details of a single product with

multiple angles and styling options.

The most important thing is to grab the

attention of the consumer immediately.

There is no time to waste – studies show an

ad needs to compel a viewer to stop within


Holding attention

One of the best approaches to avoid being

skipped over is to make your Instagram

ad look like a post created by a friend. In other

words, make the ad not appear to be an ad.

We see this increasingly with cosmetic and

skincare companies, such Glossier.

These advertisements are effective because

they blend into an Instagram feed and

therefore are not immediately ignored.

They also feel authentic, approachable and

familiar – and can make it appear as if the

products are recommended by a user’s peers,

instead of being promoted by a business.

Finally, decide on your call-to-action button.

For example, do you want the viewer to

immediately purchase your product or call

you to make an appointment? Choose the

option which caters to your goal, and then

create visuals which compel them to click.

By following this guide to brainstorm your

Instagram advertising strategy, you will put

yourself on track for a focused, successful

campaign that persuades potential shoppers

to act.

ALLISON HALL is a marketing and

public relations specialist at Three Girls

Media, an award-winning agency based

in Seattle. Visit: threegirlsmedia.com

91 | October 2020

My Bench

Ryan Haddrell

Clayfield Jewellers, Brisbane QLD

Age 42 • Years in Trade 25 • Training Four-year apprenticeship, and 21 years of learning every day. • First job Hungry Jacks kitchen hand! My first job in the

jewellery trade was as an apprentice training under Mal Gray at Richardson’s Jewellers, then Doug Morris Jewellers shortly after. • Other Qualifications Gem setter,

CAD designer, laser operator, and karate black belt




This piece is a favourite of mine. It’s a platinum solitaire

engagement ring set with a 1-carat oval-cut diamond and

20 smaller diamonds in the band. I really enjoy it because the

setting gives the ring a great look – maximum sparkle with

minimal metal. It features a flow-up style band, micro-set

shoulders and arrowhead claws. I used our laser welder for

soldering to fuse the metal with no pitting or dragging from

the joints. To create the micro-set shoulders, I used a twist

drill, fissure burr, ball burr, hart burr and saw frame. It lives

up to the name ‘Simple Sophistication’.

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE Parti sapphire because

I love the beautiful combination of colours –

greens, yellows, blues, etcetera, mixing together

to create very unique looks.

4FAVOURITE METAL 18-carat yellow gold.

It’s very easy and ‘friendly’ to use; it’s great for

drawing wire and forging. Simple to solder. I also

love the yellow colour of 18-carat gold.

4FAVOURITE TOOL Laser welder. It gives

me abilities that I would have loved to have

had in the first half of my career. I handle

heat-sensitive stone with much more ease than

in the days of soldering in a sand pit.

I can pinpoint solder 0.4mm spots in very awkward

positions in seconds. I also do not use binding wire

any more and can tack things together very quickly

with no tongs or tweezers.


The days of acid testing are over and it’s awesome

to get a fast and accurate breakdown of exactly

what is in the metal I am working with.

4BEST PART OF THE JOB Being creative and

getting to help people in our own way, such as

helping a customer create their dream jewellery

piece from an idea or old gemstones – that could

mean the world to them. Or, on a more practical

note, cutting a customer’s ring off to get back

some blood flow!

4WORST PART OF THE JOB Sitting down – a lot.


cut once.

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Plan your work.

Get all the numbers and information on paper

before you start a complex project and never

assume details, where possible.


Eyes and lungs. There are lots of hot and sharp

things that can go into your eyes, so wear eye

protection please! For lungs, we must concern

ourselves with mainly polish dust and plating

fumes. It’s essential to wear a good quality mask.


possibilities of what you can create when you try

to master an art form is very fulfilling.

92 | October 2020

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The importance of kindness post-COVID

When figuring out a strategy to survive the new reality of retail, the jewellery industry’s greatest

strength is in our kindness and loyalty to each other, writes HELEN THOMPSON-CARTER.

You are probably, like me and everyone

else in the world, wondering when

COVID-19 will be stopped in its tracks.

Unfortunately, it is not looking likely

any time soon. The feeling is more that

we now need to embrace life within a

global pandemic, and everything that

comes with it.

New Zealand went ‘hard and fast’ back

in March. Many businesses – outside of

those deemed essential services – saw

limitations imposed on trade, both instore

and online.

Our approach was one of the strictest in

the world, and the impact on businesses

was extreme. Yet for some retailers, April

and May were as good as Christmas in

terms of sales and revenue.

Then we emerged from this six-week

lockdown straight into a euphoric frenzy

of retail spending.

It was great for our jewellery industry –

the repairs, remakes, and watch battery

replacement jobs piled up, and the

consumers came out to treat themselves

to something new and beautiful.

However, the emergence of customers

with money in their pocket was shortlived.

Now it has all come home to roost

– financially, for many people things are

tough and tight. Economically, things

have slowed down.

But in our jewellery industry, it is not

‘over and out’.

We have a Prime Minister whose favourite

saying during the COVID period has been,

“Be kind.” If I can take this slogan and

apply it to our industry right here and

now, it is indeed a time to be kind.

It is a time to shift the thinking of, ‘What

can you do for me?’ to ‘What can we

do together?’

Retailers need a supply chain and the

supply chain needs the retailers.

It has become difficult to conduct

international business, particularly with

countries such as India, which is an

integral part of the jewellery supply chain.

So, more than ever, we need to support

local and foster those long-term supplier

relationships – and local includes our

trans-Tasman friends.

I, like most suppliers, understand that

retailers need to be cautious, stock needs

to be turned, and risks mitigated, while

sitting on a sizeable emergency fund for

those ‘just in case’ times which seem to

be occurring more and more frequently.

Yet some retailers have taken this to

the extreme, thinking in the short-term

without planning for the long.

The downside is that this has the potential

to be catastrophic to the industry supply

chain. Adopting a ‘no buy’ attitude could

very well kill us, and retailers too.

Fresh stock is important. Retailers need

to keep their loyal customers happy,

as well as tempt new customers, by

re-ordering the best-selling lines and

ordering new and exciting products.

Yet if their regular suppliers disappear,

retailers will have to search for stock from

unknown sources. In doing so, they risk

purchasing lower-quality products and

sacrificing the deals they currently enjoy

as a result of long-term relationships.

To quell some of the fear jewellers are

To succeed

in this new


also requires us

to strengthen

our support for

each other –

and have faith

in what we

have, and do,

every day

feeling, it’s important to remember the

things jewellery represents, celebrates

and signifies won’t disappear because

of COVID-19 or a recession.

Birthdays, weddings, engagements,

anniversaries, and other special

occasions will still happen every year,

and we are lucky to be in an industry

where customers turn to us to help

them mark these wonderful events!

Yet there is no denying that we are going

to have to work harder for what we get,

developing a deeper understanding of the

ways in which consumers are searching,

shopping, and spending in this post-

COVID environment.

We will need to adjust our offering

accordingly to suit their needs.

For most in the jewellery industry, that

means being more digital, more engaging

and more present, being a better

storyteller, and being far more proactive

in selling the virtues of fine jewellery.

To succeed in this new environment also

requires us to strengthen our support for

each other – and have faith in what we

have, and do, every day.

So, let’s be COVID kind. Support local,

support those within the industry who

have supported you, keep that support

close to home, and together let’s make

sure our beautiful industry continues

to shine.

Name: Helen Thompson-Carter

Company: Fabuleux Vous

Position: Founder and director

Location: Auckland, NZ

Years in Industry: 10

94 | October 2020


to a city near you!










February 13 – 14, 2021

Brisbane Convention Centre


February 20 – 21, 2021

ICC Sydney

Darling Harbour

March 13 – 14, 2021

Perth Convention

& Exhibition Centre

March 20 – 21, 2021



We are ready to get back to business and recognise the importance

to reconnect quickly and efficiently.

Introducing the Retail Trade Days, giving wholesalers an easy and affordable opportunity to connect

with local retailers, easy access to an event, with a cross section of suppliers in their own state.

The Retail Trade Days will be a marketplace of leading jewellery suppliers, all trading from a trestle table

with a maximum cap of 2 tables. It is designed to ensure that participants focus their offer on samples of

their latest new releases, or dead stock they are looking to clear. With exhibitor packages starting at

only $1,100, don’t miss out on bouncing back with these intimate and local focused events.

Get in touch!

If you have any questions, or want to secure your involvement contact the team at Expertise Events.

Phone: (02) 9452 7575

Email: jewelleryfair@expertiseevents.com.au

Organised by:

Est. 1990

Automatic & Mechanical


www. Classiquewatches.com



E orders@samsgroup.com.au W samsgroup.com.au P 02 9290 2199

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