Jeweller - November 2020

• Saving Pandora: how a jewellery juggernaut shrugged off the pandemic panic • Clocked and loaded: why perfecting ecommerce is key to improving watch sales • Christmas tips: prepare to make your holiday season sales sparkle

• Saving Pandora: how a jewellery juggernaut shrugged off the pandemic panic
• Clocked and loaded: why perfecting ecommerce is key to improving watch sales
• Christmas tips: prepare to make your holiday season sales sparkle


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Saving Pandora



Clocked and loaded



Christmas tips



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This Month

Industry Facets

16 Upfront



Time Machine: November 2010

18 COVID-19 Update



By Charlotte


Clocked and loaded

GRAHAM HENRICKSON delivers a frank

assessment of retailers selling watches online.

22 News

38 Jewellers Showcase





Jade Part II: Nephrite


David Hollanders


Richard Mayo




Pandora through the pandemic


The Pandora paradox

Jeweller takes stock of how Pandora defied

the odds during the COVID-19 crisis.



Online watch sales: Running out of time

Better Your Business







DOUG FLEENER reveals the different kinds of staff behaviour that shut down sales.


Make sure these items are on your Christmas checklist, writes DAVID BROWN.


DALE FURTWENGLER advises how to stay productive as a business owner.


LISA MASIELLO explains the difference between customer loyalty and satisfaction.


Engagement is the key to social media sales, writes KARYN GREENSTREET.




Liza Borzaya’s Red Bumblebee

Earrings are crafted in 18-carat

yellow gold with white and

black diamonds, black pearls,

yellow sapphire, and enamel.


November 2020 | 11




jewellery + watches

p +61 (0)8 8221 5580

sales@timesupply.com.au | timesupply.com.au

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#Instagram hashtags to follow

Alpha Order


55,465+ POSTS


10,434+ POSTS

Stranger Things



The Black

Prince’s Ruby

4Now part of the British Crown

Jewels, the Black Prince’s Ruby

is the world’s largest known

uncut spinel. Weighing 170 carats,

the gemstone’s first recorded

owner was Abu Said, the Prince

of Granada, in the 14th Century.

It was later traded to the son of

King Edward III, a legendary knight known as the Black Prince, in

exchange for a military alliance. The spinel adorned King Henry

V’s helmet at the Battle of Agincourt and was later set in the

Imperial State Crown (above) for the coronation of Queen Victoria.

Read the full

Talkwalker x

HubSpot 2021

Social Media

Trends report,

including the

rest of the top 10

trends, here.



61,876+ POSTS


19,772+ POSTS


21,367 POSTS


Digital Brainwave



136,925+ POSTS


14,263+ POSTS


149,443+ POSTS

4Social media analytics platform Talkwalker

and marketing software firm HubSpot have

published a new report predicting the top

trends that will dominate social media in 2021.

Number-one was the rise of sociallyconscious

consumers who look to engage with

brands about issues and causes. Next was the

rise of digital disinformation, with businesses

advised to beef up online security and

communicate transparently with customers.

Rounding out the top three trends was the

continued dominance of current social media

apps, which the report predicts will integrate

more shopping features throughout the year.


4Pearl earrings have emerged as

a growing trend, with several fashion

designers including Jason Wu (above)

accessorising their latest spring/

summer collections with the soft and

feminine jewellery.

Campaign Watch

4French fashion house Hèrmes has

unveiled its latest collection, Lignes

Sensibles, meaning ‘sensitive lines’.

Designed by Pierre Hardy, the collection

is crafted in rose gold and studded with

soft-hued cabochon gemstones (as in

the À l’écoute Necklace, above, which

features prehnite, sapphire, tourmaline,

and diamonds).

Jason Wu spring/summer 2021, Getty Images

Hèrmes À l’écoute Necklace

Weird, wacky and wonderful

jewellery news from around the world

Crystal healing

4Scientists from RMIT

University in Melbourne have

developed a ‘smart’ wound

dressing made from silk

and diamonds. The “gamechanger”

dressing can sense

temperature changes at the

wound site – an early sign

of infection – and don’t need

to be removed. The dressing

also showed “extremely high

antibacterial resistance” to

certain types of bacteria.

Law and disorder

4Two actors and a jewellery

store owner have reportedly

sued a US TV network over

a ‘traumatic’ armed robbery

scene filmed for a crime show.

According to TMZ, producers

did not have permits or police

permission to film the ‘guerillastyle’

robbery – complete with

masks, guns, and a getaway

van – and the store owner did not

realise the robbery was fake.

Novel approach

4A respected jewellery

industry journalist has written

a murder mystery novel set in

New York’s Diamond District.

Murder Is Forever, the debut

novel from JCK Online news

director Rob Bates, follows Mimi

Rosen – a young woman who

gets caught up in a conspiracy

after her cousin is seemingly

murdered over a $4 million

pink diamond.


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 • Digital Co-ordinator Trish Bucheli-Preece trish@jewellermagazine.com • Accounts Paul Blewitt finance@befindanmedia.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

23 November

Scheduled reopening of all

NSW borders, including

Victoria and New Zealand

$4 billion

announced to fund the Federal

Government’s JobMaker Hiring

Credit, which provides incentives

for businesses to hire new

employees aged 16–35


September retail

turnover, compared

with September 2019

* Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4 November 2020

“This year retailers need to prepare for the

influx of online orders that may come their

way, earlier than usual. In November, there

is a continuum of big shopping events from

Click Frenzy on 10 November to Singles

Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The entire month has unofficially been

labelled ‘Black November.’”




“We need a highly-targeted,

careful and gradual reopening

of the national economy...

Getting all of Australia’s

domestic borders open again by

Christmas would be a $3 billion

gift to the nation.”




“The day after the Melbourne

Cup is when the Christmas

shopping season traditionally

gets underway, and there is

much to be optimistic about.

Victorian retailers are open for

business. Consumer confidence

is at an eight-month high.”




“Australia has performed far

better than many comparable

countries in controlling

coronavirus... This along with

a bit of luck should result in a

stronger, more assured recovery

in the Australian economy.”


of Millennials and Gen Z

consumers surveyed planned

to buy fine jewellery during

the holiday season

* Platinum Guild International x 360 Market Reach survey

Retail sales were up 6.8% in

Q3 of 2020 – 4.4% above Q1,

which was pre-COVID

* Westpac Australia & New Zealand Weekly,

2 November 2020


of Australian shoppers

plan to split their holiday

shopping between


stores and online

* Oracle Retail Survey/B&T Magazine

Western Australia

is the current ‘star

performer’ of the

retail sector

* Power Retail, 4 November 2020 ABC, 13 October 2020




National Jeweler

Watch replays of

GemFind’s past

webinars for more

advice on creating

an effective

jewellery website

and using digital


4Jewellery industry digital

marketing firm GemFind is

hosting a Christmas trading

webinar entitled ‘Most Effective

Digital Marketing Tactics for

the Holiday Season’ on 10


Hosted by GemFind’s vicepresident

of sales and

marketing, Anthony Arechiga,

the session will focus on

strategies for standing out and

improving e-commerce sales

during the holiday period.

The webinar

is based on

findings from a

new PGI report

which explored

consumers’ post-

COVID sentiments

about jewellery.

4The next instalment

of the World Jewellery

Confederation’s Jewellery

Industry Voices webinar series

takes place on 19 November.

Jewellery as a Symbol for the

Meanings of Life: Story-telling

to Consumers in the New

Normal of 2021’ features

panellists from China, the

USA, France and India and is

sponsored by Platinum Guild

International (PGI).

From private

viewings to Zoom

rooms and more,

the webinar will

cover plenty

of ground for

connecting with


4For even more

Christmas sales advice,

US jewellery industry

publication National

Jeweler is hosting a

webinar on 17 November

focused on holiday events.

‘Holidays 2020: How to

Host the Right Event for

Your Business’ will see

jewellery consultants Kate

Peterson and Kathleen

Cutler discuss jewellers’

COVID-safe options.

18 | November 2020

Every holiday season is vital to your

business, and this year, success has

a new level of importance.

As you meet the demands of this

busy season, Stuller is ready to help

with our robust in-stock inventory.

Visit Stuller.com/Holiday.

Items featured, left to right: 87325 and 124536


+1 337-262-7700

Created by members, for members




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Today, Showcase Jewellers is a powerhouse of resources

essential for the independent jewellery retailer, especially in

the area of technology.

Our members have so many resources at their fingertips to

support the running of their business:

• Training

• Marketing

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• Human resources

• Central billing

• Financial planning

• Exclusive in-house


• Conferences

• In-house loose diamond

inventory, both mined

and lab grown.

• Stock ranging

• Extensive supplier

base at both local and

international level

including the latest

fashion brands.

Alongside these resources, you have the support of an

experienced and engaged head office team, as well as

your fellow members. The Showcase Jewellers Group

provides a community and network in which your business

is supported and will positively thrive. We are enormously

proud of our community and hope to welcome you into

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Australian gemstone dealer

linked to al-Qaeda

Michael Hill reports strong results amid

COVID-19 pandemic

Gemstone dealer Ahmed Luqman Talib, director of Talib

& Sons, outside his Melbourne home during a police raid on

20 October. Image credit: Andrew Henshaw/Herald Sun.

The US government has designated an Australian

gemstone dealer as an ‘associated facilitator’ of terrorist

organisation al-Qaeda, with local police subsequently

raiding his home in the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster.

An official statement from the US Department of the

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

declares that Ahmed Luqman Talib, 30, “has had financial

dealings in a number of countries and is involved in

dealing gemstones, which provide him with the ability to

move funds internationally for the benefit of al-Qaeda.

Talib’s gemstone business, Talib & Sons, is based in

Melbourne and was registered with the Australian

Securities & Investments Commission in May 2019.

In its latest quarterly trading update, Michael

Hill International (MHI) has recorded

improvements to same-store sales and

e-commerce in the first quarter of FY20-21,

despite rationalising its store network from

301 to 289.

Australia was the jewellery company’s bestperforming

market, with same-store sales

increasing 12.5 per cent compared with the

same period in 2019 despite the temporary

closure of 28 Melbourne stores due to the

Victorian lockdown.

It is also MHI’s largest market, with 154 of its

stores – approximately 53 per cent of the total

network – located there.

Canada and New Zealand also recorded

strong results, with same-store sales

increasing 5.9 per cent and 4.7 per cent


Temporary store closures also impacted

the New Zealand results, with 16 Auckland

stores impacted by a three-week COVID-19


Daniel Bracken, CEO MHI, said, I am

particularly pleased with our first quarter

results... Although experiencing double-digit

foot traffic decline at a store level, we achieved

a significant lift in same-store sales.”

Revenue for the quarter totalled $119.3

million, a modest drop of 3.6 per cent when

compared with 2019. Australia recorded the

largest fall in total sales, of 5 per cent – versus

an increase of 5.7 per cent in Canada.

MHI’s e-commerce sales continued their

upward trend, increasing by 129 per cent when

compared with the same period in 2019; in

April, the company noted online sales had

increased 49.1 per cent.

Notably, the Brilliance loyalty program

has increased its membership by more

than 80 per cent since 30 June 2020 to

260,000 members.

Talib is director of the company, while his wife Jerry

Campbell is a minority member shareholder, the Herald

Sun reports.

The Talib & Sons website describes it as “a family

business specialised in the sourcing and purveying of

fine coloured gemstones” with “over four generations of

inherited ethics, skill and gemstone knowledge”. It claims

to have been “established in the coastal town of Beruwala

in the south-western region of Sri Lanka” and to have an

“extensive international procurement” network.

Following the US announcement, Victoria Police,

Australian Federal Police, and Australian Security

Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers executed a

search warrant of Talib’s home.

The Herald Sun reports that enquiries were also

made at several other addresses in Melbourne, NSW,

and Queensland.

Steven Mnuchin, US Secretary of the Treasury, said, “The

Treasury Department remains committed to disrupting

al-Qaeda’s financial activities and networks around

the world and appreciates the collaboration with our

Australian partners.”

As a result of the designation, Talib and his business are

prohibited from trading in the US or with any US citizens,

and any US-based assets will be frozen. At the time of

publication, no charges had been laid.

Jeweller contacted Ahmed Luqman Talib for comment,

but did not receive a response.

Defendant in Melbourne Gold Company robbery

faces court, awaits sentencing

Melbourne man Karl Kachami is now awaiting

sentencing over his role in the $3.9 million heist,

which took place on 27 April.

Karl Kachami, one of two defendants in the

$3.9 million robbery of gold dealer Melbourne

Gold Company (MGC), was remanded in

custody on Thursday 29 October after pleading

guilty to a range of charges.

The married father, 48, had been free on bail

since June, but is facing a custodial sentence

which will be handed down on 23 November.

Appearing for Kachami, Philip Dunn QC

acknowledged that his client would be “going

to jail – it’s a matter of how long he goes to

jail for”.

The court heard that Kachami agreed to

conduct the 27 April robbery with his friend

Daniel Ede – an employee at MGC – to

“preserve his life and wealth”.

Kachami had amassed a multimillion-dollar

property portfolio, though his primary source

of income – a boarding house for international

students in the prosperous inner-city suburb

of Fitzroy – had been severely impacted by the

COVID-19 pandemic.

“His whole house of cards which he was trying

to hold up… has [now] been totally trashed,”

The Age quotes Dunn as saying.

Dunn characterised his “naïve” client as a

“bungling burglar” with no prior criminal

convictions, who had initially dismissed

Ede’s plan to rob MGC.

However, prosecutor Brett Sonnet rejected

that characterisation, saying, “The intent

was to steal from a business premise in t

he city... the intent was to steal a large amount

of money.

“Both men played for very high stakes.


22 | November 2020










1 JCK 76,396 2:41 USA


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

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

2 Jeweller 110,888 29:52 Australia

3 National Jeweller 157,922 1:56 USA


Instore Magazine 174,250 2:08 USA

5 Rapaport Magazine* 180,455 1:46 USA

6 Idex* 269,774 3:01 Israel

7 Jewellery Net Asia 350,859 2:32 Hong Kong

8 Professional Jeweller 416,169 1:44 UK

9 The Jewelry Magazine 533,052 1:00 India

10 Diamond World* 597,985 1:48 India

Not only is Jeweller the #1 industry magazine in

Australia and New Zealand by far, we are ranked #2

in the world by Alexa, the global ranking system for

analysing website readership.

Yes, your own Jeweller is now ranked the second

most widely read jewellery publication in the world,

just behind the US’s JCK magazine.

Better still, according to Alexa, the daily time spent on

jewellermagazine.com is nearly 30 minutes, which far

exceeds all is other business-to-business titles which

average between 2–3 minutes per visitor.

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 7 November 2020

* Denotes magazines connected to diamond trading platforms





In Brief

Alrosa pink diamond

set to be auctioned

4The Spirit Of The Rose – one of

the world’s largest vivid purplepink

diamonds – will hit the auction

block in Geneva on 11 November.

Sotheby’s is set to sell the 14.83 carat

internally-flawless stone, which was

mined, cut and polished in Russia by

Alrosa. The 27.85-carat rough was

unearthed at the Ebelyakh deposit in

Yakutia in July 2017. It is expected to

fetch up to $US38 million.

Luxury group Kering

sees slow recovery

4French luxury group Kering – which

owns watch and jewellery brands

including Pomellato, Boucheron,

Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, and Girard-

Perregaux – has reported mixed

results for Q3 of 2020. Revenue fell

4 per cent compared with the same

period in 2019, with watches and

jewellery significantly impacted by

lack of tourism in Europe and Japan.

Louis Vuitton to sell

huge Botswana diamond

4Fashion house Louis Vuitton has

acquired a second large Botswana

diamond from mining company

Lucara, the 549-carat Sethunya

diamond, 10 months after it bought

the 1,758-carat Sewelô rough from

the same company. Louis Vuitton

plans to use the diamond as part of a

fully personalised jewellery design

experience, with the stone customcut

for a customer by HB Antwerp.

Breitling embraces


4Swiss manufacturer Breitling has

begun issuing blockchain-protected

‘digital passports’ for all its watches

following a successful pilot program

earlier this year. The ‘passports’

are designed to remove the need

for paper documentation, simplify

the warranty and repairs process,

and prevent stolen watches from

being on-sold. The passport is

automatically connected to Breitling’s

warranty program, tracks all repairs

to the watch, and is linked to a

transferable authenticity certificate.

Teeth are one

of the smallest

bones in a

sauropod and

there is an


of them at

Lightning Ridge



University of

New England

There’s nothing

we love more

than helping

our fans tap

into their

favourite stories

and worlds



Pandora Jewelry

Opalised dinosaur teeth found in NSW

Four sauropod teeth preserved through the

opalisation process in Lightning Ridge. Image

Courtesy Timothy Frauenfelder

Researchers from the University of New

England have analysed several sauropod

teeth preserved through opalisation

in Lightning Ridge, NSW, discovering

previously unknown details about

dinosaurs that once lived in the region.

The four teeth were supplied by the

Australian Opal Centre – which is located

in Lightning Ridge and is home to the

world’s premier public collection of opalised

dinosaur fossils – and the Australian

Museum in Sydney.

They belonged to species including

brontosaurus and brachiosaurus, which

could grow up to 40m and weigh 90 tonnes.

Pandora releases Star Wars collection

Pandora Jewelry has launched a limitededition

range of Star Wars-themed jewellery,

designed in partnership with production

company Lucasfilm.

The pieces include charms and a bracelet,

and feature characters such as Darth Vader,

R2D2, Princess Leia, and The Child – also

known as ‘Baby Yoda’ – from The Mandalorian

series, as well as light sabers and the iconic

Star Wars logo.

The range is crafted in sterling silver, oxidised

sterling silver, and 18-carat gold-plated

sterling silver, with enamel, crystal and cubic

zirconia accents.

Stephen Fairchild, chief creative officer

Pandora, said, “We’re honoured to bring

Star Wars to life through jewellery.

“The Star Wars galaxy is one of extraordinary

imagination, richly-detailed characters and

creatures, and incredible adventures – a

perfect fit for Pandora.”

Australia is the only known source of

opalised dinosaur fossils, and all

dinosaur fossils found at Lightning Ridge

are opalised. While sauropod fossils are

commonly found in central Queensland, few

have been discovered in NSW.

Lead researcher Timothy Frauenfelder

said the fossils provided valuable insights

into the prehistoric environment.

“Teeth are one of the smallest bones in

a sauropod and there is an abundance

of them at Lightning Ridge.

“Although small in comparison to other

sauropod fossils, which can be over one

metre long, teeth can be incredibly useful

in assessing ecology and diversity,”

he explained.

Frauenfelder added, “Sauropod dinosaurs

don’t have different types of teeth such

as molars or incisors, and differing tooth

shapes can give us an idea about how many

species were living in a particular area.

“Based on this, we can identify potentially

three different species of sauropods that

co-existed at Lightning Ridge.”

The findings were published in the scientific

journal Lethaia.

He added,“There’s nothing we love more than

helping our fans tap into their favourite stories

and worlds, so we can’t wait to see how they’ll

express their passion through these artfully

stylish accessories.”

The unisex range launched in Pandora stores

and online on 1 October, with a number

of high-profile Australian ‘influencers’ –

including Elle Ferguson, Pia Muehlenbeck,

Bambi Northwood-Blyth, Christian Wilkins

and Kane Vato – promoting the range through

social media.

The Star Wars range follows the successful

Pandora x Harry Potter jewellery collection,

which was released late last year. It proved

to be particularly popular with customers,

accounting for 4.6 per cent of total sales in

November and December 2019, according to

the company’s annual report.

The limited-edition range has since been

extended with new designs.

24 | November 2020

New report explores attitudes

to lab-grown diamonds


The MVEye report indicates consumers are increasingly aware of and open to

purchasing man-made stones. Image: Lightbox Jewelry

A new report from US-based

jewellery industry marketing firm

The MVEye – formerly known as

MVI Marketing – has found that the

man-made stones have reached a

new threshold of awareness and

ownership among consumers.

In Gaining Critical Mass: 2020

Lab Grown Diamond Consumer

& Trade Research Report, The

MVEye revealed the results of its

September 2020 survey of more

than 1,000 US consumers aged

23-55 who had purchased diamond

jewellery in the past three years.

The report – which was sponsored

by the International Grown

Diamond Association and US

jewellery trade publication InStore

Magazine – found that 80 per cent

knew about lab-grown diamonds,

compared with less than 10 per

cent in 2012 and an increase of 22

per cent in two years.

Notably, 8 per cent of consumers

said they already owned a piece

of lab-grown diamond jewellery;

lab-grown diamonds are

currently estimated to represent

approximately 2–3 per cent of the


by 38 per cent of independent

jewellery retailers in the US.

Companies including Signet

Jewelers – which owns the Zales,

Jared, James Allen, and Kay

Jewelers chains – have also begun

offering lab-grown diamonds within

the past 12 months.

Notably, 8 per cent of

consumers said they

already owned a piece

of lab-grown diamond

jewellery; lab-grown

diamonds are currently

estimated to represent

approximately 2–3 per

cent of the market

Marty Hurwitz, CEO The MVEye,

said, “Lab-grown diamond is

a high-margin category that

consumers are reacting to


“Now that Signet is in it, every

jewellery chain will have to take

a hard look at this category or lose

out on it.”

Consumers were most drawn to

the “size-to-value equation”, with

environmental impacts a secondary


The MVEye report estimated that

lab-grown diamonds were sold

As part of the report, The MVEye

surveyed 154 retailers, of which

approximately two-thirds sold labgrown


Of those that did stock lab-grown


Tiffany & Co. and LVMH revive

takeover deal, drop court case

Following the collapse of its $16.2 billion takeover of Tiffany & Co. last month,

LVMH has agreed to purchase the jewellery company at a reduced price.

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.

Proudly distributed by

Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

SE (LVMH) and Tiffany & Co.

have confirmed reports that a

new acquisition deal has been

accepted, and the two parties

will no longer proceed with a trial

which was scheduled to be heard

in January.

The original Merger Agreement,

which was inked on 24 November

2019, will be modified with a lower

purchase price and revised closing


LVMH will acquire Tiffany & Co.

for $US131.50 per share, totalling

$US15.8 billion – reduced

from $US135 per share, or

$US16.2 billion.

Roger N Farah, chairman of

the board of directors, Tiffany

& Co., said, “We are very pleased

to have reached an agreement

with LVMH at an attractive price

and to now be able to proceed with

the merger.

“The board concluded it was in

the best interests of all of our

stakeholders to achieve certainty

of closing.”

At the time of publication, Tiffany

& Co. shares were trading at

$US130.81, an increase of more

than 6 per cent compared with

26 October.

Bernard Arnault, president and

CEO LVMH, added, “This balanced

agreement with Tiffany’s board

allows LVMH to work on the

Tiffany acquisition with confidence

and resume discussions with

Tiffany’s management on the

integration details.

“We are as convinced as ever of

the formidable potential of the

Tiffany brand and believe that

LVMH is the right home for Tiffany

and its employees during this

exciting next chapter.”

It is an abrupt about-face for

LVMH, which excoriated Tiffany

& Co. management over its

handling of the COVID-19 crisis

after withdrawing from the

merger in September.

A particular target of criticism

was the payment of dividends to

Tiffany & Co. shareholders during

the first wave of the pandemic.

However, Tiffany & Co. argued

that the payment was justified

due to historical precedent,

having never missed or reduced

a dividend payment since 1987.

Notably, under the terms of the

revised Merger Agreement, Tiffany

& Co. will be allowed to pay its

regular quarterly dividend to

shareholders on 19 November.

While all international

regulatory approvals have now

been obtained, at the time of

publication, the new deal was still

subject to the approval of Tiffany

& Co. shareholders.

02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au

New GIA reports out of step with

international guidelines

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has begun issuing lab-grown diamond

grading reports which do not follow the guidelines specified by CIBJO.

The Gemological Institute of America

(GIA) has begun issuing its updated

Lab-Grown Diamond Grading Reports

(LGDRs), which do not follow the

latest guidelines published by CIBJO,

the World Jewellery Confederation.

In August, GIA announced that it

would change its LGDRs – which it

has issued since 2006 – to include

the same colour and clarity grading

system as it uses for natural

diamonds. Previously, LGDRs used

general descriptive terms.

The new reports also specify the

method of manufacture – chemical

vapour deposition (CVD) or highpressure,

high-temperature (HPHT)

– and include an indication of whether

post-growth treatments “may” have

been applied.

GIA has also redesigned the LGDRs

to visually differentiate them from

natural diamond grading reports.

However, CIBJO’s latest Laboratory-

Grown Diamond Guidance document

categorically states that the term

‘report’ is not appropriate for labgrown

diamonds .

A CIBJO statement dated 13 October

2020 notes, “Care should be taken

that the report itself does not infer a

similarity between a laboratory-grown

diamond and a natural diamond.

The report, therefore, is referred to

a ‘Laboratory-Grown Diamond

Product Specification’ and not a

grading report.”

Futhermore, “If the 4Cs are used by

a laboratory to describe the physical

characteristics of laboratory-grown

diamonds, the letters ‘LG’ should be

placed as a prefix before the 2Cs of

colour and clarity.”

“Care should be taken that the

report itself does not infer a

similarity between a laboratorygrown

diamond and a natural

diamond. The report, therefore, is

referred to a ‘Laboratory-Grown

Diamond Product Specification’

and not a grading report.”


The guidance document also

recommends that the manufacturer,

production batch, country of

manufacture, and specific postgrowth

treatment and process

information be included – none of

which are featured in the GIA LGDRs.

The Laboratory-Grown Diamond

Guidance document was developed

by a committee of representatives

from both the natural and lab-grown

diamond sectors, with its primary

purpose being to “protect and

enhance consumer confidence”.

Other organisations, including HRD

Antwerp, American Gem Society

Laboratories, Gemological Science

International and International

Gemological Institute, also offer

lab-grown diamond reports.


New details announced for Baselworld

replacement; Murdoch takeover hits snag

Organiser MCH Group has announced

further details of HourUniverse, the

trade fair and digital platform that is set

to replace the now-defunct Baselworld,

including launch dates and new features.

The online component of HourUniverse will

launch in February 2021, with a physical

trade show to follow from 8–21 April.

In a statement, MCH Group management

explained, “This new digital universe will

be a business and networking platform,

as well as a space for information, content

and conferences with live-streaming.

The online component of

HourUniverse will launch in

February 2021, with a physical

trade show to follow 8–21 April

“[It is] a platform also designed to serve

brands, permitting them to push their

content such as product launches, press

conferences, keynotes and seminars – live

and/or interactive, commercial or PR – in

their own corporate environment if they

wish, with selective access.”

The trade show – which MCH Group

describes as “a grand festival of

networking and experiences” with an

“urban tech atmosphere” – is set to take

place in the same venue that once held

Baselworld: Messe Basel.

While the event will retain some elements

of its previous iteration – including

conferences, pavilions, workshops,

exhibitions and a sales area – there will be a

greater emphasis on digital components.

This is reflected in the range of exhibitors,

which has been extended to include

‘connected products’, certified pre-owned

watch retailers, synthetic gemstone

manufacturers, and technology companies.

MCH Group has also promised a return to

the social atmosphere that once pervaded

Baselworld, with daily themed breakfasts

and Happy Hours, after-show parties, and

an opening and closing celebration.

Notably, the organiser has addressed

one of the most significant factors in the

decline of Baselworld by revamping its

pricing structure.

“The pricing policy has been drastically

adjusted to allow [exhibitors] a particularly

competitive return on investment… adapted

to their business, size, scope, expectations

and needs. Similarly, the accommodation

offered for exhibitors and visitors alike will

be at guaranteed ultra-competitive prices

without precedent.”

At the time of publication, specific details

of exhibition pricing and accommodation

rates had not yet been announced and no

exhibitors had been confirmed.

MCH Group has also announced its financial

results for the first half of 2020, revealing its

operating income fell 55 per cent compared

with the same period in 2019 largely as a

result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The losses were concentrated in the

exhibitions division, which recorded a

decline of 73 per cent compared with 2019.

This division accounts for more than half

of MCH Group’s revenue.

“MCH Group is expecting a decline in sales

of CHF230–270 million compared with

the previous year and an annual loss in

the upper double-digit million range,” the

report noted.

In July, the company’s Board of Directors

accepted an offer from Lupa Systems – an

investment firm whose founder and CEO

is James Murdoch, son of media magnate

Rupert Murdoch – to acquire a stake of

33.3–49 per cent for CHF10.50 per share.

The report stated that Lupa Systems was

“prepared to invest CHF75 million in the

MCH Group and help overcome the group’s

precarious economic situation”.

However, despite being approved by more

than 70 per cent of shareholders at an

extraordinary general meeting held in

August, the deal was blocked by the Swiss

Takeover Board (TOB).

The TOB found that, under Swiss law, Lupa

Systems would be required to make a

mandatory public offer to acquire any stake

larger than 33.3 per cent.

In a statement dated 28 August, Christian

Jecker, head of corporate communications

and investor relations MCH Group,

confirmed the company was in the process

of appealing the TOB decision to the Swiss

Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

The pricing

policy has been



to allow

[exhibitors] a



return on


adapted to

their business,

size, scope,


and needs



Featuring the

delicate pink tone of

Argyle pink diamonds



E pink@samsgroup.com.au

W samsgroup.com.au

P 02 9290 2199

Rio Tinto announces new diamond

tender; mining partner on the brink

The Diavik Helios, a 74.48-carat fancy yellow diamond mined in Canada, is Lot 1 in

Rio Tinto’s new Specials Tender of large diamonds. Image credit: Rio Tinto

In addition to its annual Argyle Tender

of pink, red, and blue diamonds, Rio

Tinto has begun a separate tender

for large stones weighing 10.8 carats

or more, including a fancy yellow

from Canada.

The ‘Specials Tender’ represents

the final sale of rough diamonds

from the Argyle Mine in Western

Australia, which is due to close at

the end of 2020.

Approximately 28,399 carats of rough

– including both fancy colours and a

26-carat gem-quality white stone –

are on offer.

Lot 1 of the Specials Tender is the

Diavik Helios. Originating from Rio

Tinto’s Diavik Mine in Canada’s

Northwest Territories, the 74.48-carat

fancy yellow diamond is named for the

ancient Greek sun god.

Patrick Coppens, general manager

– diamond sales and marketing, Rio

Tinto, said, “Since the Diavik Mine

began production in 2003, it has

produced on average only five large

yellow diamonds each year – in effect,

less than 0.001 per cent of Diavik’s

annual production.”

“The Diavik Helios is an exceptional

diamond in terms of its colour

saturation and clarity and will be

in strong demand from coloured

diamond specialists around the

world,” he added.

Bids for the Specials Tender are due

to close on 9 November, and the

collection will be shown in Antwerp

and Tel Aviv as well as online.

“The Diavik Helios is an

exceptional diamond in terms of

its colour saturation and clarity

and will be in strong demand from

coloured diamond specialists

around the world.”


Rio Tinto

Notably, Rio Tinto recently applied to

a Canadian court for permission to

sell its beleaguered junior partner’s

portion of Diavik rough, which it had

been holding as collateral.

Dominion Diamond Mines, which

controls a 40 per cent stake in the

Diavik Mine, has faced severe financial

difficulties due to the COVID-19

pandemic and filed for insolvency

protection in April.

Its interim CEO, Patrick Merrin,

stepped down on 20 October following

the collapse of a CAD126 million

($AU134 million) restructuring plan,

which would have sold its 90 per cent

interest in another Canadian diamond

mine, Ekati, to an affiliate of its

parent company.




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New report explores attitudes

to lab-grown diamonds


diamonds, 87 per cent indicated that they

were satisfied with their choice.

Meanwhile, 95 per cent stated that their

margins were higher for lab-grown diamonds

compared with natural diamonds, and

the closing rate for lab-grown sales was

estimated at 60–80 per cent.

Approximately half of these retailers said

that lab-grown diamonds “absolutely”

detract from their natural diamond sales.

“Lab-grown diamond is a highmargin

category that consumers

are reacting to positively... Every

jewellery chain will have to take

a hard look at this category or

lose out on it.”


The MVEye

A similar proportion of retailers who

stocked only natural stones indicated they

were happy with their current diamond

business, with one third saying “nothing

could change their mind” about stocking

lab-grown diamonds.

Hurwitz said, “Consumers already accept

lab-grown diamonds in all channels. The

roadblock to the success of this category

has never been the consumer, it has been

the trade.”

He added, “It doesn’t matter what consumers

have assigned that emotion [of love] to,

jewellers have to make a profit on it – that’s

the goal. Hanging on to just one product that

sells love may not be a good idea.”

The MVEye report also explored the

increase in consumer awareness for

branded lab-grown diamonds, finding that

Brilliant Earth and DIAMA By Swarovski

enjoyed the most recognition, at 35 per

cent and 34 per cent respectively.

Lightbox Jewelry – the lab-grown diamond

fashion jewellery brand manufactured

by De Beers and launched in May 2018

– had the largest increase in consumer

awareness, rising from 7 per cent

in September 2018 to 24 per cent in

September 2020.

Lightbox Jewelry – the labgrown

diamond fashion

jewellery brand manufactured

by De Beers and launched in

May 2018 – had the largest

increase in consumer

awareness, rising from 7 per

cent in September 2018 to

24 per cent in September 2020

In late October, Lightbox officially opened

an extensive new factory in the US state of

Oregon, which is forecast to reach its full

production capacity of 200,000 polished

carats per year in early 2021.

It has also begun selling its 14-carat gold

range through international e-commerce

jewellery retailer Blue Nile.

It marks the first time Lightbox jewellery

has been sold outside the US and Canada.

Through Blue Nile, Australian and New

Zealand consumers will be able to

purchase the pieces, which are priced

at $US600–1,750 ($AU850–2,480).

Rio Tinto announces new diamond tender; mining

partner on the brink


Dominion’s previous CEO, Shane Durgin, resigned

in February.

A spokesperson for Dominion told Rapaport News,

“During recent months, Dominion has faced

unprecedented challenges stemming from the COVID-19

pandemic and global shutdown of diamond sales.

“Unfortunately, the recent development with the sale

process will force us to conserve cash as much as

possible in the near term, which could mean extending

furloughs or making permanent layoffs.”

In its court filing, Rio Tinto subsidiary Diavik Diamond

Mines (DDM) – which controls the majority of the Diavik

Mine as well as day-to-day operations – noted that

Dominion owed it CAD121.9 million ($AU129.8 million).

“During recent months, Dominion has faced

unprecedented challenges stemming from

the COVID-19 pandemic and global shutdown

of diamond sales. Unfortunately, the recent

development with the sale process will force

us to conserve cash as much as possible.”


“Dominion has not repaid the… payments, or any portion

thereof, and has no intention of doing so. It would be

unjust and inequitable not to permit DDM to recover

amounts owing to it [by selling the rough],” the filing


Dominion filed documents in June alleging DDM had

breached the terms of the joint venture agreement,

which Rio Tinto strenuously denied.

A hearing on Rio Tinto’s rough sale application is

scheduled for 30 October. Dominion will remain under

insolvency protection until 7 November.

Defendant in Melbourne Gold Company robbery

faces court, awaits sentencing


In terms of gravity of offending, it is at the

highest end of the scale.”

The court heard that careful planning went

into the heist, including hiring a car, multiple

trips to a hardware store, and obtaining stolen

number plates.

Judge Howard Mason questioned Kachami’s

decision to take part in the heist instead of

selling his properties.

A witness impact statement from Michael

Kukulka, owner of Melbourne Gold Company,

was also read at the hearing.

Kukulka had known Ede for 15 years and said

the crime had left him distrustful and afraid,

having lost his “faith in mateship”.


police have


the majority

of the stolen


more than




Ede was arrested in May. Until his

appearance at Melbourne Magistrates’

Court on Wednesday 14 October, he had

maintained his innocence.

Following his guilty plea, other charges

– including firearms offences and perjury –

were struck out, The Age reports.

At the time of publication, Ede had not yet

been sentenced.

Kachami also wielded a firearm during the

robbery, though CCTV footage later showed

that the weapon was not loaded.

He added that his business had suffered as a

result of the robbery, as customers no longer

felt his premises were secure.

While police have recovered the majority

of the stolen goods, more than $300,000

remains missing.

32 | November 2020

10 Years Ago

Time Machine: November 2010

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

Historic Headlines

4 Swarovski raises bar for Sydney store

4 Diamond Exchange challenges JAA

4 Cash for gold exposé implicates jewellers

4 Peekays founder passes away

4 Michael Hill hunts for ‘best couple’

Luxury jewellers urged to

consider ethics

Luxury jewellers are being urged to respond to an

emerging consumer social conscientiousness in

order to secure commercial success.

Jonathan Kendall, president of the World Jewellery

Confederation (CIBJO)’s market and education

commission, wrote in a recent report that the

Global Financial Crisis had prompted customers to

rethink their purchasing decisions.

“Customer awareness and concern for social,

ethical, and environmental issues also underpin

a desire for their purchases to provide a lasting,

meaningful experience. Innovative product

concepts, luxury recycling, accessible supply

chain information and a visible celebration

of craftsmanship will appeal to tomorrow’s

customer,” Kendall explained.

Employment rules push

jeweller to sell store

Confusion over the new Modern Award rules

has forced a Tasmanian jeweller to put one of

his two stores on the market.

Following Jeweller’s revelation that retail

jewellers were struggling to understand the new

employment Acts, which came into effect on 1

January 2010, it has emerged that a jeweller has

decided he would be better off closing his threeyear-old

store in Deloraine altogether.

Tim Haab told Jeweller that he was fearful

because “the small changes in the awards have

resulted in me bearing a higher liability”.

November 2010

ON THE COVER Protea Diamonds

Editors’ Desk

4The Wisdom Of Marx: “My view is that

an industry association should consist

of industry members not the people

who provide products or services to that

industry. JAA membership should be

restricted to two channels – suppliers of

product or services to jewellery retailers,

and those who retail that product or

service to consumers.

It’s a little like Grouch Marx’s famous

line, ‘I refuse to join any club that would

have me as a member’.”


4Where Is The Love?: “In a high-end

jewellery store, every piece tells an

individual story of the owner. But the

jewellery also reflects the customer,

because we create something unique,

with materials that are being used

specifically for the creation of that item,

in close consultation [with them].

Fine jewellers must fight against the

commodification of jewellery, before

we get to a point where every sale

comes down to price.”

– Michael Neuman, co-owner Mondial

Neuman Jewellers


First Impressions Count:

“Before a customer examines your

gemstones, compliments your modern

jewellery design, or admires the quality

of your pieces, they are going to see your

store’s displays... Unfortunately, most

Australian retailers choose conservative

over innovative.”

Showcase moves into

New Zealand

Showcase Jewellers, one of Australia’s

top jewellery buying groups, has entered

New Zealand by merging with local buying

group Gemtime Jewellers after 12 months

of negotiation.

An agreement to merge Showcase with the

30-year-old Kiwi buying group was announced

during the JWNZ trade fair. Gemtime

chief exectuive Peter Alexander said, “The

merger will allow Showcase and Gemtime

to collaborate and create a leader in buying

and marketing power for Australian and New

Zealand independent jewellers.”

‘Offline’ jewellers missing

a trick

Only 36 per cent of Australian retailers own

a website, according to a recent MYOB survey,

showing there is still a long way to go before

the industry fully recognises the power of

the internet.

MYOB general manager Julian Smith said the

survey found a direct correlation between a

business’ web usage and its profitability.

Across the Tasman, internet take up is greater,

with 48 per cent of Kiwi retailers owning a

website. Smith attributed this to the size of

the local market, saying, “Kiwi retailers have

to think more creatively about how to market

their products.”



34 | November 2020




PO Box 866, Tullamarine, VIC 3043

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


My Store

By Charlotte

SYDNEY, NSW with Charlotte Blakeney, director • SPACE COMPLETED July 2019

4Who is the target market?

Our beautiful customers are primarily women, but

we do also get men purchasing for their family

members or partner.

Because of this, we wanted to create a space that

was feminine but not intimidatingly so. We kept

the colour scheme fairly creamy and neutral and

accented the space with soft pink florals and

rustic textures.

We also get customers across all demographics,

so we needed the space to be equal parts fun and

luxe – especially since we also sell 14-carat gold

diamond jewellery.

The space needed to be warm and playful, but still

clean and refined.

4Which features encourage sales?

Shopping can be such a stressful experience, so

rather than focus on optimising sales we want to

create a space that is tranquil, calming and warm.

We want our customers to step foot into our store

and immediately feel their stress melt away.

From the beautiful dried florals and natural textures

to our signature candle burning a heavenly tropical

scent, each sensory touchpoint in the store has

been chosen to evoke a sense of peace and calm.

At By Charlotte, we want our customers to resonate

with the jewellery on a deeper, more personal, level

– and a space that brings to life the spiritual and

empowering soul of the brand is essential.

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

As a brand we aim to empower women through

messages of love, peace and harmony. This was

something we heavily convey in the store with

inspiring mantras on the walls and mirrors; words

our customer can read through in their quiet

moments of browsing.

A particular favourite of mine is, “Everything you

are is enough.”

36 | November 020


Local Talent



Blue Sapphire &

Diamond Bangle

Metal: 18-carat

yellow gold

Gemstones: Blue

sapphire, white diamond

Martin Farkas

Adelaide, SA


Dress Ring

Metal: Yellow gold

Gemstones: Diamond, ruby

Jai Hay

Hobart, TAS


Rare Coloured Diamond Pavé Ring

Metals: 18-carat white gold, yellow gold

Gemstones: White diamond, fancy

colour diamonds

Aaron Wilson

Eltham, VIC

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

rarest gemstones in the world, but also the most talented jewellers.

Jeweller showcases a tapestry of local masterpieces that have been

meticulously crafted with great artisanship, right here on home soil


Anisoptera Collar

Metal: Anodised


Sarah Rothe

Adelaide, SA


Spring Colours Rings

Metal: Rose gold

Gemstones: Diopside,


Rob Wright

Oakura, NZ


Autumn Dream Earrings

Metals: 18-carat white

and rose gold

Gemstones: South Sea pearl,


Leah Abercrombie

Newcastle, NSW



Helena Ring

Metal: 18-carat

yellow gold

Gemstones: Bi-colour

sapphire, diamond

Jodi Phillips

Gold Coast, QLD



Manhattan Earrings

Metals: 18-carat

yellow and white gold

Gemstones: Parti

sapphire, green


Maria Lizunova

Sydney NSW


Natural Pearl

Cockatoo Pendant

Metal: Yellow gold

Gemstones: Free-form

keshi pearl

Shayne Rowe

Cairns, QLD


It Came From Outer Space Pendant

Metal: 18-carat yellow and white gold

Gemstones: Opal, spinel, diamond

Dean Walker

Burnie, TAS


Art Deco Engagement Ring

Metal: White gold, yellow gold

Gemstones: Yellow diamond,

white diamond

Jasmine Fraser

Melbourne, VIC


Torc Cuff

Metal: Recycled

sterling silver

Gemstones: Recycled

diamond, amethyst,

topaz, garnet

Kirra-Lea Caynes

Melbourne, VIC

November 2020 | 39

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 II: Nephrite

L to R: David Webb earrings | David Webb necklace | Antique Necklace

| Fred Leighton Bracelet Below: Fred Leighton bracelet

In part one of the jade series, we noted

that the name ‘jade’ is a commercial

term used for two minerals: jadeite and

nephrite. Last month we focused on

jadeite; this month, we focus on nephrite.

With a hardness of 6–6.5 on Mohs’ scale,

nephrite is a little softer than jadeite,

which has a hardness of 6.5–7.

However, it has a higher tenacity and is

regarded as the ‘toughest’ of gems.

This property of toughness makes it

suitable not only in a range of jewellery,

but also for use in gem carvings and

decorative items.

Nephrite is an opaque to semi-translucent

mineral with a vitreous to somewhat

greasy lustre. Most consumers will be

familiar with green nephrite, with its

colour ranging from pale to dark green.

However, the gem has other colours:

white, yellow, brown, grey and black, and

a rare blue. The ‘mutton fat jade’ of China

is actually nephrite.

Like its relative jadeite, nephrite is mostly

found in the form of pebbles and boulders

near streams and rivers.

This location is attributable to the

toughness of the mineral because these

two minerals do not weather easily. But

as the two form under different geologic

conditions, they are not found together in

the same location.

Nephrite jewellery often features beads

and carvings with animal and floral

motifs. High quality nephrite may be cut

as cabochons, and its strong colour and

opacity make the gem ideal for use in

rings and pendants.

Nephrite that is translucent with a solid

green colour is the most valuable.

Mottling of colour or the presence of

dark mineral inclusions lessens the

gem’s value.

Nephrite is a more common mineral

than jadeite, and its major sources are

New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, British

Columbia and Taiwan. It is the official

state mineral of Wyoming.

To the Maori of New Zealand, nephrite

– called pounamu or greenstone – is an

important gemstone found on the South

Island around Otago.

It has great cultural significance, used not

only for adornments but also for practical

uses, including making tools

and weapons.

It is often worn as a pendant called a

Hei-tiki, which can be a simple smooth

polished piece or carved into traditional

Maori symbols of good fortune.


From the Latin lapis

nephriticus, meaning

‘kidney stone’

Colour: Many, including

green, white, yellow,

brown, grey, black, and

rarely blue

Found in: New Zealand,

Mexico, Peru, British

Columbia (Canada),

USA and Taiwan

Mohs Hardness: 6.5–7

Class: Pyroxene

Lustre: Subvitreous


Ca 2

(Mg,Fe) 5

Si 8

O 22

(OH) 2

As with jadeite, nephrite has many imitants.

Because it is tougher than jadeite, nephrite

is more difficult to dye, so its imitants

tend to be other kinds of mineral that

may be dyed green, or minerals that are

naturally green.

A gemstone that can look similar is

bowenite, a member of the serpentine

mineral group.

However, unlike nephrite, the green colours

of bowenite tend to look rather yellowish or

blueish and may contain patches of white.

Bowenite is softer than nephrite, with a

hardness of 5.5 on Mohs’ scale.

Other imitants of jade include amazonite,

which is a blue-green variety of feldspar,

aventurine, a cryptocrystalline variety of

quartz, and massive grossular garnet.

Jade jewellery, whether it be jadeite or

nephrite, looks its best when kept clean.

Wipe it gently with a soft cloth dipped into

soapy water – don’t scrub or you will dull

the surface! Then use a cloth wetted with

just water to wipe off any soapy residue.

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

November 2020 | 41


Diamond Industry Update











rior to the COVID-19 pandemic and

resulting financial crisis, Pandora was

the most-targeted stock by share traders

who were betting that the stock would drop in

price. Yet a recent report by financial publication

Bloomberg found that the jewellery company had

defied all expectations.

The report explained, “In a year of lockdowns and falling

consumer spending, the top spot in the world’s bestperforming

national market has been taken, surprisingly,

by a Danish jewellery maker and retailer.

“Shares of Pandora A/S have jumped 64 per cent this year,

heading the OMX Copenhagen 20 and 25, which

lead country indexes globally in the period.”

The 20 September article states that the positive outlook

for Pandora follows a decline in short sellers’ interest

in the stock.

“Hedge funds started leaving when Pandora showed signs

that growth was coming back and it has had a ‘ketchup

bottle’ effect on the stock,” Per Fogh, an analyst at

Sydbank, told Bloomberg.

“The short sellers have been out closing their positions and

combined with the positive sentiment on growth, that has

given the [Pandora] stock a big boost.”

This news follows the company’s advice on 26 August to the

Nasdaq Copenhagen, formerly known as the Copenhagen

Stock Exchange, that Pandora CEO, Alexander Lacik, had

purchased 57,560 shares at a total price of DKK23,505,544,

and now holds a total of 161,628 shares.

The stock closed at DKK454 ($US69/$AU97) on 30 August

and has since traded as high as DKK579.

Pandora has been through the wars over recent years.

In February it released its 2019 annual report which

recorded revenue falling in six of its seven key markets over

the previous 12 months – including the US and Australia.


stock price


16 March –

13 October 2020

Source: Google Stocks


revenue in the first

nine months of 2020

Source: Pandora Interim

Financial Report Q3 2020,

figure converted from

DKK4.07 billion


concept (brandonly)

stores were

permanently closed

between Q3 FY19

and Q3 FY20

Source: Pandora Interim

Financial Report Q3 2020


of concept (brandonly)


reopened following

COVID-19 closures,

31 July 2020

Total revenue fell from DKK22.8 billion ($AU5 billion) in

2018 to DKK21.9 billion ($AU4.8 billion).

At the time the report was published, Pandora stock

traded at around DKK312 ($US48/$AU66). Just four

years earlier, Pandora’s share price hovered at DKK871

($US133/$AU185). That was during a period where

revenue growth reached 40.2 per cent; it has declined

every year since.

At the time of the 2019 report, the exception to the

downward trend was China, which recorded stable sales

and accounted for 10 per cent of the total revenue.

“The short sellers have been out closing

their positions and combined with the positive

sentiment on growth, that has given the

[Pandora] stock a big boost.”

Per Fogh, Sydbank

However, the COVID pandemic was just beginning and

it was predicted that the crisis would have a significant

impact on revenue in the first quarter of 2020, especially

given that Pandora had temporarily closed more than 50

Chinese stores, while locations that remained open had

seen reduced foot traffic.

Anders Boyer, chief financial officer Pandora Jewelry,

said at the time, “We have seen empty streets in China.

It’s quite dramatic. The situation is highly unpredictable.”

Unpopular designs and product

In July 2019, Pandora’s woes reached a low when, in an

extraordinary step, management found it necessary to

announce a ‘buy-back’ scheme from retail stockists.

Pandora Denmark set a worldwide budget to clear poor

performing and unsaleable jewellery ranges from the

retail channel.

November 2020 | 43

A TURNAROUND IN THE MAKING | Pandora during the pandemic


Faces of


Alexander Lacik

Current CEO, Pandora

Anders Colding Friis

Former CEO, Pandora



In an email to Pandora stockists,

Phil McNutt, then-managing director

Pandora Australia and New Zealand,

said the company “is initiating an

inventory purchase program for select

multi-branded [independent jewellers]

partners in Australia.

“The purpose of the program is to

assist with your inventory management

by allowing you to sell to Pandora

older, outdated merchandise and

enabling you to purchase better, faster

turning merchandise.”

The returned Pandora product was

to be smelted.

“The event in Los Angeles marks

the beginning of our journey

to become more relevant for

consumers... [to] show a fresher

and more contemporary


Alexander Lacik, Pandora

The email outlined how Pandora would

provide a list of products to retailers

and only items on that list would be

eligible for compensation.

Pandora would then buy the product

back at the “then-current wholesale

price less handling fee for each item

that it purchases”.

The handling fee was 20 per cent and

retailers were paid 90 days after the

product was returned. In addition, a

further 10 per cent handling fee was to

be charged if the items received were

not packed and invoiced by the retailer

as per a strict set of instructions.

This program sparked outrage from

Pandora’s authorised retailers –

something the company could

ill-afford at the time.

In effect, Pandora was still making

money on unpopular product pushed

onto retail stockists which they could

not sell; many stockists stood to lose

30 per cent on product they never

really wanted.

Jeweller reported one Pandora stockist

as saying, “This is typical of Pandora.

They ‘force’ us to take stock we don’t

want, or need, and have increased

the number of drops [range deliveries]

per year, and we have to pay them in

30 days.

“However, when their products fail to

sell – often because they do not fit well

with our customer base – they offer

to buy it back at only 70-80 per cent

of what it cost us and then delay our

payment for 90 days.”

At the same time (July 2019), Pandora

released a quarterly financial report,

revealing its earnings dropped 13.7

per cent to DKK1.29 billion ($AU283

million) over the previous three

months. The stock was trading at

around DKK255($US39/$AU54).

Australia was the second-worst

performer of Pandora’s top seven

markets. On a like-for-like basis,

Pandora Australia’s earnings fell 17

per cent compared with the same

David Allen

Current general manager,

Pandora APAC, and former

president Pandora Australia &

NZ (2012-2015) and Pandora

EMEA (2015-2020)

Phil McNutt

Former managing director,

Pandora Australia & NZ


Mikael Kruse Jensen

Former managing director,

Pandora Australia & NZ (2017-

2019) and Pandora Northern

Europe (2019-2020)

Brien Winther

Former managing director,

Pandora Australia & NZ (2015-

2017) and UK (2017-2018)

period the year before (2018), and 18 per

cent for the year-to-date.

Sales growth was equally poor, falling 17

per cent compared to the previous year

and 21 per cent for the year-to-date.

If the jewellery buy-back program

wasn’t sufficient evidence that the brand

was in the doldrums, Pandora also

announced a brand re-launch as part of

its “company-wide turnaround program,

Programme NOW.”

A grand re-launch event took place in

Los Angeles on 28 August 2019, and

was attended by more than 400 guests

from around the world, as well as

international news media.

“The event in Los Angeles marks the

beginning of our journey to become

more relevant for consumers. We have

received very positive feedback to the

marketing pilots we have conducted

earlier this year, so we are eager to take

this to consumers around the world and

show a fresher and more contemporary

Pandora,” CEO Lacik declared.

Management merry-go-round

Lacik joined Pandora as president and

CEO in February 2019, following the

resignation of Anders Colding Friis in

August 2018.

Friis announced he would leave the

company on 31 August 2018 after

three-and-a-half years at the helm. The

resignation came hot on the heels of the

company announcing “organisational

adjustments”, including the reduction

of almost 400 jobs in a bid to achieve its

2022 goals.

44 | November 2020




Pandora during the pandemic | A TURNAROUND IN THE MAKING

At the time of Friis’ announcement,

the stock traded at around DKK359.

Lacik, who describes himself as a

“turnaround architect”, joined Pandora

after a short stint as CEO of Britax, a

British childcare products maker.

He previously spent 12 years at UK

personal goods manufacturer Reckitt

Benckiser, concluding his tenure as its

president of North American operations.

In that role, he oversaw major growth

in the company’s largest market, with

revenue totalling $US3.5 billion.

Pandora’s management shuffle

continued and by March 2019, with

the share price at around DKK320,

chairman of the board of directors,

Peder Tuborgh, announced plans to

appoint his successor. He had been

with Pandora since 2014.

At the same time, the company

also announced plans for a massive

share buyback over the ensuing 12

months, which was aimed to boost

shareholder dividends.

Following Lacik’s appointment, chief

operating officer Jeremy Schwartz

tendered his resignation on 3 April.

Schwartz had been acting as ‘co-CEO’

alongside chief financial officer

Anders Boyer since Colding Friis

quit the company.

None of the management changes

instilled confidence in the market; the

share price continued to fall for the

next two months and by 14 June 2019,

Pandora stock hit a new low of DKK220


2012 - May

Karin Adcock, founder

of Pandora Australia,

steps down after eight

years leading the company.

David Allen takes over

as managing director

of Australia and New


2015 - Sep

David Allen moves to

Denmark to take up the

newly-created position

of president EMEA region

(Europe, Middle East,

Africa). Brien Winther

is appointed managing

director of Australia and

New Zealand.

2016 - Sep

Brien Winther is

appointed managing

director of Pandora

British Isles effective

1 January 2017. Mikael

Kruse Jensen, Pandora

vice-president of finance,

is appointed managing

director of Australia and

New Zealand, effective

1 March 2017.

2017 - Jan

Brien Winther takes over

Pandora British Isles.

2017 - Mar

Mikael Kruse Jensen

takes over Pandora

Australia and New


2018 - Sep

After 18 months as

managing director of

Pandora British Isles,

Brien Winther leaves the

UK to return to Australia,

citing family reasons.

2019 - Jan

Mikael Kruse Jensen is

appointed as managing

director for Pandora

Northern Europe,

based in Germany.

Phil McNutt, former

president Sunglass Hut

Australia, is appointed

managing director of

Pandora Australia and

New Zealand.

2020 - Jul

David Allen moves back

to Australia to take over

as managing director of

the new Pandora Pacific

division, comprising

Australia, New Zealand

and Fiji. Phil McNutt

leaves the company.

Above: Chart compares the number of Pandora Concept (brand-only) stores and Pandora

independent stockists by state. Source: Jeweller’s State of the Industry Report 2020

Notably, following the management

changes and leading up to the August

brand re-launch, Pandora doubled its

marketing spend in Italy and the UK.

It also committed to increasing its

marketing investment across other

major markets, including Australia,

over the remainder of 2019.

However, in the months following the

re-launch and the international ‘buyback’

program to rid the retail channel

of unpopular and unsaleable stock, the

share price moved little.

From 30 August to 3 January 2020

it remained in a range of DKK260 to

DKK340. It was obvious why short

traders had made it a target.

Notably, following the

management changes and

leading up to the August brand

re-launch, Pandora doubled

its marketing spend in Italy

and the UK

There were more major management

change to come. On 24 March 2020

it was announced that former H&M

executive Martino Pessina would join

the leadership team.

Pessina took up the newly-created role

of chief commercial officer on 2 April

and became responsible for overseeing

10 regional ‘clusters’ created in

another round of restructuring.

Pessina was previously president of the

North American division of international

clothing retailer H&M. Over a twodecade

period working for the Swedish

company, he held management roles in

retail, sales, merchandising, operations

and expansion.

According to a Pandora Jewelry

statement, Pessina oversaw a

“remarkable sales and profit

turnaround” while leading the North

American division, increasing annual

revenue to more than $US4 billion.

Closer to home, over the past

five years, Pandora Australia

has undergone something of a

management merry-go-round.

It has been led by four different

executives: Brien Winther, who was

transferred to Pandora British Isles

after 13 months, Mikael Kruse Jensen,

who left to manage Pandora Northern

Europe, Phil McNutt, who joined the

company from Sunglass Hut in January

2019 and lasted less than two years,

and David Allen, who has returned to

Australia to head up the local arm for

the second time.

Worse to come

Other issues have plagued the

company. Many people – including

franchise owners and independent

stockists – pointed the finger at poor

product design and trading policies.

Some of Pandora’s woes began many

years before when it started closing

the accounts of stockists and, more

recently, the ‘buying back’ of its own

concept stores (franchisees) overseas.

November 2020 | 45

A TURNAROUND IN THE MAKING | Pandora during the pandemic

L to R: Pandora’s Muses featured in its 2020 campaign: Halima Aden, Georgia-May Jagger and Margaret Zhang

In May 2018 Pandora reached an agreement

with Ireland’s BJ FitzPatrick Holdings to take

back its distribution rights and to acquire its

store network for €23 million ($US26 million), of

which around €3 million ($US3.5 million), was

for BJ FitzPatrick’s inventory.

A 22 May statement read: “The acquisition is

consistent with Pandora’s intentions to increase

the owned and operated retail footprint in

markets of importance and will grant Pandora

the opportunity to enter Ireland directly.”

The agreement would add 24 company-owned

concept stores to its portfolio, while taking over

distribution to five franchisee concept stores and

10 shop-in-shops, mainly in Northern Ireland.

On the day of the announcement (Tuesday

22 May 2018) the stock closed at DKK505.

The market and industry pundits began to

question the new Pandora strategy of reducing

its international retail footprint – closing

independent stockists in favour of franchise

and company-owned stores – including a 6 July

article by Jeweller: ‘Pandora: The beginning of

the end?’

Two months later (22 August) Pandora’s

stock had plunged 25 per cent to DKK379

($US58/$AU80) – but the worst was yet to come.

“The company has been through a

turnaround process and before the

global lockdowns set in, we saw clear

signs that the efforts are working .”

Claus Wiinblad, ATP

Fast-forward almost exactly 12 months to 14

August 2019 – two weeks before the massive

brand re-launch in Los Angeles – and Pandora

had still failed to emerge from the doldrums;

it traded at DKK226 ($US35/$AU48), a 55 per

cent fall from when it announced worldwide

account closures.

The rationalisation of Pandora’s retail locations

was a not new trend; it had been taking place

since 2011 when it closed the accounts of 100

Australia and New Zealand retail stockists,

followed by another 100 closures in 2012.

Jeweller’s recent 2020 State of the Industry

Report highlighted that a decade ago, Pandora

was sold in more than 700 retail locations

(independent stockists and company-owned

stores) yet by July 2020, that number had fallen

to below 250 – 64 per cent fewer locations than

a decade earlier (see chart, facing page).

In effect, Pandora Australia has closed the

accounts of more stores than in which it is

currently sold today.

Australia is not the only territory to see a

rationalisation of Pandora stockists. More than

1,000 have been closed internationally over

recent years; 450 US and 130 Canadian accounts

were closed in 2016 alone.

In February this year, Lacik admitted that this

strategy may have been unwise, indicating that

Pandora might need to refocus on distribution

to independent jewellery stores – the very

businesses that it once discarded.

“There hasn’t been an awful lot of attention to

multi-brand stores [independent stockists] in

the last few years. The push has been [company]

owned and [franchise] operated stores.

“We have seen there are some opportunities that

we have forgone by reducing the multi-brand

presence so much. A lot of new customers

might come through a multi-brand rather than a

concept store,” he said.

According to the company’s website, Pandora

jewellery is currently sold in more than 100

countries in 7,400 outlets, including more

than 2,700 concept stores.

Possible turnaround

The brand re-launch of 28 August 2019, had

little impact on Pandora’s share price over

four months, to the start of 2020.

Yet, putting aside the COVID-19 market lows

of 16 March 2020, when it traded at DKK195

($US30/$AU41), Pandora seems to be moving

in a more positive direction, trading between

DKK450–DKK500 by 20 September, when the

Bloomberg report was published.

“The company has been through a turnaround

process and before the global lockdowns set in,

we saw clear signs that the efforts are working,”

Claus Wiinblad, head of equities at Danish

46 | November 2020

Above: Pandora’s share price has shown a marked decline over the past five

years, but has shown surprising resilience in 2020 – bouncing back from a nearhistoric

low to its best performance in more than two years.

pension fund ATP – which holds a 3.1 per cent stake in Pandora –

told the publication.

He added, “The company was transparent about the various

scenarios it might face and set up a plan that would ensure

sufficient liquidity even if the pandemic developed in the most

negative way.”

From a market perspective, it appears confidence in Pandora’s

new management and corporate structure is high. By 13 October,

the company’s stock was trading at DKK579.80, its highest point

since May 2018.

While the Bloomberg article cautioned that many analysts have

“had a mixed record

predicting the wild stock

market swings of the

jewellery maker,” it noted:

“The brand has been relaunched,

with the company

forecasting EBIT margin

to be in a range of 16 per

cent to 19 per cent this year

compared with almost 27

per cent last year.

“Some analysts are also

looking past the jewellery

maker’s prediction for

organic sales to fall as much

as 20 per cent this year,

focusing instead on the year

ahead,” the article added.

While Pandora has had a topsy-turvy few years, its performance

during the COVID-19 crisis under the leadership of Lacik seems

to be paying off – at least for shareholders.

However, whether it can also deliver results for its retail stockists

in 2021 – and beyond – is still unknown.

As always, the final result is, ultimately, decided by the consumer.

And on that note, in order to regain its dominance of the jewellery

market, history shows Pandora must focus on two things: product

design, and its distribution and reach to consumers.

Proudly distributed by

02 9417 0177 | dgau.com.au


Online Watch Sales





There is a clear framework for improving watch sales – but

in the digital era, it appears retailers are still neglecting

online customers, writes GRAHAM HENRICKSON.



Watch Your


Fob watches were invented in the late

19th Century and wristwatches followed

at the beginning of the 20th Century and

by 1930 they were outselling traditional fobs.

But both were made in Switzerland and mostly

by hand, making them hugely expensive and

limiting ownership to royalty and those with

considerable wealth.

Annual sales of watches increased modestly in the ensuing

decades – until the late 1960s and early ’70s, when Japanese

manufacturers Seiko and Citizen triggered a global boom and

caused a paradigm shift.

Three factors tipped the balance, allowing the Japanese to

take the market by storm and almost destroying the Swiss

watch industry in the process:

They invented the quartz movement

They designed and built new machinery for the mass

production of watch movements and components

They had access to cheap labour for low-cost assembly

For the first time in history, reliable and accurate timepieces

were affordable. The response was overwhelming: everyone

wanted and needed a watch, and now they could own one.

Since then, the world has experienced massive advancements

in technology and an explosion of consumer products,

appliances, and devices. Everything from ovens to televisions,

telephones and remote controls now provide consumers with

accurate-to-the-second timekeeping.

The fact is consumers no longer need a watch to know the

time and more of them are choosing not to wear one. So, is

time running out for watch retailers?

I raised this question in an article published by Jeweller in

2012. Drawing on more than 20 years of industry experience

– including as chair of the Timepiece Council – along with

the findings from research conducted by Citizen while I was

regional managing director, I offered five recommendations

to help retailers maintain and increase sales of watches.

Reviewing the framework for success

Stand out from the crowd – To attract customers you

need to look and act like you are in the watch business.

This does not require dedicating half the store to watches

or stocking umpteen different brands.

1 Stand out

from the



Engage and


3 Focus on


4 Plan for


5 Be prepared

for failure

Choose the number of brands appropriate for the store and

allocate funds to promoting them well.

Be prepared to commit space, invest in stock, and honour

a replenishment agreement with supplier support.

Take the opportunity to explore options like a shop-in-shop

fit-out/display as well as an end-of-season balance-back of

discontinued and slow-selling models. Doing so can make

your store a primary destination for the brands you sell.

Engage and reward – Fewer people are buying watches.

But those who are do so more often. It therefore makes

good business sense to identify these customers and

understand their reasons for buying; are they a collector,

a follower of fashion, or are watches their preferred gift for

loved ones?

Many retailers have forgotten that it is far more economical

to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one –

but it takes work to keep them.

Maintaining client cards or VIP lists is a great step but

meaningless if you fail to do anything with them. If kept

up-to-date, they provide the means to engage and reward

regular clients who spend and who are more likely to bring

like-minded customers to your store.

Focus on gift giving – Approximately 60 per cent of annual

retail sales of watches occurs in the eight weeks before

Christmas, and throughout the year as many as seven out

of 10 watches are purchased as gifts. Therefore, anything

that enhances the gift-giving experience is likely to have a

positive effect on sales.

Have you tried to gift wrap a watch box lately? Despite the

fact most are square, they are not easy to wrap, and you

are left with excess and wasted gift-wrap.

The offer to wrap watches purchased as gifts as a

complementary service – even if only for VIP customers

– will do wonders for goodwill and repeat business.

Plan for success – Success requires more than good

luck; it requires a well-thought plan and a structured

approach. This begins with the process you adopt for

choosing the brands to stock and determining what will

differentiate your business from competitors.

Once chosen, you can draw on the support of suppliers

with a written agreement that details what each party has

committed – this should include expert product education,

a minimum level of order fulfillment and a contribution to

marketing activity.

November 2020 | 49

STRATEGY FEATURE | Online Watch Sales

Is this for

a loved one?

We’ll gift wrap it and

tie a bow for you too!

Be prepared for failure – Regardless of the

effort made, it is fair to say few things in life go

without a hiccup. The fact is, things do go wrong

so, for any number of reasons, a brand may not

perform to expectations.

If this happens – and it will – you must be

prepared to replace it with a better option and

to do so quickly.

You need to monitor your own sales as well as

the brand’s sales performance in your state and

nationally. Ensure written supplier agreements

enable quick termination, keep your finger on the

pulse, and have at least two brands on standby.

Eight years on and the world has changed. In this

new COVID-19 reality, retailers can no longer rely

on passing trade for a continuous flow of store

‘traffic’ or highly trained sales staff to convert this

traffic into sales.

Success now depends heavily on the retailer’s

website. However, just because a person has visited

your store or made a purchase in the past is no

guarantee they will buy from your website. It simply

increases the chance of being considered. To be

successful, a website must capture the attention

of online shoppers and compel them to buy.

Competition is far greater online and customers

can shop around from the comfort of their own

home. Additionally, they can easily be tempted to

switch from a retailer they know and trust to an

unknown if it will save them a few dollars. It’s hard

to find any traditional bricks-and-mortar retailer

that has risen to the challenges of selling online,

as proven by the meteoric rise of Amazon.

To be successful online, you need to be competitive

on price but more importantly you must have a

point of difference. If your website is not designed

to promote and exploit this difference then you

won’t stand a chance.

If your strategy is short term and your approach is

simply to offer the lowest price, then your trading

will be based on the lowest common denominator. I

say short-term – because in my experience, there is

always someone prepared to take a few more dollars

off just to get the sale.

Adapting the framework

With all this in mind, it is now critical to assess

the websites of watch retailers – both independent

jewellery retailers, department stores, and

“Success now

depends heavily

on your website.

But just because a

person has visited

your store or made a

purchase in the past

is no guarantee they

will buy from your

website. It simply

increases the chance

of being considered.

To be successful, a

website must capture

the attention of

online shoppers and

compel them to buy.”

e-commerce businesses – based on these five


For the purposes of this analysis, I examined 10

retailers: Myer, David Jones, Prouds, Zamel’s, Shiels,

Salera’s, Wallace Bishop, WatchDirect.com.au,

TheIconic.com.au, and TimepieceStore.com.au.

However, before assessing the retailers, we need to

acknowledge two conditions that apply to the watch

industry and understand their implications.

First, the industry is in transition from a ‘needs’

business – where demand was driven by the

necessity of owning a watch – to a ‘wants’ business,

where demand is driven by the desire to wear one.

Secondly, a watch is an item of ‘conspicuous

consumption’ – a term that applies to goods and

services that when publicly displayed show one’s

social status, economic wealth, and taste for luxury.

Worn to be seen, a watch communicates a great

deal about the person who wears it, including their

lifestyle, income level, if they are conservative,

contemporary, or ultra-modern, and even the type

of work they do.

For these reasons, marketing watches in the context

of lifestyle is likely to be far more effective than

positioning them as a purely functional product.

This is best achieved by leveraging the marketing

that brands are already doing themselves, and

creating marketing materials and messages that

tap into the emotional experience associated with

a lifestyle, for example, capturing the thrill of diving

and connecting it to a dive watch.

A website is equivalent to a store and the product

pages are equivalent to a window display. Therefore,

many of the same rules of retail apply.

However, websites require extra attention because

unlike a visitor to a store, a visitor to a website

doesn’t have the benefit of a trained sales specialist

to greet, engage and provide them with great service

– the website must do all that and more.

My review was based on a structured assessment

of five categories: 1) standout, 2) engagement, 3)

rewards, 4) gift-giving and 5) ease of navigation,

with a possible total score of 100. Further details of

the methodology, and final scores, can be found in

Table A.

Stand out from the crowd

For a website to stands out it must be noticeably

different and distinguished from all others. It needs

to grab the browser’s attention and catch their eye.

For the purposes of this evaluation, I considered the

overall design and first impression.

Points were awarded for the use of images and

videos, as well as the appearance of products and

the information provided. Each site was scored out of

35. The results were disappointing. None were eyecatching

and there was little to differentiate

one from another.

The David Jones and Zamel’s sites were both

50 | November 2020




Proudly distributed by

02 9417 0177 | www.dgau.com.au

STRATEGY FEATURE | Online Watch Sales

‘down’ at the time of assessment, and of the

remaining eight, the overall standard was poor.

Salera’s received the highest score of 17 and Myer

scored the lowest at six. Surprisingly, online-only

retailers fared no better than omnichannel stores.

Overall, retailers failed to capitalise on the

marketing investment made by the individual

brands and most didn’t even use the current

advertising images for the brands they sold.

“Of the sites reviewed, none were

visually exciting, inspiring, or

appealing. They simply presented

products like soldiers in a row,

compelling me to shop around for

the lowest price and the best

first-order discount.”

And considering video content is one of the most

effective ways to engage potential customers online,

only one out of 10 retailers used brand videos – and

even then, only for a few brands!

There can be no argument to the fact that a watch

is a lifestyle purchase. Despite this, lifestyle photos

were rarely used – and instead of promoting

recognisable brands that attract customers, some

websites used pictures of generic watches for their

key images.

Given that online customers are unable to hold a

watch or try it on, they at least deserve a 360-degree

view of the product – but many retailers simply used

the images provided by suppliers, and these vary

enormously in quality and style.

As a result, the websites showed a hotchpotch of

product images that ranged from 2D ‘pack-shots’ to

multiple images taken from different angles.

Even though virtual ‘try it on’ software is available

and used by other industries like sunglasses, watch

retailers are yet to adopt it.

The same scattergun approach appeared to

be taken when it came to product information.

Whatever happened to using a standard set of icons

with a reference chart? Do retailers believe that

online customers don’t warrant the effort?

7 out of 10

watches are


as gifts

60 per cent

of annual

retail watch

sales occur

in the eight

weeks before


Of the sites reviewed, none were visually exciting,

inspiring, or appealing. They simply presented

products like soldiers in a row, compelling me to

shop around for the lowest price and the best firstorder


Engage the shopper

When a customer enters a store, they’re usually

greeted and engaged in conversation. This exchange

provides the opportunity to connect, learn more

about them, share knowledge, and then offer

products to meet their needs. It’s also a chance to

make a positive impression and establish a longlasting


Although a website can’t replace the ‘human touch’,

it can be designed to deliver the same outcomes.

But this requires the ability to see life through the

eyes of your customers and to consider what value

you can add.

“Fewer people are buying watches.

But those who are, do so more often. It

makes good business sense to identify

these customers and understand their

reasons for buying; are they a collector, a

follower of fashion, or are watches their

preferred gift for loved ones?”

The effort made to engage customers is a clear

indication of whether a company is focused on

short- or long-term objectives. When engaged,

customers are more likely to have a positive

opinion and to return to the retailer.

Websites were given a score out of 30 for

engagement. Access to information that clearly

articulates the product’s benefits and helps with

decision-making is one way of engaging customers

– for example, water resistance, band adjustment,

benefits of ion-plating, and/or key materials and

manufacturing standards.

Chatbots, customer reviews, links to brand websites

and an active and informative blog are other ways to

engage with shoppers.

When it came to engagement, the results were

shocking. Once more, the David Jones and Zamel’s

sites were both down. Scores ranged from one

(Myer) to seven (Salera’s) out of 30, with online-only

stores scoring no better than traditional retailers.

While many sites allowed customers to search

according to construction material, none provided

any explanation. It was the same with water

resistance – with the potentially dangerous

discovery that most, if not all, sites featured watches

that appeared to be suitable for diving, but were not.

It’s hardly surprising that consumers are

confused when a respected retailer such as

52 | November 2020







Website Score of 100

Myer 18

David Jones


Prouds 21

Shiels 29

Salera’s 34

Wallace Bishop 33



theiconic.com.au 24

timepiecestore.com.au 21

watchdirect.com.au 34

Table A: Each website was reviewed over a period of

three consecutive days; watch-specific pages for both

David Jones and Zamels websites were unavailable

for all three days, as shown. Each website was

assessed based on the categories of Standout,

Engagement, Rewards, Gift Giving, and Ease of

Navigation, with specific criteria within each category

graded on a score of 1–5, with 5 being ‘outstanding’.

Equal time was given to each retailer; the time taken

to assess the websites exceeded that of the average

online shopper.

Despite care taken to ensure accuracy, some features

may not have been accounted for (for example, loyalty

programs) due to a lack of visibility/poor design.

Wallace Bishop uses the following scale: 100M,

10M, 200M, 300M, 30M and finally 50M.

While many sites publish customer reviews

– neither Salera’s nor Myer appeared to have

any. Shiels was the only one to offer a reward

for reviews, however I challenge the logic of

combining a review of a product with a customer

service testimonial.

Rewarding customers

The definition of a reward is ‘a benefit received

after a specific action or behaviour, or gifts that

acknowledge and benefit people for their actions’.

To be effective, a reward must have value and a

direct link to the desired behaviour. Rewards are

a proven method of encouraging customers to

buy – and to buy more often. They also provide a

competitive advantage for one retailer over another.

Material goods are not the only rewards to which

consumers respond; acknowledging loyalty with VIP

client status/benefits as well as providing exclusive

additional services – such as advance notice of

sales events, free delivery, special discounts, and

access to privileged information – have proven just

as successful.

Websites were scored out of 10 with a maximum

of five for a loyalty program and five for providing

a gift with purchase or other exclusive offers.

It seems retailers are not keen to reward

customers with all sites scoring 0 – except for

Prouds and Wallace Bishop.

While both have VIP programs, they provided no

information on how to qualify or the rewards on

offer. How would you benefit from buying watches?

– they kept this to themselves.

Emphasis on gift-giving

It’s important to remember the primary reason

for buying a watch is gift-giving which is why

many brands invest significantly in packaging.

Simply showing the gift box for the brands they

sold would earn a retailer five points with another

five for offering gift wrapping, coming to a total

score out of 10.

Of all the sites, only Watchdirect.com.au made any

effort and scored 3. They showed the gift box of

some brands – but not all – and managed to get

some of those wrong! As for gift wrapping, not one

retailer offered that service, free or otherwise.

Structured for success

The ‘plan for success’ recommendation in the 2012

article is difficult to judge objectively. To do so I

developed a new metric – one that assessed the

structure of the website itself. Consideration was

given to ease of navigation, layout of products, and

brand identification, with a maximum score of 15.

Again, neither David Jones nor Zamel’s was

open for business, but the other eight sites all

scored well. Prouds scored the lowest with 9 and

Watchdirect.com.au scored the highest with 13.

As you might expect, the online stores scored

highest, but all were weak when it came to brand

identity. Simply having the brand logo appear

beside the watch and the brand name appear on

a separate line and in a different colour would be

a simple fix.

Concluding thoughts

Based on these results, it’s fair to say if any

retailers listened to the advice given in 2012,

they did not heed it.

While I’m accustomed to retailers believing they

know better, it’s surprising to see so many have

ignored the basic principles of retail, common

sense, and logic.

Unless they get serious and put some thought

and investment into how they sell watches online,

retailers may end up like the taxi industry after

the launch of Uber – fighting for their livelihood

because a growing number of consumers no

longer consider them relevant.

Fail to act and watch retailers could find

themselves competing against more and more

watch brands selling directly to consumers –

and doing a much better job of it than they do. .

GRAHAM HENRICKSON is managing director

of ID Results, a Sydney management consultancy

firm specialising in SMEs. Prior to founding

ID Results, he spent more than 20 years in the

watch industry. Visit: idresults.co


Retail Feature

I know you said

that you didn’t like

too much sparkle

but still wanted

something that

was substantial.

A ceylon sapphire

and diamond set

is a good place

to start. What do

you think? Did you

want more or less


What jewellers can learn from Goldilocks

When it comes to selling, there are certain behaviours that can stop sales before the process even begins. DOUG

FLEENER discusses how staff can ensure they’re establishing the right in-store environment to promote purchasing.

Except for her love of breaking and entering,

Goldilocks would have made a great

customer – she didn’t require any help and

she kept looking until she found exactly what

she wanted!

She didn’t give up if an item was too big or

too small, too hot or too cold, and just kept

going until she found something ‘just right’.

Alas, customers aren’t often like Goldilocks

– they’re not always sure what they like or

even what they dislike, and will sometimes

stop shopping altogether if they don’t

immediately find what they’re seeking.

That’s why I think one of the many ways to

add value to the customer experience is

to help consumers identify what they like

and dislike so as to end up with something

that’s just right.

Here are some tips to help retailers do

just that:

• Show two or three items together

– It’s actually easier for customers to

appreciate and differentiate between the

varying details, features and fits of multiple

products than they would if only viewing

one item at a time.

• Ask the customer what they like about

various products – A customer may tell

the salesperson that there are certain

things they like about a specific product but

it may not be quite the right one for them.

If this is the case, at least that customer is

telling the salesperson what they want.

• Ask the customer what they dislike

about various products – I once had a

salesperson tell me I shouldn’t ask what

a customer disliked because the customer

might not buy what they’re looking at.

I pointed out that if the customer doesn’t

like something, I doubt they are going to

buy it anyway!

I love to ask this question, almost as much

as I love to hear the customer answer,

“Nothing.” If there are things a customer

likes and can’t articulate what they don’t

like, then the salesperson has actually

found exactly what they want to buy.

• Managers should ask the sales team

how well they can help customers find

just the right products – If this isn’t

something the team practices on a regular

basis, take the opportunity to role-play with

each salesperson.

Honestly, ‘Can

I help you?’

should really be

eliminated from

a salesperson’s

vocabulary! If

customers want

help, they’ll ask.

If they don’t

staff should look

for ways to build

a connection

Once they feel comfortable, encourage

them to put it into practice. Don’t be

surprised how quickly they start finding

customers items that are just right.

Put an end to sales-limiting lines

One of the biggest challenges in retail is

the routine of it all. It’s fairly easy to fall

into the trap of doing and saying the same

things over and over, sometimes without

even realising what’s occurring.

This not only diminishes the customer’s

experience but these cliché opening lines

or sales questions also sound rehearsed

and that can directly impact sales.

Avoid, “Can I help you?” unless a customer

is clearly seeking assistance because it can

be an engagement killer. Honestly, “Can I

help you?” should really be eliminated from

a salesperson’s vocabulary!

If customers want help, they’ll ask. If they

don’t, staff should look for ways to build

a connection. Consider opening instead

with a greeting like, “Hello and welcome to

[store name].” Try to learn if they’ve been

in the store before and if they’re looking for

something in particular.

54 | November 2020

Best of Business | RETAIL FEATURE

Another one to avoid is, “Let me know

if you have any questions.” Salespeople

often say this after customers convey that

they don’t want or need help.

It’s okay to use this if a customer wants

some space but this is a statement that

limits a salesperson’s ability to reapproach

the customer later.

Of course, actively engaging with

customers is how staff add value to the

shopping experience and maximise sales


Consider saying, “I’ll check back with you

shortly. In the meantime, please let me

know if I can be of any assistance.”

Now, when staff re-approach, they’re just

following up on what they promised.

Of all the poor sales techniques and

limiting lines, “Will that be all?” and, “Did

you want to look at anything else?” cost a

retailer the most sales since they’re being

said to confirmed buyers.

The proper thing to do here is to continue

to recommend products until the

customer stops the sale.

Consider using a bridge statement to

keep the transaction alive. Good examples

include, “We have the perfect earrings

to wear with that pendant,” and, “You’re

going to want to pair that ring with this


Talk with customers, not at them

One day I walked into a store and a staff

member asked, “How are you doing?”

I started to answer before realising that

she wasn’t talking to me.

She wasn’t talking to the couple

behind me either.

As it turned out, she was just talking at

people, mindlessly repeating, “How are

you doing?”

The more I shop, the more I notice that

people either talk with you or at you.

Outwardly, it looks the same but, as a

customer, you can feel the difference.

largest barriers to delivering a great

customer experience.

Staff are expected to greet everyone who

walks into the store so it is easy for them

to fall into the trap of talking at people.

Run through the following tips with the

team to ensure they’re conscious of the

need to talk with people and not at them:

• Make eye contact – There’s a big

difference between looking at people and

making eye contact

• Smile – Staff who make eye contact

and smile can’t help but make a positive

impression on shoppers.

There’s no need to force a smile because

it’s easy to smile naturally when making

eye contact with people

• Be personal – Staff who take the time to

learn one or two things about a customer

are well on their way to creating rapport.

Where are they from? Have they been at

the store before? If they have, what have

they purchased in the past?

• Acknowledge what people say –

Customers can always tell when a

salesperson is talking at them because

the salesperson doesn’t really care what

the customer has to say.

As an example, a hotel staff member once

asked how my day was going. For fun,

I said, “Not good. I lost my wallet,” to

which he replied, “Okay, have a good day.”

• Keep it fresh – I don’t recommend

‘getting fresh’ with customers! I do

recommend that staff keep changing what

they say and do with customers.

When we slip too deeply into a routine, we

slowly drift away from talking to people

and begin talking at them.

Don’t impede sales

Sometimes staff inadvertently do things

that make it harder for them to engage

and sell to customers, and which also

have a negative impact on the service




Get the

timing right

Allow shoppers

to ‘decompress’

when they first

enter the store

Avoid cliché


Open with a

greeting and a

question about

what they are

looking for


and learn

Don’t stick to

a sales script

or the same

old routine –

engage with


Double up on


Show multiple

options and

ask for the



Let them end

the sale


to serve


until they

decide they

are finished

This often happens when helping a

customer find something specific. Staff

hold a product up and ask the customer,

“Something like this?” which requires the

customer to make a split-second decision.

While staff might find an item the

customer likes, they do also run the risk

of missing a product that they really love.

Instead, as previously mentioned, why

not select two or three items and present

them together?

This will at least give the customer time to

compare items, which will lead to a more

deliberate decision.

As an added bonus, this also substantially

increases the likelihood the customer will

buy multiple items.

Another way to impede sales is to

approach the customer too quickly. There

is a big difference between greeting

customers when they enter the store and

peppering them with questions within the

first five seconds of entry.

Most people need some time to

decompress and to take in the environment

– to get comfortable. Any salesperson who

tries to engage a customer too quickly is

certain to hear that dreaded shutdown

phrase, “Just looking.”

When a customer says, “Just looking,” it’s

usually a sign that staff did something to

impede the sale, such as asking, “How can

I help you?”

Asking if there will be anything else

is another way to impede sales. Yes, I

know I talked about this earlier but I’m

a broken record about it because it has

such a negative impact on the customer’s

experience and also affects sales.

Staff owe it to customers to continue to

show products and engage them until they

say they’re done, and not when staff ask if

they’re done.

It’s not the easiest habit to break but it’s

important that staff break it.

The more aware I became of this, the

more I realised how many people talk at

you, even in one-on-one conversations!

Routine and repetition is one of the

One way in which salespeople can impede

their own sales performance without

realising it is by rushing the customer’s

decision-making process.

DOUG FLEENER is president and

managing partner of Sixth Star Consulting.

Visit: dougfleener.com

November 2020 | 55






People are at the foundation of every great

business. In order for a team to achieve

the business vision, that team must be

surrounded with truly great people from top

to bottom.

Leadership teams know this but some aren’t

aligned on how to achieve it. Things get

muddy when it comes to deciding on the

correct actions and right time to successfully

execute those actions.

In a survey of business owners, 82 per cent

cited ‘people issues’ as their number one

frustration. That’s because teams don’t take

the time to define what it means to be a

great person within their team. If they have a

general idea of what a great person looks like

then the next challenge is to be consistent in

applying that definition to every role in the


Business owners and managers who don’t

do this could find they have 22 different

people December issues at any is a given critical moment, month which for retailers – and even more so this year. With four weeks to go, now is the perfect time

is an extremely overwhelming feeling. To

to assess your store’s readiness – particularly if you have been closed or limited trading, writes DAVID BROWN.

overcome this, leaders must understand that

there are only two people issues, not 22.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six


hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend

The term ‘right person’ means an employee

the first four sharpening the axe.”

who fits into the culture and who truly cares

about By the what same the token, business a successful cares about. On

the December other hand, trading ‘wrong period seat’ can means depend that an


as much on


the actions


you take before



role for which

1 as the



or she was




during December.

Maybe it was a good fit at one time but

This not only applies to the product

something has changed. Perhaps the role

you buy in but the other actions you

has grown or adapted in some way where it

take to prepare for your busiest month

now requires different skills and abilities than

of the year.

it did before. Now that an employee may

not Indeed, be able there to understand are multiple what different the business

needs, elements he or of she your may business no longer that want need the to

position be evaluated or perhaps and optimised lacks the skills in order to do what

is to required. make the imost of the holiday

shopping season.

None of this is news, of course. Yet

many retailers still seem to arrive at



Your December trading starts now

December almost by accident.

The pressing demands of running a

business – particularly in an unusual

and challenging year, full of unexpected

hurdles and changing regulations – can

result in many decisions being made

only at the point of no return.

That is, when things ‘must’ be done,

rather than ahead of time when they

can be dealt with most effectively.

Often, the strategy can be implemented

too late to gain the full benefit that

earlier decision-making and planning

would have provided.

Hopefully you’ve put much of your

planning into place – but if not, here’s

a checklist of things that you should

deal with now before time starts to work

against you.


Lincoln once

said, ‘Give me

six hours to

chop down a

tree and I’ll

spend the first

four sharpening

the axe’


• Inventory levels – How much product

will you need to operate effectively over

this period?

• Deadlines – What is the cut-off date for

reorders and special customer orders?

• Spares – What extras will you need of

fast selling product so you don’t run out?

• Merchandising – How will the store

look over the holiday season? What

product will be placed where? When

will you change it?

• Pricing – Do you need to reprice any

product to reflect current replacement cost

given the increase in gold and silver prices?


co-founder and business

• Roster – Have mentor you with determined Retail Edge who will

be working when? Consultants. Do you Learn have More:


56 56 Jeweller | November September 2020 2018

your best staff on the most important

product counters and at your most

profitable times?

• Training – Is there any additional sales

training you need to put in place? Are your

staff aware of any new items or items you

plan to promote?

• Meetings – When will you have staff

meetings? What is the agenda? How will

you keep your staff focused during this

all-important month?


• Marketing budget – How much will

you spend on promotion? Where will this

money be spent? What product and offers

will you use to bring in customers?

• Targeting – Not all customers are

equal. How will you be targeting your best

customers to get them to spend this year?

Will you be running any special

promotions or evenings for them?


• Packaging – Have you ensured you have

sufficient packaging, wrapping paper and

other essentials to get you through this

holiday period?

• Repairs – If repairs are an important

part of your business, have you set a

deadline for when you won’t promise

completion before December 25th?

• Cashflow – This time of year can be a

drag on bank balances. Have you planned

when receipts will come in and when

payments for December product will have

to be made?

• Cleaning – This is important for both

product and the store. Plus, change out

old lightbulbs, ensure signage and tickets

look their best, put decorations in place

and select seasonal music


• Product – The best laid plans can

still have problems. What contingency

Stock up and

stock smart

Assess your



future needs,

and define your


Plan your


Set your


budget and


Write the



which staff

members will

be working

when, and hold

any necessary



plans do you have if popular items aren’t

delivered or customer orders get delayed?

• COVID-19 – Do you have a plan in

place should there be an outbreak?

Would customers feel more comfortable

knowing you are prepared for every


• Illness – What if something happens to

a staff member? What if you are unable

to go into work yourself? Do you have a

back-up plan to cover for this eventuality?

A successful December starts with

successful preparation.

The better you are organised, the less

stressful and more profitable your

December trading period will be.

DAVID BROWN is is co-founder

and business mentor with Retail

Edge Consultants. Learn more:



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How to solve the productivity puzzle

Many successful people attribute success to their ability to focus their time, effort and energy but choosing

the right tasks for the moment is a big part of the productivity puzzle. DALE FURTWENGLER reports.

On any given day, small business owners

are faced with a variety of challenges. These

may include any and all of the following:

enhancing existing customer relationships,

attracting new customers, and anticipating

customers’ changing needs.

Add to that evaluating competitors’

product launches/price changes,

identifying new markets, improving

productivity, improving employee morale,

attracting/retaining talent, and dealing

with regulatory issues.

The list is endless – and the problem

for business owners, especially

traditional retailers, is that no-one can

focus on all of these at once so how

does one choose?

Focus on urgency

Some people base their choice on

urgency. Is the business losing top talent?

Are sales languishing? Has the business’

primary market become a commodity

market? Is the business losing its most

profitable customers? The problem with

urgency is that it’s about reacting to

situations, scrambling to maintain the

status quo. This means it’s not a great

long-term strategy.

Focus on enjoyment

In the absence of any emergency,

business people are likely to choose to

work on the things that interest them

the most.

Often this means they will delegate

less-pleasant tasks to others – but this

should not exempt them from monitoring

delegated work or applying strategic

thinking in those realms.

Focus on rotation

One method that works well is to set

aside time each week to focus on various

aspects of the business. Devote some

time to the following tasks:

• Evaluate your customer base – Have

you contacted customers recently? Have

When you allow

your mind to

work on what

it wants to

address, you not

only complete

that task more

quickly but also

find it easier

to focus on the

scheduled items

when you return

to them

there been any problems that surfaced

from a failure on your part to craft a

solution to a customer problem?

Have any customers indicated an interest

in product? Have any requested help with

new issues?

• Identify new markets – Have you

received requests for new products or

services? Are there new markets you

should be addressing?

What progress have you made in

approaching markets you’ve identified

but not yet penetrated? How effective has

your approach been so far?

• Improve productivity – How can you

streamline the processes involved

in marketing, selling, producing and

delivering your products? Are you

continuing to monitor your performance?

The quicker you deliver a solution to your

customers, the quicker they get a return

on their investment with you.

58 | November 2020



Set aside

time each week

to evaluate

different parts

of the business

Focus on

assessing: your

customer base,


and challenges,


and staff

Be flexible

– if you are


one task, move

on to another

and return to

the first later

• Monitor staff morale/productivity – Are you

monitoring employee productivity to find early

indicators of morale issues?

Are you asking staff for ideas of how the business can

improve performance and speed while increasing

customer satisfaction?

It’s wise to put these sections into a weekly calendar

– but don’t feel the need to be rigid about scheduling.

It’s perfectly fine to allow for movement within the

week, but try to avoid allowing the sessions to slip

into subsequent weeks as this readily translates into

a habit of deferring work.

Focus on flexibility

Retailers should allow for flexibility during their

weeks for a variety of reasons. Firstly, if energy levels

are low on any given day, owners and managers may

experience a diminished ability to concentrate.

If so, opt for some ‘mindless’ tasks that need to be

completed and postpone the truly important work for

the following day. Prepare for these tasks by hitting

the sack early that evening to ensure you have the

energy to tackle important jobs the next day.

Another reason to maintain a flexible schedule is to

allow yourself the opportunity to flick between tasks

based upon how you feel at the time. There are days

when you might have scheduled blog writing time but

instead stare at the screen for five fruitless minutes.

Whatever the reason for your inability to deal with the

issue at that moment, it makes sense to shift your

focus to the issue your mind wants to address.

In other words, don’t fight nature, as this is a futile

pursuit that leads to a general lack of productivity.

Interestingly, when you allow your mind to work on

what it wants to address, you not only complete that

task more quickly but also find it much easier to

focus on the scheduled items when you return

to them.

This simple approach will not only help you ensure

you’re touching all the bases in your business each

week but also ensure you’re pre-empting many of the

issues that affect business owners who only deal with

those based on urgency.

Now go and focus!



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






DALE FURTWENGLER is the founder of

Furtwengler & Associates. Hs is a speaker,

author and business consultant. Visit:


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Marketing & PR

Data matters - satisfaction versus loyalty

Customer satisfaction is not the same as customer loyalty but if customers are happy, does it matter

what retailers call it? Yes, says LISA MASIELLO, who argues that the terms aren’t interchangeable.

Customer satisfaction is simply how

satisfied a customer is with a company’s

products and services. It takes into account

all interactions that customer has had with

the company and how that customer has

been treated along the journey.

Customer satisfaction is normally based

on data collected in surveys, as it is

dependent upon customer feedback.

For this reason, customer satisfaction

can be fleeting and fickle – a customer

can be satisfied today and unsatisfied


This is because customers re-evaluate

their satisfaction after every individual

interaction they have.

An online experience may be great but a

later phone conversation may be horrible,

which changes their response to the

question of whether they are satisfied.

Customer satisfaction can also provide a

false sense of security to your company.

For example, cable television customers

who have only one service provider in

their area may say they are satisfied;

however, they might also switch

providers if a competitor enters the

market with a lower price.

Defining customer loyalty

Customer loyalty refers to how likely a

customer is to buy additional products

and services from a company.

It should be included as one of a

company’s metrics, showing how

much an existing customer has

purchased and over what period of time

– namely, the specific items purchased,

the sale price of those items, potential

future value and more.

Customer loyalty is not subjective, nor is

it reliant on feedback.

It can be measured with real numbers

and actually helps drive revenue and

company growth.

Those Facebook ‘likes’ that companies

love so much are not a measurement of

customer loyalty.

In fact, marketers refer to Facebook likes

as a ‘vanity’ metric.


loyalty is not

subjective, nor

is it reliant on

feedback. It can

be measured

with real

numbers and

actually helps

drive revenue

and company


There is no guarantee a customer who likes

your page will buy more in the future.

Bending the data

Since customer satisfaction is often

measured by sending out surveys, months

can pass in between each input of data.

A quarterly survey distributed in January

might return a very high satisfaction rating

but a drop in customer service in February

might not reveal itself until the next survey in

April, if at all.

Meanwhile, dissatisfied customers went to

competitors in February and March and noone

knew why.

This doesn’t mean surveys are useless.

When completed after specific personal

interactions, they can be very insightful.

One example is immediately after an

interaction with a technical-support person

or customer-care representative, when

satisfaction surveys give immediate insight

into service expectations and delivery.

One key benefit of more tailored or

customised surveys is that positive changes

60 | November 2020



Profile your

most loyal


by analysing



Develop your

marketing and

PR campaigns

to target loyal

or near-loyal


Issue tailored




after customer


Use insights

from surveys

to assess areas

of the business

that could be


to business operations can be identified and

made more quickly.

Bottom-line importance

Customer loyalty is more important to

a company’s bottom line than customer

satisfaction. Firstly, loyal customers are not only

willing to buy more but also tend to be less price

sensitive, so they are more likely to pay full price

because they understand the additional value

they receive from your company.

Secondly, acquiring new customers is more

expensive than keeping existing ones. Selling

more to existing customers increases revenue

and decreases acquisition costs.

Thirdly, long-term customers don’t just

recommend businesses to their friends

and family; they become brand advocates,

influencing much larger circles of shoppers via

social media.

Finally, long-term customers understand the

ins and outs of your business and your products.

Long-term customers reach out less frequently

and put fewer demands on customer care and

billing departments.

Since customer loyalty is measured by looking

at the purchasing habits of individuals, it is easy

to use this data to create a profile of your most

profitable customers.

This can then be used to develop focused

marketing programs to prospects who are more

likely to become customers, remain customers

longer and buy higher-priced products.

Watches: Ellie II

The last word

Understanding the differences between

satisfaction and loyalty is important.

Customer satisfaction can provide high level

insights into the health of a business and, when

used strategically, can identify specific areas of

the business that are doing well and areas that

could be improved.

Customer loyalty data, including actual purchase

and revenue numbers, is critical for knowing

where a business stands today and where it will

likely be in the future.

LISA MASIELLO is an award-winning tech

industry marketing strategist, start-up

advisor and founder and CMO of Techmarc

Labs. Visit: techmarclabs.com.

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Logged On


this jeweller is

hosting a question and

answer video session of

their biggest diamonds

and demonstrating how

different carats look

on the finger. Maybe I

can ask about seeing

a 2-carat emerald cut

diamond live if they

have any in stock? i’ve

always wanted to know

how big they’d look...

Turning online ‘lurkers’ into customers

Social media can annoyingly sometimes feel like a one-way conversation. KARYN GREENSTREET discusses

how to encourage commentary from customers in order to boost engagement and ultimately sales.

How many of you have ‘friends’ who scroll

through your social media posts but never

actually contribute to the conversations?

This may be acceptable – albeit a little

frustrating – in a personal setting but

it’s anything but ideal in a business

situation, especially when retailers are

using social media to ask for consumer

opinions to help steer the direction of

a product purchase.

Who are these silent friends and followers

and how can businesses get them talking?

When my business made the leap to the

internet in the mid-1990s, we noticed that

every time there was one person who was

interacting in our message forum there

were another 10 who were logged on,

reading the message threads but never


Back then, we called them ‘lurkers’

– people who watch but don’t participate

in discussions.

Fast-forward almost 30 years and we find

that the lurker ratio of 10:1 still exists today

in online message forums, video classes,

webinars and any other place where

groups congregate.

In some places, especially Facebook,

Twitter, Instagram and other social

media apps, the lurker ratio is closer to

100:1 – for every person who participates,

there are 100 people just reading and

absorbing the conversation.

There are all kinds of reasons why people

don’t comment on platforms like Facebook

– perhaps they’re busy; perhaps they

have nothing to add; perhaps they’re not

comfortable with public commentary.

Most users are also accessing the

internet through mobile devices,

which are not conducive to typing long,

thoughtful responses.

I love when people leave comments on

my blog and when they interact in my

classes. Conversation brings value

and I love to hear people’s feelings and

experiences as well as share knowledge

and answer questions.

For businesses, the aim of online marketing

is to build connections that can be used as a

Too many small

businesses hide

behind their

content – they

post links to

articles on

Facebook but

they never share

any of their

own story

start point for establishing relationships with

existing and potential customers.

Being aware of the lurker ratio when using

social media and other online platforms

for marketing will help retailers gauge the

quality of connections and relationships, all

with an end goal of improving sales.

Here are some quick tips for boosting your

online conversations’ sales power.

Be visible

Too many small businesses hide behind

their content – they post links to articles on

Facebook but they never share any of their

own story.

I don’t mean clickbait stories like “I used

to live in a box but now I live in a mansion”;

I mean everyday stories about the business

and its staff.

What did the team do today? Did a staff

meeting or a group-building exercise just

take place? Give audiences a window into

the ‘personal’ side of the business.

Comment on other people’s posts

It’s a two-way street. If all a business does is

62 Jeweller September 2018

62 | November 2020



1. Share your

business’ story

to build a personal

connection with

your audience

of potential


2. Open a dialogue

by asking

questions and

commenting on

others’ posts

3. Build credibility

by participating

in online groups

and forums

related to your


4. Make it easy

to share your

content by


‘likes’, adding

links in blog

posts, and

including a ‘share’


5. Acknowledge

your audience –

respond to their

comments and


post articles and thoughts, never responding

to someone else’s blog posts and

Facebook posts, then why should anyone

communicate with it?

While it can be difficult for retailers to

engage in conversations with consumers,

there’s nothing wrong with contributing to

other industry group forums.

This helps to build credibility amongst

peers and also provides an opportunity to

learn from others. Who knows? Retailers

may then receive comments from industry

stakeholders on their own content.

Ask and you shall receive

Remember to ask questions. Instead of

simply saying, “Look at this new pearl

necklace that landed in store,’ consider

phrasing it as, “What do you think of this

new pearl necklace that landed in store?”

This invites responses and comments.

Engagement isn’t always vocal

In addition to making comments,

engagement can involve liking, sharing

and clicking. If using a blog, be sure to

add links in blog posts to other related

posts. Someone reading a blog post

and then clicking on a link is showing

engagement too.

Remember to include ‘sharing’ buttons on

blogs so readers can engage by sharing

content with others. On social media,

actively encourage others to share posts by

including a ‘please share’ message.

Respond back

This may seem obvious but it doesn’t hurt

to be reminded. When someone comments

upon a blog post or social media post,

please acknowledge it by providing a prompt

response. Those engaging in conversation

need to know they have been heard.

Retailers who embrace this advice should be

well on their way to improving their lurker

ratio and consumer engagement; however,

if the business’ lurker ratio is still 100:1, take

heart as it still means that there are people

reading what has been written.

Bear Grylls Survival

3740 Master series

More on luminox.com.au


of Passion for Business, specialists

in small business consulting. Visit:


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My Bench

David Hollanders

Wild Trout Designer Jewellers, Sydney, NSW

Age 53 • Years in Trade 37 • Training Diploma in Jewellery Manufacture from Bradford & Ilkley College, Yorkshire • First job Goldsmithing apprenticeship at

Roy’s Jewellers, Lancashire in 1983 • Other Qualifications City & Guilds Jewellery Manufacture certification, Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great

Britain, and Diamond Setting Diploma from Sir John Cass College, London




This bangle was a labour of love for a special lady who had

recently been bereaved, losing the love of her life. The gold used

was hers, recycled, and the diamonds came from a variety of

jewellery pieces that either belonged to her husband or were

bought for her by him. I separated the diamonds by colour and

pavé set them in sections. She wears it all day, every day and we

recently made something similar for her daughter.

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE I can’t go past the

vibrancy of a beautiful ruby.

4FAVOURITE METAL 18-carat yellow gold. What’s

not to love about a simple alloy that is both a

pleasing colour and is very accommodating?

4FAVOURITE TOOL Burnishers – how pleasing

it is that two metals rubbed together can give a

beautiful reflective finish!


I discovered computer-assisted design (CAD). To

start with it was difficult to learn, but over the

years I’ve adapted my traditional skills to this

modern medium.

4BEST PART OF THE JOB Pleasing people.



do it right.

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Do it once, do it right!


Dust is the biggest concern.


surprising me. I started my apprenticeship in

goldsmithing at the age of 16, but I wasn’t ready

for the discipline required for the role – and I

was given the boot after less than a year! After

trying a couple of other jobs, including a trainee

stonemason, I decided that I really wanted to

pursue my passion in jewellery making.

After graduating from college in 1986, I landed

a job at the Diamond Boutique in Maidenhead,

Berkshire as a jobbing jeweller, progressing to

mounter. Then, under the guidance of Anthony

Hilbourne, I gained qualifications in gemmology,

diamond grading and diamond setting.

Even today, there is always something new

to discover – even though in a busy modern

workshop, we rarely get time to step back

and reflect!

64 | November 2020

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It’s time to build a cross-generational bridge

The jewellery industry is facing the challenge of generational change – and it’s a case of evolve

or get left behind, writes RICHARD MAYO.

The jewellery industry goes backs centuries

and is an industry that is very much set on

relationships and tradition. However, just

because the jewellery industry is traditional,

that doesn’t mean our systems and

processes have to be.

Over the last decade there has been a

major shift in technological and digital

capabilities which has changed the way

consumers interact – and expect to interact

– with businesses.

I recently joined my family’s 34-year-old

business, Jewellery Services, which is New

Zealand’s largest jewellery workshop. We

have been providing quality services to the

jewellery trade since 1986.

What will happen to those decades-old

relationships when that generation retires,

and a cross-generational handover occurs?

How will the next generation lead these

businesses if they can’t rely on these

old relationships?

It’s not just the way of doing business that

is traditional; the operations and processes

in many jewellery businesses are equally so.

Coming from the fast-paced world

of consumer electronics, I’ve been

surprised that some businesses almost

seem reluctant to change or to invest in

technology. In some instances, we are

still receiving invoices printed on a dotmatrix


I’ve been

surprised that

some businesses

almost seem

reluctant to

change or

to invest in

technology – in

some instances,

we are still


invoices printed

on a dot-matrix


just the current leadership, who are

approaching retirement, and making things

easier for the next generation.

Over the past three months, during the

COVID-19 period, we have been working

hard on upgrading our core systems to

enable us to provide a higher level of service

to the jewellery industry.

We have merged two legacy systems into a

single, cloud-based solution. This enables

us to store more information about our jobs,

reduce pricing complexity and automate

many parts of our day-to-day workload.

It was a fundamental change, but it has

given us a solid foundation to build up our

business over the next few years.

Our story is similar to many in the jewellery

industry: traditional, family-owned and

operated, and built by relationships that

have been forged over decades.

I knew very little about the jewellery industry

before joining it, apart from stories told over

the kitchen table.

However, my background in transformation

– that is, identifying opportunities for

businesses and bringing them to fruition

– allows me to see the challenges our

industry could face if we don’t start

planning and evolving.

The jewellery industry is mostly led by

my father’s generation and there is, for

many, a question mark about who will lead

going forward. What will the succession

look like in family businesses, or when

those businesses are sold?

This isn’t about change for change’s sake,

this is about acknowledging that a key

responsibility of any business owner is

to ensure they, and their business, don’t

get left behind.

Millennials are digital-first and digitalfocused,

in business as well as in their

everyday lives and shopping habits, and

industry suppliers need to adapt to suit

that reality.

These Millennials are the future owners

of our businesses and will demand from

their industry partners the same level of

interaction they get in their personal lives.

My focus at Jewellery Services is about

making the whole process of servicing the

jewellery industry user-friendly, simple,

and efficient, with more of a digital focus

and building those relationships – beyond

That’s a lesson that other businesses

– particularly small, family-owned

enterprises – can take away and apply

to their own operations. There are real

benefits to investing in and upgrading the

technology you use every day.

Retailers have had to evolve over the last

decade and are now continuously innovating

to meet consumers’ demands and needs.

The reality is that the supplier side of the

industry has some catching up to do. So,

are you and your business ready for a

generational change?

Name: Richard Mayo

Company: Jewellery Services

Position: Director

Location: Auckland, NZ

Years in Industry: 1

66 | November 2020

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