Jeweller - February 2022

• Stronger together - Buying Groups get ready for 2022 with newfound vigour • The Great Retail Reset - Pandemic demonstrates that every cloud has a silver lining • Vale Peter Beck - Tribute to a jewellery industry icon

• Stronger together - Buying Groups get ready for 2022 with newfound vigour
• The Great Retail Reset - Pandemic demonstrates that every cloud has a silver lining
• Vale Peter Beck - Tribute to a jewellery industry icon


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FEBRUARY <strong>2022</strong><br />

Stronger together<br />


<strong>2022</strong> WITH NEWFOUND VIGOUR<br />

The Great Retail Reset<br />



Vale Peter Beck<br />




SINCE 1986<br />

Honesty<br />

Integrity<br />





Diamond specialist with the largest inventory of:<br />

Fine cut fancy-shapes<br />

GIA / HRD / IGI / Round Brilliant Certified stones<br />

Matched fancy and unique pairs<br />

Calibrated melee in Round Brilliant and fancy-shapes<br />

Quality diamond-set jewellery<br />

P + 6 1 3 9 6 5 0 2 24 3<br />

E S A L E S @A DTC . C O M . AU<br />

L1 3 / 2 2 7 C O L L I N S S T R E E T<br />

M E L B O U R N E V I C 3 000<br />

A D T C . CO M . AU

Helping you shine<br />

yesterday, today<br />

& tomorrow.<br />




We’re celebrating all things custom with a yearlong campaign that showcases<br />

our assortment of customisation products and services — custom design<br />

software, engraving, special finishes, original jewellery designs, and so much<br />

more. From concept to creation and everything in between, let Stuller be<br />

your partner in discovering all the ways we can help you succeed. No matter<br />

what your customer is looking for, Stuller Makes It Possible.<br />

Follow along for limitless customisation<br />

possibilities at Stuller.com/StullerMakesIt.<br />

Stuller.com<br />

+1 337-262-7700

Australia is enriched with amazing treasures. Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to the beauty of<br />

natural Australian sapphires, ethically sourced from the sapphire fields of inland Eastern Australia.<br />

Our Australian sapphire jewellery collection is crafted in 9ct or diamond set 18ct gold.<br />

To achieve this level of uncompromised excellence, all sapphires pass through the hands of our<br />

skilled gem cutters to become one-of-a-kind, timeless masterpieces.<br />

Call SGA today to become an Authorised Stockist<br />

SapphireDreams.com.au 02 9290 2199

Step outside of your<br />

business and... GROW!<br />

The key event timed for the jewellery community<br />

to connect for tomorrow and future success.<br />

March 12 – 13, <strong>2022</strong><br />

ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre<br />

Darling Harbour<br />

www.expertiseevents.com.au<br />



Est. 1990


<strong>2022</strong> WITH NEWFOUND VIGOUR<br />




FEBRUARY <strong>2022</strong><br />



FEBRUARY <strong>2022</strong><br />

Contents<br />

This Month<br />

Industry Facets<br />

11 Editorial<br />

12 Upfront<br />

15 News<br />

30 Product Spotlight<br />

28<br />

32<br />

35<br />

56<br />


Vale Peter W Beck<br />

10 YEARS AGO<br />

Time Machine: <strong>February</strong> 2012<br />


Part II: Synthetic Diamonds<br />

MY BENCH<br />

Darren Nancarrow<br />

38 <strong>2022</strong> PARADIGM SHIFT<br />

The Great Retail Reset<br />

4There is no doubt that The Great Retail Reset<br />

is happening. While it’s understandable that many<br />

small businesses are wondering what the future<br />

holds, not everything caused by COVID should be<br />

viewed as adverse.<br />

36 <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Showcase<br />

Features<br />

38<br />

43<br />

<strong>2022</strong> PARADIGM SHIFT<br />

The Great Retail Reset<br />

58<br />


Gary Fitz-Roy<br />


Rising stronger: valuable lessons from the pandemic<br />

Better Your Business<br />


Rising Stronger<br />

4Australia’s jewellery buying groups are<br />

in a unique position because they each<br />

have many members that are seen as<br />

part of a large family. Discover how each<br />

group has overcome the effects of COVID<br />

on businesses and in personal lives.<br />

50<br />

52<br />

53<br />

54<br />

55<br />


Christmas and New Year are over. JOSH STRUTT says start planning for it again now.<br />


SUE BARRETT has tips for rebuilding the mental well-being of your sales team.<br />


'First seek to understand, then be understood' – RYAN ESTIS encourages you to listen.<br />


STEVEN VAN BELLEGHEM shares the secret to an engaging customer experience.<br />


GARRY GRANT outlines how your website user experience and SEO go hand in hand.<br />


Synthetic Colour<br />

4With the success of growing gem-quality<br />

diamonds, the next step has been to<br />

produce an array of colour options. Learn<br />

about what gives the stones their hue.<br />

FRONT COVER Founded in 1970, Stuller<br />

offers more than 200,000 products including<br />

bridal jewellery, mountings, fine jewellery,<br />

diamonds, gemstones, findings, metals,<br />

tools, supplies, and digital solutions —<br />

everything a jeweller needs for success.<br />

With more than one million loose gemstones<br />

in stock and ready to ship, Stuller delivers a<br />

colorful selection, quality, and service.<br />

To learn more visit: Stuller.com/About<br />

Stronger together<br />

Stuller.com<br />

The Great Retail Reset<br />

Vale Peter Beck<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 9




AU +61 2 8543 4600 NZ +64 9 480 2211 | designaaccessories.com.au

Editor’s Desk<br />

Retail is dead. Long live retail!<br />

For more than a decade, people have been predicting the end of physical stores as choice and convenience lured<br />

customers away from the streets and into the cloud. But one thing is certain, and as demonstrated by the past<br />

two years, nothing is as ever as it first seems. ANGELA HAN explores what the future holds for retail.<br />

“Retail is dead,” shouted some experts!<br />

In fact, so sure have some doomsayers<br />

been about the demise of retail that a<br />

new term was coined: ‘retail apocalypse’.<br />

The notion started around 2010 soon<br />

after the Global Financial Crisis when<br />

many major retailers began closing their<br />

brick-and-mortar retail stores, especially<br />

international chains.<br />

The term gained prominence around 2017<br />

when it was first mentioned in The Atlantic<br />

to describe major retail bankruptcies<br />

and mass store closures of major US<br />

chains. Only two years later in 2019 – just<br />

before the pandemic – the US witnessed<br />

approximately 10,000 more businesses<br />

close their doors, which was reported as<br />

a 60 per cent increase on the year before.<br />

So it’s understandable that the harbingers<br />

of doom were already painting a dire<br />

picture of the future of retailing – a decade<br />

on, the prophecies were all coming true.<br />

Then finally in 2020 the real impact took<br />

hold, as COVID-19 went global.<br />

You could hear Chopin’s Funeral March<br />

while watching the retail dominoes<br />

collapse – the pandemic was the final kiss<br />

of death, especially for businesses that<br />

were on life support, the pundits predicted.<br />

As of May 2020 only a few months into the<br />

pandemic, store closures and bankruptcies<br />

catalysed. Household names and<br />

department stores such as J. Crew, Neiman<br />

Marcus, and JCPenney were among the<br />

first major retailers to file for bankruptcy,<br />

although it is arguable that trouble was<br />

already brewing long before COVID.<br />

While an exact figure is almost impossible<br />

to ascertain, it was reported that a further<br />

12,000 retailers had closed stores across<br />

the US in 2020 alone. According to a 2021<br />

UBS Group report, it’s anticipated a further<br />

80,000 US stores are expected to shut<br />

shop in the next five years with onequarter<br />

of US shopping centres also<br />

expected to permanently close.<br />

The US economy is often seen as a<br />

bellwether for what happens here in<br />

Australia. So what does this mean for<br />

the future of retail?<br />

Closer to home, it has been reported<br />

that between 1,000 to 2,000 retail stores<br />

collapsed in 2020 and 2021 following<br />

on from a dismal year of pre-pandemic<br />

trading through 2018-19. Whether or<br />

not this estimate includes small shops<br />

on suburban strips is unknown, but it’s<br />

fair to say that no one was exempt from<br />

feeling the turbulence of the pandemic<br />

rollercoaster.<br />

Two years in, a quick stroll down the street<br />

reveals a string of ‘For Lease’ signs and<br />

storefronts closed until further notice. From<br />

K-mart to Woolies, we’re seeing empty<br />

shelves, a lack of staff and supply chain<br />

turmoil. These problems side-by-side make<br />

it easy to assume that we’re right in the<br />

middle of the, so-called, retail apocalypse.<br />

However, the wise and percipient know<br />

from past experience that economic<br />

instability and the challenges therein can<br />

lead to new opportunities. Instead, these<br />

events can simultaneously expose existing<br />

weaknesses and strengthen the position<br />

of a business.<br />

Indeed, while COVID-19 has accelerated<br />

store closures, it’s also ushered in a wave<br />

of digital revolution for the retail sector.<br />

With consumers now living, thinking<br />

and shopping differently, businesses<br />

have been forced to evolve and further<br />

experiment with what works and what<br />

doesn’t – a playground to freely explore<br />

the opportunities that had been put off.<br />

Certainly, if you were dragging your feet<br />

before 2020, the pandemic dragged you<br />

by the hair into the new world.<br />

KPMG’s 2021 Australian Retail Outlook<br />

Survey indicated that despite a huge shift<br />

towards omni-channel models – where<br />

more than 70 per cent of retailers have<br />

to increase their investment in digital<br />

technology – 25 per cent of respondents<br />

said their websites generate no revenue and<br />

21 per cent said that less than 5 per cent<br />

of their revenue comes from e-commerce.<br />

Fewer than 10 per cent of retailers<br />

indicated that their e-commerce platform<br />

generates up to 50 per cent of revenue.<br />

This is a double-edged sword: while there<br />

has been extraordinary development and<br />

growth in e-commerce, it’s clear that<br />

consumers still prefer to spend more<br />

in-store, which is a welcome revelation<br />

in amidst all the doom and gloom of the<br />

retail apocalypse.<br />

As customers have been forced into<br />

e-commerce, whether they liked it or<br />

not, The Law of Unintended Consequences<br />

came into play: firstly, people came to<br />

You could hear<br />

Chopin’s Funeral<br />

March while<br />

watching the<br />

retail dominoes<br />

collapse –<br />

COVID-19 was<br />

the final kiss of<br />

death, especially<br />

for businesses<br />

that were on<br />

life support,<br />

the pundits<br />

predicted.<br />

realise the importance of a tangible in-store<br />

shopping experience and secondly, with a<br />

surge in delivery fees and delay in delivery<br />

times, the price of items both instore and<br />

online became comparable.<br />

Coupled with this, the Australian Bureau<br />

of Statistics’ most recent turnover estimate<br />

(November 2021) for retail businesses,<br />

which include both physical store and<br />

online sales, is reported to have risen<br />

7.3 per cent month-on-month and<br />

increased 5.8 per cent on 2020. In essence,<br />

people haven’t stopped shopping, and<br />

instead, their consumption has increased.<br />

Moreover, what has come to light since<br />

2020 is to what degree consumers enjoy<br />

shopping for jewellery.<br />

In October 2020 I wrote: “When compared<br />

to other retail categories, there’s ample<br />

evidence that many fine jewellery retailers<br />

have remained resilient during the COVID<br />

pandemic and economic crisis”, which was<br />

backed up by soaring Pandora and Tiffany<br />

stock prices.<br />

“Hong Kong retailer, Chow Tai Fook, had<br />

seen its shares rocket back to its 2018<br />

heydays and both Michael Hill International<br />

and the US chain, Signet Jewelers, were<br />

recovering since the huge sell off in the<br />

depths of the crisis and LVMH stock prices<br />

are back to what they were pre-COVID.”<br />

And now, 15 months further on, Pandora<br />

has recorded all-time high revenue while<br />

Michael Hill reports its best second quarter<br />

in history. Richemont group’s sales have<br />

reportedly exceeded that of pre-COVID and<br />

even local jeweller Linneys reported historic<br />

Christmas trading. Sales are booming!<br />

In this month’s feature – The Great Retail<br />

Reset – we look at the ‘retail apocalypse’<br />

from a different standpoint. Sure, while<br />

the catastrophic effects of the pandemic<br />

cannot be ignored, it has equally been an<br />

opportunity for brave and savvy retailers<br />

to reinvent, redefine and rebirth.<br />

In March 2020, I gave my humble advice<br />

in these difficult times: if you want to<br />

prepare yourself against the horsemen<br />

of the apocalypse, don’t build a bunker –<br />

learn to ride a horse!<br />

It appears that some have gone a step<br />

further and learned to tame a herd.<br />

Angela Han<br />

Publisher<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 11

Upfront<br />

#Instagram hashtags to follow<br />

Alpha Order<br />

#argylepinkdiamonds<br />

17,078 POSTS<br />

#diamondlover<br />

184,966+ POSTS<br />

#dresstoimpress<br />


#engagementinspo<br />

56,407+ POSTS<br />

#fantasyjewelry<br />

82,535+ POSTS<br />


Okavango Blue<br />

4The oval cut 20.46-carat Okavango Blue<br />

Diamond was first unearthed in 2018 from<br />

Botswana's Orapa Mine located in the lush<br />

Okavango Delta, and was given a clarity grade<br />

of VVS1 for its near-perfect condition. It was cut<br />

from a 41.11-carat rough diamond and despite<br />

only being a recent discovery, it has quickly risen<br />

ranks as a historic gemstone for its rare colour,<br />

size and clarity.<br />

#garnetring<br />

63,533+ POSTS<br />

#gouache<br />

6,534+ POSTS<br />

#joailleriefrancaise<br />

22,693+ POSTS<br />

#malachitejewelry<br />

41,802+ POSTS<br />

#signetring<br />

178,117+ POSTS<br />

Unlike most diamonds that were created around 160 to<br />

240 kilometres below the surface, the Okavango Blue is said<br />

to have formed for millions of years at the transition zone - around<br />

640 kilometers down - through a geological process called subduction.<br />

Blue diamonds contain borons, and as soon as boron becomes more<br />

abundant than nitrogen, the diamond turns blue. The boron gets pushed<br />

down to the transition zone where it contributes to the blue hue.<br />

Trend Spotting<br />

4From Bella Hadid and Olivia Rodrigo<br />

to Pete Davidson, every trendy celebrity<br />

and their dog seems to be adorned<br />

with strands of kitschy colourful glass<br />

beads with playful motifs featuring<br />

strawberries and mushrooms. Mixed<br />

with sterling silver and freshwater<br />

pearls, alternative jeweller Beepybella<br />

combines psychedelic chic and<br />

childhood nostalgia.<br />

Image credit: Instagram @beepybella<br />

Image credit: Chaumet<br />

Stranger Things<br />

Weird, wacky and wonderful<br />

jewellery news from around the world<br />

Just milking it<br />

4A New Zealand jeweller,<br />

The Spilt Milk Co., is turning<br />

breast milk into jewellery to help<br />

mothers keep memories of their<br />

breastfeeding journey forever.<br />

Mothers mail approximately 10ml<br />

of their breastmilk which is then<br />

preserved by being turned into a<br />

dehydrated powder that is used<br />

to create beads that are worn as<br />

rings, earrings and necklaces.<br />

Some sentimental stories include<br />

mothers who have lost their babies<br />

and want to commemorate them.<br />

Diamonds in orbit<br />

4Dianna Rae High, a jeweller<br />

from Louisiana, is reaching new<br />

heights in a collaboration with<br />

NASA to launch a limited number<br />

of diamond-set jewellery on a<br />

mission to the International Space<br />

Station (ISS). NASA has also<br />

confirmed that the Highs will be<br />

the very first to send diamonds to<br />

the ISS to return and be resold. The<br />

agreement allows for a parcel of<br />

1,000 carats to be sent into orbit.<br />

Digital Brainwave<br />

“Extraterrestrial” giant<br />

Retailers with<br />

an ecommerce<br />

platform need<br />

to prioritise<br />

cybersecurity<br />

measures.<br />

4Cybersecurity experts have alerted omnichannel<br />

retailers to be extra-vigilant in <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

As more retailers have setup ecommerce<br />

platforms to deal with COVID disruptions<br />

and consumers are making more purchases<br />

online, hackers have also increased their<br />

ruthless attacks. With smarter AI and surge<br />

in smart-device usage, it's become easier for<br />

security breaches to occur.<br />

The solution? Don't skimp on your<br />

cybersecurity! Ensure you seek professional<br />

advice on how to secure your network and<br />

trading platforms to avoid any disruptions.<br />

Campaign Watch<br />

4French jeweller Chaumet has<br />

launched a new hexagonal diamond<br />

cut named Taille Impératrice<br />

(Empress), after its oldest client<br />

Impératrice Josephine, Napoleon's<br />

wife. Chaumet has claimed that it's<br />

the only cut to combine 88 facets with<br />

a star-shaped pavilion and boasts a<br />

superior brilliance to the traditional<br />

round brilliant. It is used extensively<br />

throughout the newly released<br />

'Bee My Love' collection.<br />

4A 555.55-carat rare black<br />

diamond named 'The Enigma' cut<br />

with 55-facets will be placed on the<br />

auction block in London by Sotheby’s<br />

next month, which is expected to fetch<br />

around £5 million ($AU9.46 million).<br />

Believed to have extraterrestrial<br />

origins, the shape of the stone is<br />

based on the Middle-Eastern palm<br />

symbol of the Khamsa, which<br />

stands for 'strength and protection'.<br />

Sotheby's will also accept<br />

cryptocurrency as payment.<br />


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Publisher Angela Han angela.han@jewellermagazine.com • Journalist Richard Chiu editorial@jewellermagazine.com • Production Coordinator Lauren McKinnon art@befindanmedia.com<br />

Advertising Toli Podolak toli.podolak@jewellermagazine.com • Accounts Paul Blewitt finance@befindanmedia.com<br />

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

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Toll Free 1800 888 585 | Email customerservice@pwbeck.com.au<br />

14 Duncan Court, Ottoway Park, SA, 5013 Australia<br />

Toll Free 1800 888 585 | Email customerservice@pwbeck.com.au | Web www.pwbeck.com.au

News<br />

Breakthrough with ‘floating diamond’ invention<br />

Australian jeweller celebrates<br />

five stores with gala evening<br />

It took two decades, millions of dollars, and a<br />

box of ruined and ‘exploded’ diamonds for a<br />

Wellington jeweller to finally be a step closer<br />

to a billion-dollar payout and create the<br />

'Floeting Diamond'.<br />

What was previously thought to be an<br />

impossible feat for traditional jewellery design<br />

and manufacturing has become a reality for The<br />

Village Goldsmith founder Ian Douglas, who<br />

announced the launch of the Floeting Diamond<br />

– a diamond-set jewellery collection without<br />

metal clasps or claws.<br />

Secured in place using proprietary tiny laser-cut<br />

grooves around the underside of diamonds,<br />

Floeting Diamond jewellery uses only highquality<br />

stones to achieve the desired strength<br />

and appearance for its collection.<br />

“The original concept came to mind almost<br />

20 years ago, but it’s really only been the<br />

advancement in a lot of technologies, in<br />

metallurgy, in the development of space-age<br />

metals, the science of engineering with lasers,<br />

that have enabled this cut to come about,”<br />

Douglas told Stuff.<br />

Record sales for Pandora Jewelry– "all-time high"<br />

Pandora has reported a “historical” 2021 fourth<br />

quarter (Q4) record performance and exceeded<br />

forecasts for the entire year based on its<br />

preliminary results.<br />

Estimated revenues in Q4 amounted to DKK9<br />

billion ($AU1.91 billion) and the full-year figure<br />

of DKK 23.4 billion ($AU4.96 billion) have been<br />

considered as the “highest ever for Pandora”,<br />

driven by “robust and broad-based growth”<br />

across key markets, especially in the US.<br />

Sales performance remained strong despite the<br />

temporary closure of several physical stores<br />

due to COVID-19 lockdown measures in the last<br />

quarter.<br />

"We are very pleased with the results in 2021,"<br />

Alexander Lacik, chief executive officer, Pandora<br />

It is estimated that the value of diamond<br />

jewellery sales worldwide is $US90 billion<br />

($AU126.6 billion) annually, half of which is<br />

spent in the US. Douglas hopes to get a 2<br />

per cent share of the American pie, which is<br />

around $US1.8 billion ($AU2.5 billion) within<br />

the next five years.<br />

The pursuit for a design that highlights the<br />

optimal visual qualities of a diamond set “was<br />

thought to be an impossible dream,” Douglas<br />

said. "Every jeweller in the world has been<br />

asked by customers if it was possible to have<br />

a ring without the prongs, and until now the<br />

answer has always been, 'No’."<br />

Using precision-cutting laser technology,<br />

Canadian master diamond cutter Mike Botha,<br />

in collaboration with international experts<br />

composed of metallurgists, scientists, laser<br />

engineers, testing laboratories and patent<br />

attorneys, finally developed the patented<br />

diamond jewellery design.<br />

The result – a diamond secured in place<br />

using a precise laser-cut micro-groove at the<br />


said in a statement, noting that the company<br />

"has returned to growth, and we deliver[ed] alltime<br />

high revenue. It is encouraging that we see<br />

broad-based growth."<br />

Full-year preliminary results saw an increase in<br />

organic growth by 23 per cent compared with the<br />

same period in 2020, which exceeded the “lifted”<br />

forecast guidance of 18-20 per cent issued in<br />

November last year.<br />

Earnings before interest and taxes were also<br />

reported at 25 per cent compared with the 24-<br />

24.5 per cent forecast guidance.<br />

The US market posted the highest revenue<br />

contribution in Q4 estimated at DKK2.5 billion<br />

($AU530 million) and full-year sales estimated at<br />

DKK7 billion ($AU1.48 billion).<br />

Simon Curwood, Nigel & Brooke Hunter with Shawn Latrell.<br />

The old adage, when the going gets tough, the tough<br />

get going came to light throughout the past two years.<br />

Not content with riding out the global pandemic,<br />

one independent jeweller expanded his store count<br />

regardless of the difficulties during COVID-19.<br />

Simon Curwood decided that 2021 was the year to<br />

break into the Sydney market by opening his fifth<br />

store. The problem was, he did so in June, a few<br />

weeks before a COVID lockdown.<br />

With four existing stores on the NSW central coast<br />

and Newcastle – Charlestown, Tuggerah, Kotara<br />

and Maitland – Curwood chose Parramatta for his<br />

entrée into the larger Sydney market. He recently<br />

“threw a party” for 130 people, in part to celebrate<br />

the new store but mainly to recognise the efforts of<br />

his staff throughout COVID.<br />

“We believe the people in our business are our<br />

biggest assets so every year for staff retention we<br />

organise an event to show our appreciation for<br />

their hard work and to celebrate their individual<br />

achievements”, he explained.<br />

The event took place at Bennelong Restaurant in<br />

the Sydney Opera House and, along with all of his<br />

staff, the night included; Erin Molan, Dave Hughes,<br />

Ricki-Lee and Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins.<br />

There were also special guest performances on the<br />

night from ‘popstars’ Jessica Mauboy, Dami Im, and<br />

The Buckleys.<br />

Curwood explained that 2021 was the most difficult<br />

year for staff because of confusion and controversy<br />

surrounding COVID laws.<br />

“Throughout the year there were all sorts of<br />

impossible situations for them [staff] to manage.<br />

So this year I wanted to go ‘all out' and put on an<br />

amazing event for my staff, to thank them for all<br />

their hard work during the covid pandemic. The kind<br />

of thing they’d always remember,” Curwood said.<br />

He explained that staff were being abused by<br />

customers for asking for proof of vaccination status<br />

while simultaneously being abused for not asking<br />

for proof of vaccination status!<br />




<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 15

News<br />

Costco's diamond and jewellery sales<br />

boom; history in the courts<br />

When Costco opened its first Australian store in 2009, few people would<br />

have believed that the US-style, large-format supermarket chain would<br />

offer diamonds and jewellery among the meat and vegetables aisles, let<br />

alone that they would become a major product range.<br />

However, a decade on, the 13-store chain has reported an increase in<br />

Australian revenue from $2.59 billion in 2020 to $2.82 billion in 2021,<br />

while its profit more than doubled from $22.22 million in 2020 to $46.39<br />

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Patrick Noone managing director Costco Australia told The Australian that<br />

the company had performed strongly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic<br />

and the resulting travel restrictions, and that Costco’s jewellery category<br />

was increasing sales in the face of the company not being considered as a<br />

‘typical’ shopping choice for diamond engagement rings.<br />

“<strong>Jeweller</strong>y has done exceptionally well for us this year, I think people are<br />

at home and getting married, having babies and a lot of diamonds have<br />

been selling,” Noone said in The Australian article titled, Diamonds are<br />

Costco’s best friend as sales in Australia race to $3bn.<br />

“Diamonds did well, we sell gold, and that surprised us a bit as well in<br />

terms of selling well. I think it is mainly we are getting traction with the<br />

quality of the goods, we are seeing $10,000 diamond rings being sold<br />

for weddings, $15,000 earrings and things like that and when people<br />

compare the quality out there in the market place and the savings it has<br />

proven popular," Noone said.<br />

The trend is not restricted to Australia. Strong jewellery sales helped<br />

boost Costco’s internationbal Q4 e-commerce revenue by almost nine<br />

per cent, according to Richard Galanti, chief financial officer.<br />

On 9 December, during an Earnings Call - a conference call between the<br />

management of a public company, analysts, investors, and the media to<br />

discuss the company’s financial results during a given reporting period<br />

– Galanti told participants that jewellery was among Costco’s strongest<br />

departments with a 20 per cent jump in total revenue to US$1.67 billion<br />

for the quarter.<br />

The Motley Fool finance website reported that Galanti said: "We actually<br />

sold a couple of rings in the $100,000 range. In terms of e-commerce<br />

sales in the quarter, ex FX [foreign exchange] increased 13.3 per cent<br />

year-over-year, and that's, of course, on top of an 86 per cent plus<br />

increase a year ago in the first quarter. Stronger department in terms<br />

of year of percentages include jewellery, tyres, and home furnishings.”<br />

Costco is reported to be North America's fourth-largest retailer of fine<br />

jewellery and watches after Signet, Walmart and Tiffany, however; the<br />

company’s jewellery and watch departments have not been without<br />

controversy and legal action.<br />

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News<br />

December sales achieve “stellar performance”<br />

despite a drop in diamond jewellery<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>y sales in December maintained a<br />

steady uptrend based on previous forecasts as<br />

overall sales dollars saw an increase by 1.8 per<br />

cent compared with the same period in 2020<br />

despite a decline in diamond jewellery sales,<br />

according to Retail Edge Consultant’s monthend<br />

report.<br />

Diamond precious metal jewellery became<br />

the sole outlier for December sales, which<br />

decreased by 8 per cent, compared with 2020<br />

but still maintained a significant positive twoyear<br />

difference (December 2019) at 38 per cent.<br />

The sale of comparative units declined by 5 per<br />

cent when measured against December 2020,<br />

however, there was a 3.9 per cent increase when<br />

compared with December 2019.<br />

According to Mike Dyer, sales manager, Retail<br />

Edge “As was stated in the November Vibe<br />

[member update], the indicators pointed to<br />

a stellar performance for jewellery retail in<br />

December and that's what happened.”<br />

Nonetheless, “there was good growth across<br />

most of the product categories,” he noted,<br />

explaining that the figures “indicate a strong<br />

consumer focus on buying something of<br />

significance that can be treasured and enjoyed.”<br />

Comparative average sales based on inventory<br />

continued to increase by 8 per cent from $161<br />

to $174 compared with December 2020, while<br />

it significantly went up by 26 per cent from the<br />

December 2019 figure of $138.<br />

Michael Hill International has reported a<br />

record sales performance to 26 December<br />

2021 – quarter two (Q2) of its financial year –<br />

thanks to “strong sales growth in all markets<br />

and channels” as per its second-quarter<br />

trading update.<br />

Overall sales across three countries<br />

- Australia, New Zealand and Canada -<br />

increased by 9.8 per cent compared with the<br />

same period in 2020 and 9.6 per cent based<br />

on a two-year difference when measured<br />

against the 2019 pre-COVID period.<br />

According to Daniel Bracken, CEO and<br />

managing director, Michael Hill International<br />

Limited “This strong performance now marks<br />

our tenth quarter of positive same-store<br />

sales growth since [Q3 2019] and further<br />

demonstrates the success of the continued<br />

transformation of the Michael Hill brand.”<br />

Bracken also noted that “the successful<br />

Sales dollars for colour stone precious metal<br />

jewellery was up by 23 per cent compared<br />

with 2020 and a significant two-year difference<br />

at 34 per cent.<br />

The same trend was seen for non-stone<br />

precious metal jewellery, which increased by 9<br />

per cent compared with December 2020, and a<br />

significant two-year difference at 59 per cent.<br />

Sales of silver and alternative metal jewellery<br />

also increased by 13 per cent when compared<br />

with December 2020 and a much significant rise<br />

at 41 per cent based on a two-year (December<br />

2019) difference.<br />

As expected during the holiday seasons, sales<br />

dollars for laybys saw a decline by 18 per cent<br />

as the pieces are claimed or collected, to be<br />

given as gifts.<br />

Similarly, revenue for services declined by 43.9<br />

per cent and special orders also followed suit by<br />

dropping at 21.4 per cent.<br />

“Now would be a great time to review your items<br />

that were short delivered (or back-ordered) prior<br />

to Christmas to make sure that you don't receive<br />

multiples of items that you may not require now<br />

that Christmas has passed,” he added.<br />

Retail Edge’s data is gathered from its POS<br />

software across more than 400 Australian<br />

independent retail jewellery stores. It is intended<br />

to present a representative sample of the wider<br />

jewellery industry.<br />

Michael Hill reports “best Q2” in its history<br />

planning and execution of Christmas<br />

underpinned this outstanding result” which<br />

included the company’s aggressive marketing<br />

campaigns, digital initiatives, supply chain and<br />

inventory management and holiday recruitment<br />

strategy “all came together to deliver Michael<br />

Hill’s best Q2 in the company’s history.”<br />

This year’s first-half earnings before interest<br />

and taxes are forecast to achieve between $49<br />

million to $53 million when compared with $44.6<br />

million for the first half of 2021.<br />

E-commerce channels also saw an increase<br />

in sales by 28 per cent. Digital sales year-todate<br />

represented 8.2 per cent of total sales<br />

compared with the 2021 full-year percentage<br />

of 6.3 per cent.<br />

Australian same-store sales increased by 5.2<br />

per cent and all-store sales were up by 2.2<br />

per cent. By the end of December 2021, all<br />

Australian stores (150) were trading.<br />

News In Brief<br />

Vikings, gold jewellery and<br />

legendary travels<br />

4 The unexpected discovery of an 11thcentury<br />

gold earring buried in Denmark<br />

could help shed light on whether the<br />

Vikings acquired intricate jewellery<br />

during their legendary journeys. The<br />

earring was one of a very few ancient<br />

jewellery pieces of the same and this is<br />

the first piece found in Scandinavia.<br />

New Hallmarking laws offer<br />

exemptions for gold jewellery<br />

4 The Indian government has issued<br />

guidelines on hallmarking exemptions<br />

for gold jewellery and artefacts, in<br />

response to protests from industry<br />

leaders on easing gold jewellery export<br />

and trade practices. India is one of<br />

the largest diamond and jewellery<br />

manufacturing and exporting nations<br />

in the world, estimated to be around<br />

$US40 billion.<br />

Gold jewellery and<br />

Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti<br />

4 Ancient gold jewellery and precious<br />

stones dating back to 1350 BC were<br />

unearthed alongside human skeletal<br />

remains from Bronze Age burial<br />

chambers in Cyprus. The artefacts<br />

resemble those worn by Egypt’s famed<br />

Queen Nefertiti and were discovered in<br />

a burial site for the ruling class in the<br />

ancient city of Hala Sultan Tekke.<br />

Australian diamond mine<br />

expected to be the biggest<br />

4 The Merlin Diamond Mine is<br />

expected to be the biggest commercial<br />

diamond mining operation in Australia<br />

with a targeted yield of 153,000 carats<br />

per year when it begins full-scale<br />

production in 2024. It aims to produce<br />

2.1 million carats throughout the<br />

expected 14-year ‘lifespan’.<br />



<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 17

News<br />

Harry Winston stops sourcing Myanmar gemstones amid human-rights accusation<br />

The Global Witness report alleges that Myanmar’s current<br />

military leaders are taking advantage and control of what the<br />

organisation called “conflict rubies” to “tighten its grip on<br />

power and bankroll atrocities.”<br />

The jeweller made the announcement days<br />

before international non-profit watchdog Global<br />

Witness published a report regarding political<br />

and human rights abuses in the Southeast Asian<br />

nation known as a leading supplier for premiumquality<br />

gemstones.<br />

According to the report, of the 30 international<br />

brands contacted by Global Witness only Tiffany<br />

& Co, Boodles, and Signet <strong>Jeweller</strong>s aside from<br />

Harry Winston, have also declared to stop sourcing<br />

gemstones from Myanmar.<br />

“In its ongoing commitment to responsible and<br />

ethical sourcing, the House of Harry Winston will<br />

no longer source gemstones from its suppliers<br />

that have Burmese origins, regardless of the<br />

importation dates,” the company posted on Twitter.<br />

The company also noted it takes “very seriously”<br />

how it sources its diamonds and gemstones.<br />

“We perform our due diligence prior to<br />

purchasing to ensure the gemstones used in the<br />

manufacturing of our jewellery collections are<br />

obtained responsibly, ethically, and in accordance<br />

with all applicable laws and regulations,” the<br />

statement also pointed out.<br />

A military coup in <strong>February</strong> seized control of<br />

Myanmar that triggered an embargo on key<br />

gemstone companies by the US.<br />

The Global Witness report alleges that<br />

Myanmar’s current military leaders are taking<br />

advantage and control of what the organisation<br />

called “conflict rubies” to “tighten its grip on<br />

power and bankroll atrocities.”<br />

“There is no such thing as an ethically sourced<br />

Burmese ruby.<br />

"These gemstones are sold as symbols of<br />

human connection and affection, yet the supply<br />

chain is steeped in corruption and horrific<br />

human rights abuses,” Clare Hammond, Senior<br />

Myanmar Campaigner at Global Witness, said.<br />

Among the other well-known luxury brands<br />

implicated in the investigation were Graff, Bulgari,<br />

Van Cleef & Arpels, and Sotheby’s.<br />

A conservative analysis of the value of the coloured<br />

gemstone industry in Myanmar is estimated to<br />

be between $US346 million ($AU478.5 million) to<br />

$US415 million ($AU574 million) based on official<br />

production data.

News<br />

Linneys reports “historic” trading<br />


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<strong>Jeweller</strong>y retailer Linneys has reported record sales for Christmas<br />

2021 marking it the “best Christmas trading to date” for the Perthbased<br />

company amid COVID challenges which turned out to be a<br />

“silver lining” of sorts.<br />

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According to Justin Linney, creative director, Christmas trading saw<br />

an increase by 15 per cent fuelled by a rising Western Australian<br />

economy and COVID-related overseas travel restrictions which yielded<br />

an unexpected outcome where consumers invested in jewellery and<br />

luxury goods. The strong holiday trading performance is seen to<br />

increase the company’s annual turnover by 30 per cent in 2021-<strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Linney said “Western Australians can’t travel so they are investing<br />

in jewellery instead,” noting that stores were “extremely busy” at the<br />

start of the holidays as “customers are settling their accounts for<br />

presents in the last few days before Christmas.”<br />

Pink diamonds were in high demand “as they are very limited in<br />

supply, and clients don’t want to miss the boat,” Linney said, adding<br />

that consumers are still looking for “classic pieces, diamond pendants<br />

or stud earrings, [and] pearls are being featured on the fashion<br />

runway, so they are also in high demand.”<br />

Established in 1972, family-owned Linneys was among the Australian<br />

‘pioneers’ to showcase Argyle pink diamonds in its original jewellery<br />

collections since 1985.<br />

Rent assistance scheme helps jewellers<br />

A recent decision by the Victoria Government to approve a two-month<br />

extension of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS) will<br />

benefit jewellery retailers who may be struggling with the recent rise<br />

of COVID cases.<br />



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The scheme, which was extended until 15 March and takes effect on<br />

16 January, is available to businesses with a maximum annual turnover<br />

of $10 million and have experienced at least a 30 per cent decline in<br />

turnover due to COVID-related causes.<br />

Along with the CTRS extension, the suspension on rent increases will<br />

remain in effect, as well as the mandated moratorium on evictions.<br />

Under the program, landlords and tenants are required to mutually<br />

abide by the conditions stated in their respective agreements.<br />

Landlords are directed to provide proportional rent relief to tenants, such<br />

as businesses with a pre-pandemic turnover of 40 per cent could only be<br />

billed 40 per cent of its rent rate. With the remaining 60 per cent, at least<br />

half of the rent balance is waived and the remainder is to be deferred.<br />

Throughout the scheme, the Victorian Small Business Commission will<br />

provide mediation support to landlords and tenants in cases where no<br />

mutual agreement is reached. Landlords will also be unable to evict or<br />

lockout tenants without seeking mediation from the commission.<br />

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News<br />

Tiffany & Co. problems continue:<br />

French-US rivalry causes confusion<br />

When French luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH)<br />

acquired Tiffany & Co. in January, LVMH management immediately<br />

signalled that big changes were afoot, whether customers liked them<br />

or not. Tiffany wasn’t just getting a takeover, but a makeover. However,<br />

not everything has gone according to plan.<br />

Barely two months into the acquisition, Tiffany & Co. cancelled its New York<br />

Times print-edition advertisement, which had run on page 3 since 1896.<br />

The re-branding continued with a controversial billboard campaign<br />

bearing the slogan, ‘Not your mother’s Tiffany’. The intention was clear<br />

– positioning Tiffany as a youthful, on-trend, and unpretentious brand,<br />

accessible to Gen Z<br />

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), “It seemed like a<br />

perfect union when LVMH acquired Tiffany & Co. and the two companies<br />

agreed to the takeover in late 2019. The combination combined a wellknown<br />

but faded jeweller with a deep-pocketed French conglomerate,<br />

betting its future on expansion into China and Europe.”<br />

However, Pauline Brown, who was chairman of LVMH North America<br />

from 2013 through 2015, believes Tiffany’s new management is<br />

underestimating the cultural challenges.<br />

“The senior-most decision makers in Tiffany’s C-Suite are not<br />

American,” she told the WSJ.<br />

Brown, who is now a Columbia Business School professor added: “They<br />

assume that because they speak fluent English and, in some cases,<br />

have worked in America, that they understand the American mindset.<br />

"But they are trying to impose a strategy that won’t necessarily gel for<br />

the brand’s core customers or employees".<br />

The article goes on to say that the French takeover of Tiffany & Co.<br />

started with insults, lawsuits and accusations of mismanagement.<br />

Then things got really uncomfortable.<br />

Soon after LVMH closed its $US15.8 billion acquisition of the American<br />

jewellery retailer in January 2021, it replaced several of Tiffany’s senior<br />

leaders with executives from other parts of the LVMH empire.<br />

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According to the WSJ report, in April a group of Tiffany staffers<br />

circulated an unsanctioned memo offering tips on “Franco-American<br />

cultural nuances and etiquette.” It advised against discussing weekend<br />

plans while waiting for a meeting to start.<br />

“French people share more negative feedback,” it warned. “Expect<br />

less warm and fuzzy: ‘amazing’, ‘fabulous’ and excessively positive<br />

comments are not the norm.”<br />

Tiffany’s new chief executive, Anthony Ledru, denounced it after<br />

it circulated, disputing the notion that people had to assimilate to<br />

succeed at their jobs. He told his team “we are not aligned with this,”<br />

Mr. Ledru said in an interview at his Manhattan office.<br />

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News<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s annual conference heads to Brisbane in May<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s has announced that more<br />

than 200 members will attend its ‘Time Out’<br />

conference free of charge, thanks to the group’s<br />

member rewards program - saving $1,800 each.<br />

Additionally, member-participants will each be<br />

provided ‘Conference Cash’ valued at $30,000<br />

to $60,000, which can be used with exhibitors at<br />

zero-interest for a 6-month term, according to<br />

organisers.<br />

The conference will be held at the W Hotel in<br />

Brisbane from 13 to 16 May <strong>2022</strong>, and will be centred<br />

around the theme: ‘Time Out – Time to Shine'.<br />

“We anticipate that we will exceed our usual<br />

attendance level, which typically ranges between<br />

180 to 200 members representing 100 stores,”<br />

Erin Keller, membership manager, Nationwide<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>s said.<br />

“Our initial conference program was sent to<br />

members last week, and the first member<br />

registrations were received within an hour.”<br />

The $1,800 reward benefit for qualified members<br />

“includes accommodation, meals, functions,<br />

seminars and workshops” and organisers are<br />

expecting a high turn-out given next year’s<br />

conference will be the first time in nearly three<br />

years since the pandemic restricted public<br />

gatherings and events.<br />

The conference also marks Nationwide’s 30th year<br />

- which was originally planned for celebration last<br />

year but was cancelled due to pandemic restrictions<br />

- and recognise members who have been with the<br />

group for the past 30 years.<br />

“Our 30-year members are amongst some of the<br />

most successful jewellery stores in the industry,”<br />

Glen Pocklington, general manager, Nationwide said.<br />

“These members have been regular attendees at<br />

our annual conference, and it is often here that<br />

they have made new connections, discovered<br />

fresh products and learnt business strategies<br />

to keep them inspired and motivated.”<br />

Enhanced jewellery course<br />

Meanwhile, the group has announced it has<br />

streamlined its Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Business<br />

Management Course to allow more members<br />

to take advantage of the free training program.<br />

Several one-day training modules have been<br />

converted to webinars and course durations<br />

were reduced to half a day, which will be made<br />

available via Nationwide’s 24/7 online resource<br />

library.<br />

The online modules include Human Resources,<br />

Visual Merchandising and Understanding<br />

Financial Reports.<br />

“This has enabled us to reduce the course<br />

duration from one day to half a day, making it<br />

easier for more members to be able to attend,”<br />

Colin Pocklington, managing director, Nationwide<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>s said.<br />

Several one-day training modules have been<br />

converted to webinars and course durations<br />

were reduced to half a day, which will be made<br />

available via Nationwide’s 24/7 online resource<br />

library.<br />

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News<br />

High profile jeweller sues 'copycat' over IP infringement<br />

New York-based jewellery designer David<br />

Yurman has filed a lawsuit against venture<br />

capital-backed rival Mejuri for copying several<br />

distinctive jewellery designs that bore striking<br />

similarities with Yurman’s Pure Form and<br />

Sculpted Cable collections.<br />

The complaint was filed in the New York Southern<br />

District federal court for infringement based on<br />

dilution of Yurman trade dress and violations of the<br />

state’s business law.<br />

Trade dress is a type of US trademark law that<br />

extends to the configuration (design and shape)<br />

of a product itself. If the overall image serves to<br />

distinguish the source of a product, or service from<br />

those of its competitors, one or more elements<br />

that make up the trade dress may satisfy the<br />

requirements for registration as a trademark.<br />

David Yurman sought an injunction against Mejuri<br />

for manufacturing products that “infringe” on the<br />

specified designs and demand the finished pieces<br />

be “melted down.” The company is also seeking<br />

redress for unspecified damages.<br />

Established in 1980, David Yurman operates<br />

33 US and 11 international stores.<br />

Mejuri is based in Toronto, Canada was founded<br />

in 2015 by Noura Sakkijha and focuses on<br />

millennial women looking to ‘self-purchase’<br />

affordable jewellery.<br />

In 2019, venture capital firm New Enterprise<br />

Associates invested in the $US23 million Series<br />

B round for Mejuri, a startup capturing millennial<br />

women’s penchant for affordable and treat yo’ self<br />

type of jewelry rather than diamonds and precious<br />

stones for special occasions.<br />

A statement from David Yurman alleged that in<br />

2016 the company spent more than $US1.5 million<br />

($AU2.06 million) in marketing its Pure Form<br />

collection, while it spent more than $US5 million<br />

($AU6.88 million) in 2003 to promote the Sculpted<br />

Cable collection. To date, combined sales for both<br />

jewellery collections have exceeded $US235 million<br />

($AU323 million).<br />

In a statement, the company claimed Mejuri copied<br />

the designs and “caused customer confusion and<br />

damage the substantial goodwill that David Yurman<br />

has diligently built over four decades,” charging that<br />

the action makes Mejuri a “serial copycat.”<br />

“We celebrate the creativity of our peers in the<br />

industry who design their own jewellery, and we<br />

welcome competition from new and established<br />

designers alike,” Evan Yurman, president of David<br />

Yurman, said in a statement .<br />

“But we believe that competition should be<br />

fair, and unlawful copying is not good for the<br />

industry or its consumers, nor is it fair to our<br />

hardworking employees.”<br />

In an interview with JCK, a Mejuri spokesperson<br />

said the allegations “are categorically false and are<br />

fundamentally at odds with what we stand for and<br />

who we are as a brand.”<br />

“We look forward to demonstrating that [Yurman’s]<br />

accusations are entirely without merit and believe<br />

that there is enough space in our industry for<br />

artists and jewellery designers to coexist and thrive<br />

together without baseless attacks on one another,”<br />

the spokesperson added.

News<br />

Emerald-cut diamond ring sets new<br />

Australian auction record<br />

Auction house Leonard Joel claims to have set yet another Australian price<br />

record for a diamond ring.<br />

The record-breaking sale of a 20.05-carat diamond ring for $1.625 million,<br />

including buyer’s premium (IBP) edged out a 25.02-carat ring also sold by<br />

Leonard Joel in April 2021 for $1.25 million.<br />

The company celebrated 40<br />

years of jewellery in 2021 and<br />

capped off this celebration with<br />

the record-breaking sale of the<br />

magnificent solitaire diamond<br />

ring on 7 December 2021 during<br />

the final auction of the year.<br />

The record-breaking VVS2<br />

diamond was shown in<br />

Melbourne and Sydney. The<br />

emerald-cut stone is claw-set<br />

above a gallery pavé-set with<br />

brilliant-cut diamonds, flanked<br />

Record breaking VVS2 20.05-carat emerald-cut<br />

by trapezoid diamonds, mounted diamond ring sells for $1,625,000 at Leonard Joel.<br />

in platinum.<br />

It was sold to a local buyer and is said had fallen in love with the piece at the<br />

earlier viewing.<br />

Following these two stones is a 9.67-carat diamond and Argyle fancy pink<br />

diamond ring that sold for $725,000 IBP and a 17.34-carat diamond ring<br />

that sold for $575,000 IBP. It concludes 2021 with jewellery sales totaling of<br />

$9,787,750.<br />

32.32-carat pink diamond fetches $19m<br />

Multinational company Diacore has acquired an exceptional 32.32-carat<br />

pink rough diamond discovered at the Williamson mine in Tanzania for<br />

$US13.8 million ($AU19.06 million). The rough was part of the 26,000 carats<br />

from the mine’s first tender that was offered in Antwerp in November.<br />

According to Nir Livnat,<br />

chairman, Diacore, "This rare<br />

masterpiece of nature is a<br />

natural fit to our unique offering<br />

as cutters and marketeers of<br />

special diamonds."<br />

The stone was purchased from<br />

Petra Diamonds which operates<br />

the Williamson mine. It closed<br />

in April last year in compliance<br />

with COVID-19 lockdown<br />

guidelines, with operations<br />

expected to resume during the<br />

first quarter of <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

The rare pink rough will be analysed and cut by<br />

the company's highly experienced team to bring<br />

out the beauty and best yield.<br />

Diacore has been specialising<br />

in rare colour diamonds and is<br />

known for purchasing some of the rarest stones, such as the 204.36-carat<br />

fancy intense yellow diamond called the Dancing Sun, early this year,<br />

which was reputed to be the largest polished diamond unearthed in North<br />

America.<br />

Among the other notable purchases of the company were the 203.04-carat<br />

De Beers Millennium Star and the 59.6-carat flawless Pink Star diamond.

News<br />

EST. 1981<br />

EST. 1981<br />

EST.<br />

EST.<br />

1981<br />

1981<br />




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Breakthrough with ‘floating diamond’ invention<br />


underside of the stone and does not impede light<br />

return or brilliance.<br />

The diamond is set on a high-tensile titanium<br />

alloy collet, which was found to be stronger than<br />

traditional settings based on independent tests.<br />

“Extensive independent testing against the<br />

ISO standard mimicked the scenario of a ring<br />

dropping repeatedly onto a hard wooden surface<br />

from one meter high,” Douglas said.<br />

“In a traditional setting, the diamond came loose<br />

after 298 drops, while the Floeting Diamond<br />

remained secure in its setting after several<br />

thousand drops.”<br />

Floeting Diamond pieces can hold stones between<br />

.20 to 100 carats and, in the future, may be developed<br />

for pear or oval gem shapes, as well as include<br />

sapphires and rubies.<br />

For the first time since 1886 when the standard sixclaw<br />

diamond setting technique was invented, the<br />

Floeting Diamond becomes a historical innovation<br />

for the international diamond jewellery industry.<br />

Douglas invested millions of dollars in the<br />

development of the ground-breaking technique and<br />

several test diamonds were destroyed throughout<br />

the process.<br />

“Secured in place using proprietary tiny laser-cut<br />

grooves around the underside of diamonds, Floeting<br />

Diamond jewellery uses only high-quality stones<br />

Australian jeweller celebrates five stores<br />


“The pandemic was the hardest situation for staff<br />

to manage. In some cases we had police officers<br />

coming into the store giving staff a hard time about<br />

vaccination and check-in management, then other<br />

police would come in saying they don’t really care,<br />

they just wanted it to be over too!<br />

“So I wanted to celebrate their sacrifices and<br />

everything they have done throughout a difficult<br />

year and, at the same time, have a belated<br />

celebration of our first Sydney store given that not<br />

long after it opened NSW went into lockdown,”<br />

Curwood explained.<br />

The first Simon Curwood <strong>Jeweller</strong>s store opened<br />

in 2016 at Charlestown, south of Newcastle, NSW.<br />

Curwood has been in the jewellery industry since a<br />

young boy.<br />

He worked on the bench for his father Christopher<br />

Curwood, who operated McCallum Gold in<br />

Ballarat, Victoria - one of Australia’s leading<br />

jewellery manufacturers – in the late 1970s and<br />

early 80s. The younger Curwood worked for the<br />

family business until he was 19 and left to join<br />

Harvey Norman, learning the art of successful<br />

to achieve the desired strength and appearance<br />

for its collection.”<br />

“We contacted one of the world’s leading diamond<br />

cutting companies based out of Israel and had an<br />

agreement with them to prototype and test this<br />

concept, and they absolutely ruined it. I paid for<br />

this batch of diamonds that just got butchered,”<br />

Douglas said.<br />

The journey was never easy, according to Douglas,<br />

who noted there were “heartbreaking” moments<br />

during the development stage when he was faced<br />

with a “massive bill”, especially when he was handed<br />

a “little box of cut and polished diamonds with the<br />

groove done completely incorrectly that had ruined<br />

their optical properties. So that got parked in the<br />

vault for a few years.”<br />

“It’s just been horrific. Ten years, trips around the<br />

world to everywhere you can imagine, talking to<br />

all sorts of people, these institutes, the testing<br />

costs, material itself,” he explained.<br />

“You can imagine having to test diamonds and<br />

things going wrong, we have literally blown<br />

diamonds apart.”<br />

After 20 years of rigorous testing, the Floeting<br />

Diamond became a reality and uses a speciallyengineered<br />

titanium alloy which was found to be<br />

20 times more impact tolerant and 10 times more<br />

durable than traditional diamond settings.<br />

Douglas said they are currently under scrutiny by<br />

industry rivals and added, “I think there’s probably a<br />

lot of people hoping that we’ll fail, but if we succeed<br />

they’ll be jumping on the bandwagon big time.”<br />

retailing for five years.<br />

“I missed the jewellery industry too much so I<br />

came back and worked for Michael Hill <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

for four years. But I always wanted to start my own<br />

business because I have always been passionate<br />

about high-quality jewellery made by independent<br />

craftspeople.<br />

“I set out with the aim of being an independent<br />

chain store – a business that sits between a single<br />

store quality jeweller and a large jewellery chain<br />

– bringing better quality jewellery to the mass<br />

market,” Curwood said.<br />

He believes he has had a good grounding<br />

to achieve his aim given that he learned the<br />

intricacies of fine jewellery production from his<br />

father from the age six.<br />

“I have been passionate about that and felt there was<br />

a niche for a multi-store retailer that focuses on highquality<br />

jewellery. More than 80 per cent of our entire<br />

business is custom-made jewellery,” he said.<br />

The 34-year old Curwood now employs around<br />

60 people and told <strong>Jeweller</strong> that he plans to open<br />

two new stores in <strong>2022</strong>, “when the right locations<br />

become available”, one in Melbourne and one in<br />


News<br />

Majority of engagement ring buyers shun online websites: study finds<br />

Despite the growth of specialist diamond jewellery<br />

websites, and the general increase in online<br />

shopping over the past two years, a new study has<br />

found 67 per cent of people who decided to marry<br />

purchased their engagement ring in-store, from a<br />

jewellery retailer.<br />

In addition, the 2021 Jewelry and Engagement<br />

Study – conducted by US-based digital wedding<br />

resource The Knot – found that about 50 per cent<br />

of the sales took place at local jewellers after the<br />

proposer visited 2-3 jewellery stores before making<br />

a purchase.<br />

The study concluded that engagement ring<br />

shoppers favoured visiting a jewellery store: “While<br />

online channels, such as social media and jewelry<br />

websites, continue to be the leading resource for<br />

ring research and inspiration, proposers value the<br />

importance of in-store shopping.”<br />

Diamonds are still the most preferred engagement<br />

stone, with moissanite catching up as a popular<br />

alternative and yellow gold making a comeback.<br />

"We're thrilled to see that proposals are returning<br />

to pre-pandemic behaviours. The majority of<br />

couples are already booking their weddings for<br />

<strong>2022</strong>, as the wedding boom is upon us,” Shelley<br />

Brown, senior fashion editor, The Knot said. She<br />

noted there has been a “renewed excitement” on<br />

proposals and the market has shown increased<br />

interest in custom engagement rings.<br />

According to Brown, “Oval diamonds, yellow<br />

gold settings and alternative centre stones like<br />

moissanite and sapphire are all gaining popularity,<br />

speaking to couples' increasing desire to invest in<br />

wedding traditions that represent their specific love<br />

story and personal taste.”<br />

The study revealed that 93 per cent of respondents<br />

exchanged engagement rings of which 83 per<br />

cent were diamond-set with an average size of 1.5<br />

carats, while one in four ring designs were more<br />

than 2 carats.<br />

Shape and setting were considered important<br />

features with round cut diamonds as the most<br />

popular at 41 percent, while oval cut diamonds<br />

have also seen an increase by 2 per cent in 2015<br />

to 19 per cent this year. However, ring size has<br />

become less important among respondents,<br />

according to the study.<br />

Of the 10 per cent of study respondents who<br />

chose non-diamond rings, 28 per cent preferred<br />

moissanite, which was also the most popular<br />

choice among Gen Z respondents (35 per cent).<br />

Sustainability awareness also became an<br />

emerging trend, where nearly one in four<br />

engagement rings were synthetic or lab-created<br />

stones, which indicated an increase by 11 per cent<br />

on the two-year difference when compared to the<br />

same study in 2019.<br />

Meanwhile, yellow gold engagement rings<br />

have become increasingly popular among<br />

study respondents while demand for white gold<br />

engagement rings has declined in recent years.<br />

From 61 percent in 2017, the demand for white<br />

gold decreased by 45 per cent this year.<br />

Overall, average spending on engagement rings<br />

for 2021 slightly increased to $US6,000 ($AU8,387)<br />

compared with 2019 pre-pandemic spending of<br />

$US5,900 ($AU8,247).<br />



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P: 03 9650 5955 | E: sales@millenniumchain.com.au<br />




As at 31 December 2021 <strong>Jeweller</strong> was ranked 54,878, in the world,<br />

well ahead of other jewellery industry titles in more populous<br />

countries. For example, the US magazines JCK, National Jeweler,<br />

and Instore ranked 82,055, 134,498, and 238,570 respectively, even<br />

though the population of the US is much larger than Australia.<br />


WORLD<br />


1 <strong>Jeweller</strong> Australia 54,878<br />

2 JCK USA 82,055<br />

3 National Jeweler USA 134,498<br />

4 Instore Magazine USA 238,570<br />

5 Diamond World India 256,670<br />

6 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 269,464<br />

7 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Net Asia Hong Kong 307,988<br />

8 Professional <strong>Jeweller</strong> UK 580,385<br />

9 The Jewelry Magazine India 613,901<br />

10 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Outlook UK 692,146<br />

11 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Business Canada 745,214<br />

12 Art of <strong>Jeweller</strong>y India 769,354<br />

Leaders and numbers<br />

have one thing in common...<br />

13 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y World Australia 1,087,006<br />

14 Solitaire Magazine Singapore 1,142,751<br />

15 Indian <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 1,203,543<br />

16 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> Magazine UK 1,305,323<br />

17 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Focus UK 1,846,557<br />

18 Preziosa Magazine Italy 2,198,671<br />

19 The New <strong>Jeweller</strong> UAE / India 2,745,417<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong> has been the leading voice of the Australian and New Zealand jewellery<br />

industries for 25 years, and today we rank #1 in the world.<br />

Alexa, the independent global ranking system for measuring website traffic and<br />

readership, now ranks jewellermagazine.com as the most widely read industry<br />

publication in the world – by far!<br />

Better still, the daily time spent on jewellermagazine.com averages 29 minutes, which<br />

far exceeds all other international publications, which average only 2–3 minutes per<br />

visitor. Moreover, our page views is miles ahead of all other industry publications.<br />

Moreover, <strong>Jeweller</strong>’s social media presence dominates and our eMags boast more<br />

than 12.3 million reads.<br />

The numbers speak for themselves - follow the leader, and follow the readers too!<br />

20 Canadian <strong>Jeweller</strong> Canada 3,726,881<br />

21 The Retail Jeweler USA 4,158,087<br />

22 Gold Book Magazine Turkey 4,942,352<br />

23 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Monthly UK 5,386,955<br />

24 <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Network South Africa 6,005,766<br />

25 Bangkok Gems & <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Thailand NO DATA<br />

26 Hong Kong <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Magazine Hong Kong NO DATA<br />

27 Jewel Trendz India NO DATA<br />

28 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Time New Zealand NO DATA<br />

29 Solitaire International Singapore NO DATA<br />





WORLD<br />


1 Rapaport Magazine* USA 48,447<br />

2 Idex* Israel 84,120<br />


Denotes titles connected to diamond trading platforms / publication




Page Views is the number of times a reader visits any page<br />

on a website. A higher Page View figure the better, because it<br />

means readers are more engaged in the content. <strong>Jeweller</strong>’s<br />

Page View count of 22 leads all websites while most others<br />

can only record a single Page View before the reader leaves.<br />

Time-on-Page is the average time a reader spends on a page<br />

while Time-On-Site is how long they spend on the site each<br />

day. <strong>Jeweller</strong> leads the world with a Daily Time of 29.6 minutes,<br />

while most other publications only manage 1-2 minutes. The<br />

more time spent on a website, the better the global ranking.<br />

The Bounce Rate measures the percentage of visits that<br />

consist of only a single page view. It indicates the percentage<br />

of readers that land on a website, and immediately leave<br />

(‘bounce off’) meaning a low bounce rate is optimal. Alexa<br />

records <strong>Jeweller</strong>’s Bounce Rate at less than 23 per cent.<br />




(IN MINUTES)<br />


BOUNCE<br />

RATE<br />

1 <strong>Jeweller</strong> Australia 22.00<br />

2 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 9.00<br />

3 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Net Asia Hong Kong 3.60<br />

4 The Jewelry Magazine India 2.10<br />

5 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Business Canada 2.00<br />

6 Diamond World India 2.00<br />

7 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Focus UK 2.00<br />

8 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> Magazine UK 2.00<br />

9 Indian <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 2.00<br />

10 The New <strong>Jeweller</strong> UAE / India 2.00<br />

11 Canadian <strong>Jeweller</strong> Canada 2.00<br />

12 The Retail Jeweler USA 2.00<br />

13 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Outlook UK 1.80<br />

14 Instore Magazine USA 1.80<br />

15 National Jeweler USA 1.70<br />

16 JCK USA 1.70<br />

17 Professional <strong>Jeweller</strong> UK 1.50<br />

18 Art of <strong>Jeweller</strong>y India 1.40<br />

19 Solitaire Magazine Singapore 1.00<br />

20 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y World Australia 1.00<br />

21 Preziosa Magazine Italy 1.00<br />

22 Gold Book Magazine Turkey 1.00<br />

23 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Monthly UK 1.00<br />

24 <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Network South Africa 1.00<br />

25 Bangkok Gems & <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Thailand NO DATA<br />

26 Solitaire International Singapore NO DATA<br />

27 Jewel Trendz India NO DATA<br />

28 Hong Kong <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Magazine Hong Kong NO DATA<br />

29 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Time New Zealand NO DATA<br />

1 <strong>Jeweller</strong> Australia 29:60<br />

2 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 20:06<br />

3 National Jeweler USA 15:50<br />

4 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Business Canada 02:17<br />

5 Diamond World India 02:15<br />

6 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Outlook UK 02:11<br />

7 JCK USA 01:56<br />

8 Professional <strong>Jeweller</strong> UK 01:55<br />

9 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Focus UK 01:51<br />

10 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Net Asia Hong Kong 01:44<br />

11 The Jewelry Magazine India 01:43<br />

12 Instore Magazine USA 01:42<br />

13 Art of <strong>Jeweller</strong>y India 01:38<br />

14 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> Magazine UK 01:11<br />

15 Solitaire Magazine Singapore 01:10<br />

16 Indian <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 00:54<br />

17 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y World Australia 00:30<br />

18 Preziosa Magazine Italy NO DATA<br />

19 The New <strong>Jeweller</strong> UAE / India NO DATA<br />

20 Canadian <strong>Jeweller</strong> Canada NO DATA<br />

21 The Retail Jeweler USA NO DATA<br />

22 Gold Book Magazine Turkey NO DATA<br />

23 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Monthly UK NO DATA<br />

24 <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Network South Africa NO DATA<br />

25 Bangkok Gems & <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Thailand NO DATA<br />

26 Solitaire International Singapore NO DATA<br />

27 Jewel Trendz India NO DATA<br />

28 Hong Kong <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Magazine Hong Kong NO DATA<br />

29 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Time New Zealand NO DATA<br />

1 <strong>Jeweller</strong> Australia 22.80%<br />

2 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Net Asia Hong Kong 33.80%<br />

3 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 38.70%<br />

4 Professional <strong>Jeweller</strong> UK 50.00%<br />

5 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Outlook UK 52.00%<br />

6 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Business Canada 55.00%<br />

7 Art of <strong>Jeweller</strong>y India 59.10%<br />

8 Indian <strong>Jeweller</strong> India 60.00%<br />

9 Diamond World India 61.50%<br />

10 The Jewelry Magazine India 63.60%<br />

11 Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong> Magazine UK 66.70%<br />

12 National Jeweler USA 68.30%<br />

13 Solitaire Magazine Singapore 70.00%<br />

14 JCK USA 72.70%<br />

15 Instore Magazine USA 73.40%<br />

16 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y World Australia 92.30%<br />

17 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Focus UK NO DATA<br />

18 Preziosa Magazine Italy NO DATA<br />

19 The New <strong>Jeweller</strong> UAE / India NO DATA<br />

20 Canadian <strong>Jeweller</strong> Canada NO DATA<br />

21 The Retail Jeweler USA NO DATA<br />

22 Gold Book Magazine Turkey NO DATA<br />

23 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Monthly UK NO DATA<br />

24 <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Network South Africa NO DATA<br />

25 Bangkok Gems & <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Thailand NO DATA<br />

26 Solitaire International Singapore NO DATA<br />

27 Jewel Trendz India NO DATA<br />

28 Hong Kong <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Magazine Hong Kong NO DATA<br />

29 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Time New Zealand NO DATA<br />











(IN MINUTES)<br />





BOUNCE<br />

RATE<br />

1 Idex* Israel 3.50<br />

2 Rapaport Magazine* USA 1.70<br />

1 Rapaport Magazine* USA 02:25<br />

2 Idex* Israel 02:19<br />

1 Rapaport Magazine* USA 60.60%<br />

2 Idex* Israel 75.80%<br />

All data collated as at 31 December 2021

A Tribute<br />

Laughter and legacy:<br />

tribute to Peter W Beck<br />

Australia lost a luminary of the jewellery industry<br />

in December when Peter Beck passed away. While<br />

the word ‘legend’ is bandied around all too often<br />

these days, in Peter’s case it is more than fitting.<br />

Born in 1945, he came from humble beginnings as the<br />

son of Lorna and William Beck, and attended Norwood<br />

Boys Technical College – now known as Marryatville<br />

High School – and from an early age he showed a love<br />

of sport, playing Rugby Union as a halfback.<br />

Peter loved fast cars, risky riding adventures on his<br />

motorbike, trips to trade shows and his dogs, however;<br />

the greatest of them all was his wife of 42 years Ann<br />

Beck, who sadly passed away before him in September,<br />

and with whom he started Peter W Beck Pty Ltd.<br />

Like most characters, Peter had many memorable<br />

monikers: Becks, Becky, Pee Bee (PB), and to his<br />

closest mates, “not a golfer's arsehole”.<br />

Before I’d even seen Peter, I heard him. Standing in<br />

Hong Kong’s famous Lan Kwai Fong laneway more<br />

than a decade ago, my eyes turned towards the roaring<br />

belly-laughter echoing from further up the hill.<br />

An industry colleague forewarned me: ‘What you<br />

heard now is Peter Beck. He’s a bit famous.’<br />

Little did I know how famous!<br />

Wherever he went in the world, Peter was a<br />

charismatic Aussie industry icon and he did<br />

Australia proud. His unrestrained laughter would<br />

draw crowds and alert you to his arrival, but his<br />

warmth and integrity is what made you stay.<br />

From the very first greeting to our very last, every<br />

coffee and conversation with Peter was memorable.<br />

Anyone who has spent time with him will have<br />

experienced a ‘laughter hangover’, from his<br />

comments that were laced with equal parts<br />

wisdom and wise-crack!<br />

Peter was generous with his time, and despite a busy<br />

schedule, he’d always be present. He dedicated his life<br />

to building a business within the jewellery industry, for<br />

the jewellery industry.<br />

No one could possibly doubt Peter’s loyalty; he<br />

was fierce in his defence of everything he cared for,<br />

especially his dedication to Australian manufacturing<br />

and serving the needs of the local trade.<br />

Peter had little tolerance for imported jewellery<br />

seeing it as a blight on the local industry. While some<br />

may regard this as ‘old-fashioned’, it further fuelled<br />

his mission. Imports were just another challenge to<br />

overcome, and challenges were what PB enjoyed most.<br />

He was considered in everything he did. He chose<br />

carefully, and bravely, achieving many things in<br />

Australia before his competitors. He never lacked<br />

foresight or passion – traits that mark a true visionary.<br />

Peter fell in love with the jewellery industry while<br />

starting his career at Engelhard Industries in Adelaide.<br />

When it closed in the 1970s, he and his close friend<br />

Don Kearvel split the markets that Engelhard had<br />

covered, with Don focusing on industrial aspects and<br />

Peter on his passion: precious metals.<br />

Peter married Ann in 1979 and one evening<br />

proposed to her a simple plan: “We have $5,000<br />

in the bank. We can either a) buy a block of land<br />

or b) we can start a business”.<br />

We all look back on moments that appeared<br />

unimportant at that point in time, and decades<br />

later consider: “What if?”<br />

More than 40 years later, it’s astounding to consider<br />

what the Australian jewellery industry would be like<br />

today if Ann and Peter had chosen a) to buy a block<br />

of land.<br />

Where would we be today without their service<br />

and commitment? What would our industry look<br />

like if it had not been for Peter’s love of the<br />

Australian jewellery?<br />

It is true to say that ‘legend’ does not adequately<br />

describe PB, given his contribution over the decades.<br />

Indeed, the tributes below demonstrate the profound<br />

effect he had on many people's lives.<br />

Peter, you lived, you laughed and you loved. Your legacy<br />

and passion will continue to be a light unto our feet.<br />

Vale Peter W Beck!<br />

Angela Han<br />

Publisher<br />

28 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Peter was the ultimate<br />

professional in our<br />

jewellery trade, and<br />

a true icon of our<br />

industry. In addition to<br />

always being the best<br />

dressed in the room, he<br />

always demonstrated<br />

an incredibly positive<br />

attitude in every<br />

situation.<br />

A pioneer, a real<br />

Australian, immersed<br />

in the success of the<br />

industry, fun and just<br />

a good bloke - that was<br />

Peter! His was a true<br />

Australian business<br />

that remained loyal<br />

to manufacturing and<br />

designing in Australia.<br />

Peter was a true friend,<br />

liked and respected<br />

by all in the jewellery<br />

trade. He was proud of<br />

the company he started<br />

and built to be a leader<br />

in his field, and also<br />

rightfully proud that<br />

he manufactured in<br />

Australia. Peter, I will<br />

miss you so much.<br />

Peter was an icon of<br />

our industry – always<br />

professional, positive<br />

and constructive.<br />

He was generous in<br />

his support for industry<br />

events, and for young<br />

people starting out in<br />

the trade.<br />

Peter was a true legend<br />

of the Australian<br />

jewellery industry.<br />

Personally, I always<br />

had a huge amount<br />

of respect for Peter.<br />

His signature laugh<br />

and larger than life<br />

personality will be<br />

deeply missed.<br />

Phil Edwards<br />

Duraflex Group Australia<br />

Gary Fitz-Roy<br />

Expertise Events<br />

Ted Pevy<br />

The <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Centre<br />

Colin Pocklington<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

Mark McAskill<br />

Mark McAskill <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />

Peter was a fine and<br />

trustworthy gentleman,<br />

with the highest of<br />

ethics for business and<br />

people. Most of all I am<br />

proud to say he was<br />

my friend.<br />

Peter was a legend<br />

and always laughed<br />

at himself, and had<br />

that beautiful smile.<br />

We'll all miss him<br />

terribly as will the<br />

jewellery trade.<br />

Conversations with<br />

Peter were interesting,<br />

entertaining and<br />

enjoyable. Then there<br />

was the big smile while<br />

he quietly listened and<br />

nodded. I will miss my<br />

Mustang Mate!<br />

Peter's smile was<br />

infectious, he was the<br />

life of the party and<br />

always filled the room<br />

with his presence.<br />

Combined with his<br />

clever wit and charm,<br />

he was always ready<br />

to assist when asked.<br />

Peter was an<br />

unforgettable<br />

individual, genuine<br />

and encouraging<br />

with a strong<br />

commitment<br />

to the industry.<br />

Bruce R Rosewarne<br />

Heurs <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

Ross Paterson<br />

Paterson Fine <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />

Ken Abbott<br />

Timesupply<br />

Josh Zarb<br />

IJC<br />

Rohan Milne<br />

Rohan <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 29

On The Market<br />

1 2 3<br />

4<br />

5<br />


Product<br />

Spotlight<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>’s monthly compiled<br />

snapshot of the latest and greatest<br />

products to hit the market.<br />

6 7<br />

8<br />

1 STONES & SILVER Timeless and elegant this set from the Sealife collection is crafted in .925 sterling silver and features a shell motif with delicate freshwater pearls. 2 GERRIM Aptly named ‘The Temptress’<br />

this 9-carat gold ring features a vibrant green amethyst centre stone, marquise chrome diopsides with white diamond accents. 3 PETER W BECK Dainty and stylish, adorned with shimmering diamonds,<br />

these versatile rings can be stacked, mixed and matched with other bands and worn as eternity, wedding, dress, or anniversary rings. 4 COEUR DE LION | Timesupply Perfect as a Valentine’s gift, uniquecut<br />

ruby red crystals are offset by semi-precious gemstones in this beautiful handmade set from Germany. 5 MARK MCASKILL Talon claws grasp a show-stopping blue Ceylon sapphire that is framed by a<br />

double halo of Australian Argyle pink and white diamonds in this statement-making Pink Caviar dress ring. Available in 18-carat white gold. 6 JK FINDINGS 16-inch long gold paperclip chain necklace with a<br />

2-inch extender is made of 14-carat yellow gold, with a bar that can be personalised by stamping or laser engraving. The bar measures 1mm thick with a dimension of 6.4mm by 31.75mm. 7 DESERT ROSE |<br />

Ellendale Diamonds Available in 18-carat white and rose gold, this scintillating double halo pear shaped ring features a 0.16 carat pear shaped Argyle pink diamond, framed by 0.13 carats of 6-7PP Argyle pink<br />

diamonds with a second halo of round brilliant white diamonds. 8 THOMAS SABO | Duraflex Group Rediscover the most iconic designs that formed the Thomas Sabo brand, and revisit glamour, rock and<br />

roll and nostalgia. DGA worked closely with Mr Sabo to exclusively relaunch the best-of-the-best jewellery designs into the Australian market for a limited time only.

S&S<br />



Ph: +61 3 9587 1215<br />


10 Years Ago<br />

Time Machine: <strong>February</strong> 2012<br />

A snapshot of the industry events making headlines this time 10 years ago in <strong>Jeweller</strong>.<br />

Historic Headlines<br />

4 Consumers rank Pandora #2 for ‘luxury’ jewellery<br />

4 Australia’s $20 million, 12 carat pink diamond<br />

4 Professional gang targeting jewellery stores<br />

4 Roy King distributor now $1.3million in debt<br />

4 Death penalty surrounds opal dealer<br />


New Year jewellery resolutions<br />

The coming of the New Year is a<br />

perfect time for retailers to review their<br />

marketing strategies. <strong>Jeweller</strong>s should<br />

clear their minds of everything but the<br />

financial data of the business and start by<br />

jotting down where they believe the new<br />

opportunities will be in the year ahead.<br />



Pandora drops 100 stores<br />

After a difficult 12 months where it saw weak<br />

international sales, Pandora has announced the<br />

closure of another 100 accounts in Australia and<br />

New Zealand.<br />

There is an element of déjà vu about the start of<br />

the new year for the Australian and New Zealand<br />

jewellery industries following Pandora announcing<br />

it will close around 100 wholesale accounts by the<br />

end of March.<br />

Pandora Australia President Karin Adcock<br />

announced the decision via email and letter to all<br />

Pandora retailers this morning, saying Pandora<br />

was looking to continue to grow its brand and<br />

needed to change its distribution strategy to do so.<br />

Sound familiar? It should, because just short<br />

of 12 months ago Pandora made a similar<br />

announcement, saying it would be closing 100<br />

accounts in an attempt to have greater control<br />

over the retail experience of the customers<br />

buying their product.<br />

Glamorous launch for new<br />

Thomas Sabo jewellery range<br />

A handful of special guests were on hand to<br />

welcome Thomas Sabo’s new jewellery range<br />

to Australia.<br />

Last month local and international stars were<br />

adorned in a variety of different pieces from<br />

the German fashion jeweller’s latest collection,<br />

‘Glam and Soul.’<br />

The Polo Lounge at Sydney’s Oxford Hotel<br />

played host to the likes of David Campbell,<br />

Axle Whitehead and Elizabeth Hurley while<br />

Thomas Sabo’s international representative,<br />

Hanny Freund, made the trip to Sydney to<br />

launch the new collection.<br />

<strong>February</strong> 2012<br />

ON THE COVER Thomas Sabo<br />

Editor’s Desk<br />

412 words for 12 months: "I’d like to<br />

challenge you with 12 words: When was<br />

the last time you did something for the<br />

first time?<br />

I wish I could take credit for it but<br />

it comes from an Emirates airline<br />

television commercial, which had<br />

no voiceover and simply featured an<br />

elderly woman taking a helicopter ride<br />

before that powerful question is posed<br />

on screen and then ends with ‘Keep<br />

discovering’<br />

I have always loved the ad, it’s marketing<br />

at its best, and it shows how a simple<br />

question can shake you to your core."<br />

Soapbox<br />

4 How much are you worth? : “I have<br />

once again found myself back ‘on the<br />

bench’, and immediately I find myself<br />

questioning the norms of the industry.<br />

What is a fair salary after all?<br />

Retailers need to ask themselves;<br />

are they prepared to invest money<br />

in quality bench jewellers by adding<br />

smaller margins to the customer,<br />

thereby allowing bench jewellers to<br />

charge reasonable rates for the skills<br />

and expertise which, in turn, will help<br />

the jewellery trade to grow? "<br />

– Dean Harrison, managing director,<br />

Alchemy Infusion Designs<br />

Millions stolen at global<br />

jewellery shows<br />

Two men were arrested for selling counterfeit<br />

jewellery at a US jewellery show while another<br />

exhibitor was robbed of nearly $US1 million in<br />

inventory.<br />

Federal agents arrested two men and seized<br />

approximately $US1 million (AUD$935,000)<br />

in counterfeit jewellery after receiving an<br />

anonymous tip from Homeland Security<br />

Investigations at the US Gem and Lapidary<br />

Wholesalers Show in Tucson, Arizona last week.<br />

The two men, vendors at the Tucson show,<br />

were charged with selling an estimated<br />

USD$1 million in replicated goods from<br />

companies including Tiffany & Co, Chanel,<br />

Gucci and Hermes.<br />

Ex-Pandora man to launch<br />

‘clicks & mortar’ stores<br />

Jeff Burnes, previously of Pandora <strong>Jeweller</strong>y,<br />

will launch the first of 12 innovative jewellery<br />

stores this May. The new retailing concept<br />

will rely on world leading POS technology.<br />

Pandora <strong>Jeweller</strong>y's former head of<br />

marketing and communications has formed<br />

Status (STA+US), a new concept store stocking<br />

a variety of international jewellery and watch<br />

brands including Guess, Skagen, Armani,<br />

Marc Jacobs, Diesel, and Thomas Sabo.<br />

Burnes identified the need to bridge the<br />

gap between bricks and clicks retailing and<br />

believes the new physical retailing concept<br />

can capitalise on the growing number of online<br />

shoppers and connect the two in a unique,<br />

multi-channel environment.<br />

32 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Completing my Diploma in<br />

Gemmology has benefited<br />

me as a jeweller in more<br />

ways than I ever expected.<br />

I have always had an interest<br />

in gemstones and found<br />

the course was not only<br />

informative and challenging<br />

but immensely rewarding.<br />

Studying with the GAA has also<br />

allowed me to meet like-minded<br />

people from many facets of the<br />

jewellery industry and grants me access<br />

to resources that I will continue to use<br />

throughout my professional career.<br />

Emma Meakes FGAA<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>, John Miller Design - WA<br />

Diploma in<br />

Gemmology<br />

Enrolments now open<br />

For more information<br />

1300 436 338<br />

learn@gem.org.au<br />

www.gem.org.au<br />

Be<br />

Brilliant<br />

Gem-Ed Australia<br />


Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts<br />

and consumers about gemstones

REVIEW<br />

Gems<br />

Part II: Synthetic Diamonds<br />

Above: Swarovski Created Diamonds<br />

With the success of growing gem-quality<br />

diamonds at a reasonable cost, the next<br />

step for the synthetic diamond industry was<br />

to achieve larger sizes, improve quality, and<br />

produce an array of colour options to offer<br />

consumers.<br />

Following production, synthetics are<br />

often assessed to determine treatment<br />

methods that will improve colour and<br />

achieve a higher price.<br />

These treatments are not exclusive to<br />

synthetic stones, low quality natural<br />

diamonds often undergo the same<br />

processes.<br />

The best course of action will depend<br />

on the characteristics of the diamond<br />

to begin with and the desired result.<br />

Though rare, it’s important to note that<br />

clarity enhancement has also been<br />

recorded in synthetic diamonds.<br />

Colour treatments, unlike clarity<br />

enhancement - a cosmetic treatment<br />

altering the appearance of the diamond -<br />

alter a diamond’s atomic lattice.<br />

Given colour is imparted by the defects<br />

present in the lattice, the goal of these<br />

treatments is to add defects, remove<br />

them, or a combination of both.<br />

One of the most common treatments<br />

that Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD)<br />

synthetic diamonds undergo is High<br />

Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)<br />

treatment. CVDs are usually brownish in<br />

colour and therefore worth less than the<br />

colourless alternative.<br />

This colouring is a result of the much<br />

faster growth times of CVD synthetics<br />

compared to HPHT produced synthetics.<br />

When diamonds grow too quickly,<br />

dislocations happen in the lattice and<br />

these brown tones begin to appear.<br />

This is of no concern to the<br />

manufacturers, because HPHT treatment<br />

can take only minutes to perform.<br />

Growing stones faster then HPHT treating<br />

them to remove the brown will still result<br />

in a nice colourless diamond and is more<br />

cost effective than manufacturing the<br />

diamond at a slower pace.<br />

Altering the colour of CVD synthetics<br />

doesn’t end there – additional or<br />

alternative treatments can produce<br />

blues, pinks, yellows, and more. Again,<br />

the resultant colour will depend on the<br />

atomic structure and any defects present<br />

in the diamond to begin with.<br />

Yellow colouring like the ‘cape’ yellow<br />

colours seen in natural diamonds can<br />

also be produced with HPHT treatment.<br />

In other cases, following HPHT treatment<br />

with irradiation and low-temperature<br />

annealing can produce a range of pink,<br />

orangey-pink, purplish-pink, and even<br />

red hues.<br />

The colours produced can be beautiful<br />

and even similar to the colours of the<br />

rare Golconda-type natural, untreated<br />

pink diamonds.<br />

Post-growth irradiation alone can<br />

result in blue and blue-green hues.<br />

This irradiation treatment creates the<br />

same GR1 (general radiation 1) defect<br />

present in natural green and greenishblue<br />

coloured diamonds – a problem in<br />

itself for determining whether the origin<br />

of colour in a diamond is natural or<br />

introduced.<br />

How are<br />

synthetic<br />

diamonds<br />

coloured?<br />

PINK<br />

HPHT treatment<br />

and / or irradiation +<br />

annealing<br />

RED<br />

HPHT treatment<br />

and / or irradiation +<br />

annealing<br />

GREEN<br />

Irradiation or nitrogen +<br />

boron together or nickel<br />

BLUE<br />

Irradiation or boron<br />

PURPLE<br />

HPHT treatment<br />

and / or irradiation +<br />

annealing<br />

BROWN<br />

Dislocations<br />

YELLOW<br />

Nitrogen<br />

ORANGE<br />

Irradiation + annealing<br />

or nitrogen<br />

BLACK<br />

Inclusions or irradiation<br />

Unlike CVD synthetics that often owe<br />

their colouring to post-growth treatment,<br />

it’s more common for HPHT synthetic<br />

diamonds (that is, diamonds grown by<br />

the High Pressure High Temperature<br />

process) to be coloured ‘as-grown’.<br />

Steps such as removing or introducing<br />

nitrogen in the growth chamber itself<br />

can produce the desired colour in HPHTs,<br />

rather than treating the stone postgrowth.<br />

The pink, purplish-pink, and red colours<br />

seen in HPHT synthetic diamonds<br />

are induced by irradiation and lowtemperature<br />

annealing treatments<br />

post-growth. Green hues can also be<br />

a result of irradiation, though it is not<br />

always the cause.<br />

Given these diamonds are grown in a<br />

laboratory to begin with, there is less<br />

emphasis on determining whether colour<br />

in synthetic diamonds is ‘as-grown’ or<br />

introduced by further treatment, post<br />

manufacturing.<br />

On the other hand, determining the<br />

origin of colour (whether treated or<br />

natural) in natural diamonds can be one<br />

of the most difficult and important tasks<br />

gemmologists currently face.<br />

Mikaelah Egan FGAA Dip DT<br />

began her career in the industry at<br />

Diamonds of Distinction in 2015. She now<br />

balances her role at the Gemmological<br />

Association of Australia with studying<br />

geology at the University of Queensland.<br />

Visit instagram.com/mikaelah.egan<br />

For more information on gems and<br />

gemmology ,go to www.gem.org.au<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 35


Local Talent<br />


'Pohutakawa'<br />

Necklace<br />

Metal: Sterling Silver<br />

with red ochre<br />

enamel accents<br />

Martyn Milligan<br />

Aotearoa, NZ<br />

Australia and New Zealand are not only home to some of the<br />

rarest gemstones in the world, but also the most talented jewellers.<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong> showcases a tapestry of local masterpieces that have been<br />

meticulously crafted with great artisanship, right here on home soil<br />

Manufacturer of<br />

High Quality Findings<br />

Since 1975<br />

9K, 10K, 14K, & 18K Gold<br />

1/20 14K Gold Filled<br />

Sterling Silver<br />

TEL: 001.585.292.0770<br />

sales@jkfindings.com<br />

www.jkfindings.com<br />


DESIGN<br />

'Amber Glow'<br />

Ring<br />

Metals: 24-carat<br />

gold and titanium<br />

Gemstones: New<br />

Zealand amber<br />

Neil Adcock<br />

Aotearoa, NZ<br />


'Rosette' Rings<br />

Metals: Available<br />

in 9-carat yellow<br />

gold or 18-carat<br />

yellow gold<br />

Gemstones:<br />

Sapphires<br />

Ada Hogson<br />

Melbourne, VIC



'Twisted Rose' Ring<br />

Metal: Available in<br />

platinum, 18ct white,<br />

yellow, or rose gold<br />

Gemstones: Diamonds<br />

Bill Hicks<br />

Sydney, NSW<br />




IS MORE.<br />



'Bloom' Series<br />

Metals: Handcut<br />

anodised titanium<br />

and sterling silver<br />

Bethamy Linton<br />

West Perth, WA<br />


Meteor Pearl<br />

Double Drop<br />

Earrings<br />

Metal: Available in 9ct<br />

Yellow Gold, 18ct Gold<br />

Plated Sterling Silver,<br />

or Sterling Silver.<br />

Gemstone:<br />

Freshwater pearls<br />

Holly Ryan<br />

Sydney, NSW<br />


PO Box 3168 Yeronga<br />

Queensland 4104<br />

sales@gerrim.com<br />

www.gerrim.com<br />


<strong>2022</strong> PARADIGM SHIFT<br />

The Great Retail Reset<br />


GREAT<br />

Retail<br />

RESET<br />

While the harbingers of doom like to paint a dire picture of the future of retailing - aided<br />

by closed stores, empty shelves, lack of staff and economic instability – the wise note<br />

that, with great challenges come new opportunities. The pandemic may have simply<br />

catalysed a long-overdue ‘great retail reset’ which has helped savvy retailers rebirth.

<strong>2022</strong> PARADIGM SHIFT | The Great Retail Reset<br />

There is no doubt that The Great<br />

Retail Reset is happening, and<br />

will continue for at least another<br />

12 months, or more.<br />

However, while it’s understandable that many<br />

small businesses, and specialist retailers will be<br />

wondering what the future holds, not everything<br />

caused by COVID should be viewed as adverse.<br />

During previous times of upheaval, such as<br />

recessions, world conflict and other pandemics,<br />

amongst all the turmoil, we usually discovered<br />

a few examples of The Law of Unintended<br />

Consequences. In addition, the old proverb every<br />

cloud has a silver lining rings true.<br />

From the outset, COVID-19 caused the flight<br />

to digital consumers all around the world –<br />

at least in the West – who were forced into<br />

online shopping as government restriction and<br />

lockdowns meant they could not visit stores.<br />

This had two impacts, the first: obvious, and the<br />

second could be described as an unintended<br />

consequence. Digital adoption across industries<br />

dramatically increased in the past two years<br />

because, for many, there was no other way to<br />

conduct business.<br />

In essence, it accelerated what was already<br />

in progress. However, for specialist retailers<br />

it fast-tracked investment in digital technology.<br />

Ironically, it accelerated the consumer’s use<br />

of online shopping, too - among people who<br />

had avoided it- or at least had not fully<br />

adopted the option.<br />

As consumers purchased household groceries<br />

and staples – because they had little choice<br />

– it helped instill confidence in ecommerce in<br />

non-essential categories. And with all this new<br />

activity the greatest unintended consequence<br />

came to the fore: people came to realise the<br />

importance of instore shopping.<br />

Perhaps it’s a human trait that we don’t<br />

appreciate things until they’re gone; something’s<br />

value is not realised until it is too late. The<br />

acceleration of ecommerce and online shopping<br />

caused by COVID-19, therefore, made people<br />

understand the importance of life’s little things.<br />

For retailers this was great news because for a<br />

decade or more the pundits have been saying<br />

physical stores would go the way of the dinosaur.<br />

The global pandemic showed that to be false,<br />

though it did cause businesspeople to reevaluate<br />

the importance of their digital offerings.<br />

Indeed, one feeds off the other and vice versa.<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>s also learned that it can be one thing<br />

to have a website, but it’s another thing entirely<br />

to be found by the consumer. Digital acceleration<br />

meant they needed to work harder on their<br />

technology and website. For many, without<br />

shoppers entering their physical store, they<br />

found their online presence wanting.<br />

It’s akin to having a jewellery store in a back<br />

laneway, rather than on the high street.<br />

Perhaps it’s a human trait that<br />

we don’t appreciate things until<br />

they’re gone; something’s value<br />

is not realised until it is too late.<br />

The acceleration of ecommerce<br />

and online shopping caused by<br />

COVID-19, therefore, made people<br />

understand the importance<br />

of life’s little things.<br />

The next example on The Law of Unintended<br />

Consequences – shock to loyalty - arrived<br />

holding the hand of digital acceleration. They<br />

are effectively two sides of the same coin.<br />

What might have been called ‘normal consumer<br />

behaviour’ changed as people discarded their<br />

loyalty to specific brands and stores.<br />

True, some of this was forced upon them when<br />

international supply-chains were affected. That<br />

is, when consumers couldn’t find their preferred<br />

product or shop at their favourite store, they<br />

looked elsewhere, thereby quickening the shock<br />

to loyalty.<br />

This is both a blessing in disguise and<br />

damnation; you can be more easily introduced to<br />

new customers while losing existing business.<br />

Therefore, The Great Retail Reset will mean that<br />

greater focus will be placed on maintaining longterm<br />

customers.<br />

The pandemic brought to the fore a new<br />

consumer: the homebody. Prior to COVID, the<br />

homebody represented a group of people -<br />

largely Millennials - who are said to spend all<br />

their time at home because they can’t afford to<br />

do much more. The homebody economy thrived<br />

during COVID because people worked and<br />

shopped from home.<br />

Their spending reflected a shift, with more<br />

people being forced to be homebodies spending<br />

money on at-home activities and small luxuries.<br />

Many workers not only enjoyed this new way of<br />

life, they wanted it to continue.<br />

This has had a huge impact on CBD retailers<br />

who rely on office workers, however, it has<br />

been a boon for suburban businesses as they<br />

found new customers working from home<br />

during the day.<br />

Every debit has a credit!<br />

Of course, not all retailers survived the<br />

pandemic. It’s difficult to accurately gauge how<br />

many businesses have closed because of COVID,<br />

but it’s fair to say it will be in the thousands.<br />

It is also fair to say that the pandemic caused<br />

landlords to genuinely consider The Great<br />

Retail Reset too, when stores could not pay<br />

rent because they were banned from opening.<br />

This created a more balanced approach to<br />

new discussions (read: ‘debate’) on more<br />

appropriate (read: ‘reasonable’) rents and<br />

tenancy costs. If governments were forced to<br />

step in with legislation to safeguard against<br />

landlords abusing the situation, then you knew<br />

it was serious.<br />

Therefore, another unintended consequence<br />

could be a huge benefit to retailers as landlords<br />

appreciate their customer, signifying another<br />

side of The Great Retail Reset.<br />

The points above are just a few of the lessons<br />

that we have learned since January 2020 - there<br />

are many others, see David Brown’s (below) –<br />

however; for retailers the two most important<br />

changes might seem diametrically opposed but<br />

they reinforce the importance of the other.<br />

The Great Retail Reset takes place with the<br />

knowledge that: 1) Buyers and sellers alike<br />

befriended technology and there’s no going<br />

back and 2) humans are social creatures.<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 39

The Great Retail Reset | <strong>2022</strong> PARADIGM SHIFT<br />

The importance of resetting in <strong>2022</strong><br />

Resetting seems to have become the buzzword in the past 18 months. DAVID BROWN says everything from COVID-19<br />

to the economy is spoken about as the opportunity to flick the switch on the wall and boot things back up again.<br />

Whether it’s in your personal life or<br />

business life, recent times may have<br />

caused you to rethink your priorities.<br />

The purpose of this column is not to<br />

focus on your personal priorities but<br />

those of your business.<br />

Are you engaging your business activities<br />

in an area that will provide you with what<br />

you want – both in terms of satisfaction<br />

and financial rewards?<br />

If not, then in which areas do you need<br />

to clean the hard drive and relaunch the<br />

applications, so to speak?<br />

As I often point out, many of our<br />

business practices grow haphazardly<br />

and happen without planning and it pays<br />

to re-evaluate whether these practices<br />

are achieving what is intended or,<br />

indeed, if they are even needed at all.<br />

When undertaking a review, it pays<br />

to focus carefully on the following<br />

key areas.<br />

Who are your preferred customers?<br />

This question differs from ‘who are<br />

your customers’ because it doesn’t<br />

assume you are currently attracting the<br />

customers you want – with no disrespect<br />

to your existing customer base.<br />

Who are you aiming to attract? What<br />

is the demographic and profile of your<br />

typical customer?<br />

The more clearly you can see your ideal<br />

customer, the more likely you are to<br />

attract them.<br />

The more carefully defined your target<br />

market, the more likely they will hear<br />

what you have to say.<br />

Consumers are inundated with<br />

thousands of messages every day from<br />

hundreds of business entities.<br />

If you’re not speaking specifically to your<br />

ideal customer and their current needs,<br />

you will be drowned out by those who do.<br />

Where are your opportunities?<br />

What are the best opportunities for<br />

your business in the future? Is it where<br />

you are currently concentrated? What<br />

new opportunities are opening in your<br />

region or market for which you can take<br />

advantage? Who could you be working<br />

with to expand your business?<br />

Many other businesses already have the<br />

customers you may want to appeal to.<br />

For example, before newlyweds buy<br />

their wedding rings, they have probably<br />

booked their photographer.<br />

What can you do to build a relationship<br />

and a win/win with that photographer?<br />

In what similar situations can you<br />

develop your relationships?<br />

Who is your competition?<br />

Your competitive threats are not only<br />

from your local jewellery competitor. In<br />

fact, increasingly your major competitor<br />

could be from other businesses who<br />

don’t even operate in your country.<br />

Anyone who aims to take dollars from<br />

your clientele is a threat to you.<br />

In today’s business environment stores<br />

face competition, not only from other<br />

jewellers and even other retailers,<br />

but from the online world and the<br />

‘experiences’ industry.<br />

Social media has seen huge growth in<br />

people wanting to show what they have<br />

done, as much as what they have got.<br />

The travel industry, restaurants and<br />

other activities have suffered greatly in<br />

recent times and many jewellers have<br />

benefitted from their loss as consumers<br />

spend their money on other luxuries.<br />

However, this situation won’t continue<br />

indefinitely and you need to prepare for<br />

K E Y TA K E AWAYS<br />

Ready<br />

to Reset<br />

It's easy to let<br />

business processes<br />

get out of control.<br />

Taking too long<br />

to do things? It<br />

pays to re-evaluate<br />

whether some<br />

practices are<br />

needed at all.<br />

It's a glocal world.<br />

Increasingly your<br />

major competitor<br />

could be from other<br />

businesses who<br />

don’t even operate<br />

in the same<br />

country as yours!<br />

If your message<br />

or vision isn't<br />

clear, then your<br />

customers will<br />

flock to your<br />

competitors who<br />

can communicate<br />

their message<br />

more effectively.<br />

If you're losing<br />

momentum and<br />

revenue, ask<br />

yourself: what new<br />

opportunities and<br />

markets are there<br />

to take advantage?<br />

Expand your key<br />

players! Who could<br />

you be working<br />

with to expand<br />

or redirect your<br />

business?<br />

a resumption of normal activity if they<br />

haven’t happened already.<br />

What processes need improving?<br />

Are your management systems<br />

suitable for your current business<br />

needs, or did they ‘come about’ by<br />

chance? When did you last undertake<br />

a review? Do you have processes<br />

and/or procedures that can be<br />

improved or eliminated altogether?<br />

What are the current threats to<br />

your livelihood?<br />

I recently became aware of a successful<br />

retail business on the edge of a town<br />

that had a busy road passing in front<br />

of their store.<br />

The authorities decided to replace the<br />

road with a motorway that took two<br />

years to build, and the business was<br />

ruined practically overnight.<br />

Not all problems can be foreseen but<br />

where we are aware of threats, we need<br />

to be proactive about how we will deal<br />

with them.<br />

What staff do you need?<br />

Much like your systems, your<br />

staffing requirements can<br />

increase of their own accord.<br />

Not only do you need to consider<br />

the number of staff, but the skill<br />

set they require.<br />

The roles you require filled don’t always<br />

match your current staff and the skills<br />

that they have.<br />

It’s important to review your staffing<br />

requirements and the performance of<br />

the keys players you have in each role.<br />

If you want to increase diamond<br />

sales and you don’t have the staff<br />

with the skills to do this, you will<br />

be facing issues.<br />

40 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

<strong>2022</strong> PARADIGM SHIFT | The Great Retail Reset<br />

Retaining staff during the Great Resignation<br />

In periods of great upheaval, the Law of Unintended Consequences comes into play. Few people would<br />

have predicted the problems businesses are having retaining and finding staff, writes DAVID BROWN.<br />

Much has been made about the<br />

changing nature of employment<br />

since COVID-19 and the pandemic<br />

impacted our lives.<br />

Many people, in the face of changing<br />

circumstances and government<br />

payments, are re-evaluating their<br />

priorities and where they want to work,<br />

or even whether they want to work, at all.<br />

Many have opted to take early<br />

retirement; others have resigned<br />

when faced with compulsory vaccine<br />

requirements.<br />

This has had an impact on finding staff<br />

across many industries – from truck<br />

driving to café workers, and the retail<br />

industry is no exception to this.<br />

The Great Resignation is perhaps less<br />

about resignations as much as it reflects<br />

workers moving into areas that provide<br />

more pay opportunities.<br />

But either way, it presents greater<br />

challenges for small businesses looking<br />

to attract and retain quality employees.<br />

In periods such as this, staff churn can<br />

and will increase.<br />

Employee change costs such as paying<br />

out holidays, running recruitment<br />

advertisements or using an employment<br />

agency, and lost productivity while new<br />

staff are ‘nursed’ up to speed, can all<br />

cost a business thousands of dollars that<br />

can often be avoided.<br />

So, the questions are: how do we keep<br />

our existing employees happy so they<br />

don’t go, and how do we attract the best<br />

quality replacements in a competitive<br />

marketplace when we do have to hire?<br />

Here are a few suggestions on making<br />

this process more successful for you.<br />

1. Compensation: Let’s start with the<br />

elephant in the room.<br />

Not offering a competitive salary in<br />

the current climate will have a greater<br />

impact than in the past.<br />

Inflation is a new reality and staff will<br />

become increasingly frustrated with<br />

rising costs if their personal income<br />

doesn’t at least keep pace.<br />

This doesn’t mean that wage<br />

negotiations should be open slather, but<br />

you need to at least be sure you reflect<br />

market rates.<br />

2. Work environment: One of the largest<br />

factors that decide whether staff staying<br />

with your business - or leave - is the<br />

work environment.<br />

If there is continual conflict and tension,<br />

you’ll find many staff heading for the<br />

door.<br />

Effective communication and responding<br />

quickly to issues will help ensure that<br />

minor disagreements don’t turn into<br />

major problems later.<br />

3. Flexibility: More and more staff are<br />

seeking a lifestyle element to their jobs.<br />

Employment that provides this will<br />

tick a lot of boxes for staff members<br />

and ensure longer-term employee<br />

satisfaction.<br />

4. Leadership: In the 1995 movie An<br />

American President, Michael J Fox’s<br />

character unleashes at the President<br />

(played by Michael Douglas) “People<br />

want leadership Mr. President. They are<br />

so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the<br />

desert towards a mirage, and when they<br />

discover there is no water, they will<br />

drink the sand.”<br />

Most people want<br />

clear, concise,<br />

and decisive<br />

direction yet<br />

it’s a quality<br />


Time for<br />

Change<br />

Many people<br />

are re-evaluating<br />

their priorities<br />

and where they<br />

want to work<br />

– some seek seachange<br />

and others<br />

want to explore<br />

other options<br />

Ask yourself:<br />

how do we keep<br />

our key existing<br />

employees happy<br />

so they don’t leave?<br />

The Great<br />

Resignation is less<br />

about resignations<br />

but more about<br />

workers moving<br />

into areas that<br />

provide more<br />

pay or different<br />

opportunities<br />

All staff have<br />

different priorities<br />

and there is no<br />

one-size-fitsall<br />

solution to<br />

keeping or hiring<br />

staff. Don't take it<br />

personally!<br />

If staff leave, take it<br />

as an opportunity<br />

to implement<br />

new processes<br />

and seek talent<br />

that can take your<br />

business to new<br />

heights.<br />

that seems to be in<br />

short supply.<br />

According to Inc.com<br />

only 10 per cent of<br />

people are natural<br />

leaders however,<br />

those organisations<br />

with strong<br />

leadership achieve<br />

earnings of 147 per<br />

cent higher per share<br />

than their competitors.<br />

If you are one of the 10 per cent then you<br />

possess a unique ability to attract and<br />

retain staff. If not, then it is a skill that can<br />

be learned and used effectively.<br />

5. Career paths: For younger staff,<br />

an opportunity to progress can be a<br />

significant factor in joining or staying with<br />

a business. Have you outlined to your staff<br />

how they can advance in your business?<br />

Do you discuss opportunities with them<br />

regularly?<br />

A friend’s son currently works for a<br />

cutting-edge tech company that exposes<br />

him to a state-of-the-art environment,<br />

that includes an onsite gaming area in<br />

addition to regular work retreats to<br />

luxury destinations. Moreover, he has<br />

the opportunity to be mentored by a<br />

billionaire business owner.<br />

However, despite these conditions he’s<br />

ready to leave because four years in the<br />

role and he’s still doing the same tasks.<br />

All staff have different priorities and there<br />

is no one-size-fits-all solution to keeping<br />

or hiring staff.<br />

It’s important that you take the time to<br />

determine the individual needs of each<br />

person and attempt to cater to what<br />

keeps them happy. It will be worth the<br />

investment in time and energy.<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 41

The Great Retail Reset | <strong>2022</strong> PARADIGM SHIFT<br />




Sales<br />

Remove your holiday social media campaigns – it's a good time<br />

to switch from Christmas to Valentine's Day promotions.<br />

Review your customer database to identify upcoming<br />

celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries and contact<br />

customers who will be planning to buy gifts.<br />

Pick up post-holiday sales by offering free shipping or<br />

promote a delivery service for repairs and custom design.<br />

Send out 'Let's resize that!' promotions for customers that<br />

may need to resize a gift that doesn't fit.<br />

Increase repair business through text messaging – ask customers<br />

to text you pictures of jobs that need to be done or prongs that<br />

need to be retipped.<br />

Offer new year jewellery cleaning to encourage foot traffic.<br />

Send out reminders to have valuations updated.<br />

Call customers to collect completed repairs and makes<br />

Inventory<br />

Clean and polish stock that has been tried on through the<br />

busy holiday trading period.<br />

Revamp your visual merchandising.<br />

Remove holiday promotions instore and online.<br />

Review gold and diamond prices and adjust your pricing<br />

accordingly<br />

Perform a full stocktake, identifying bestsellers and<br />

bread-and-butter products.<br />

Create a list of required stock that needs to be reordered<br />

and set a budget.<br />

Research brands that you would like to carry – this will<br />

refocus you towards your business’ future.<br />

Look up the hottest new trends so that you can review and<br />

reimagine your existing stock<br />

Remove any discontinued or out-of-stock products on your<br />

website.<br />

Double-check inventory and make sure stock information<br />

and number is up-to-date on the website.<br />

Operations & Housekeeping<br />

Tighten your cybersecurity! Seek professional advice on how to<br />

secure your network and ecommerce platforms to avoid your<br />

system being compromised. Private information and credit card<br />

details must always remain on a secure server.<br />

Review the store's procedural manuals and policies. See where<br />

you need to cut processes or add more security in the New Year to<br />

ensure you and your staff can run the business most efficiently.<br />


Thoroughly sanitise store in accordance with COVID-19 prevention<br />

procedures and review hygiene and sanitation policies with staff.<br />

Review store security – if closing, enact procedures to<br />

deter thieves such as setting lights to turn on intermittently.<br />

Prepare and conduct a post-holiday sales staff performance<br />

review and reward those who kicked goals.<br />

Review last year's budgets and set monthly targets ahead of time.<br />

Take time to review where you need to reduce overheads and<br />

prepare a wishlist of where you want to increase your spend<br />

this year (i.e. new talent, website or marketing)<br />

Create a list of business goals you want to achieve and draw<br />

up a timeline to help set measurable milestones<br />

Marketing & Web Presence<br />

Update all relevant information on your website, expire old<br />

marketing campaigns and check for dead links.<br />

Refresh the Homepage with new images – New Year, new trends!<br />

Ensure you are equipped for online customer service with the<br />

right plugins and automated messages.<br />

Review your online privacy terms and policies and consider any<br />

new regulations. Also update copyright dates across all pages.<br />

Standardise product images and take new photos to ensure your<br />

online showroom or catalogue looks enticing.<br />

Update your social media accounts with a number of fresh<br />

products to keep up post-holiday momentum<br />

Create a monthly Best Sellers list and curate special jewellery<br />

for any upcoming promotions<br />

Plan to gather customer feedback post-holidays. Set up surveys<br />

online, review web traffic monitoring and pick up the phone!<br />

Collect insights for next year's ads and begin making notes on<br />

how you will execute your next bigholiday campaign<br />

Make a monthly marketing calendar and ensure that you have<br />

at least one special promotion a month and plan for milestone<br />

dates. Even if it’s modest, ensure you are still reaching your regular<br />

shoppers and new potential customers.<br />

Review your pop-ups and update offers accordingly to grow your<br />

mailing list.<br />

Plan ahead and make a list of create time-sensitive offers and<br />

take advantage of using QR codes to push promotions.<br />

Create a content plan: research topics you want to communicate<br />

with your customers and potential new shoppers, and build a<br />

content strategy focused on your strongest areas.<br />

Update product descriptions and enter as much detail as you can<br />

for each item to optimise it for SEO – you want to be found on those<br />

Google searches!<br />

42 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Buying Groups Report<br />

Valuable lessons from the pandemic<br />

Much has been written about the impact of the global pandemic as well as the damage caused on businesses<br />

which, of course, then flowed through to people’s personal lives. And while the focus on the negative is<br />

important, what has often been lost is positive and beneficial examples of humam endeavour.<br />

While Australia’s jewellery buying groups<br />

are businesses in their own right, they<br />

are in a unique position because they<br />

each have many members that, while technically<br />

clients, are seen as part of a large family.<br />

The groups, therefore, were not only on the business<br />

coalface of COVID-19, but they have seen first-hand the<br />

impact on people’s personal lives.<br />

It also meant the groups witnessed the wonders of the<br />

human spirit and discovered that in periods of turmoil<br />

we can surprise each other.<br />

“One of the most pleasantly surprising things we’ve<br />

learned is that the concept of ‘local supports local’<br />

is very much alive and well in Australian and New<br />

Zealand communities,” Jorge Joaquim, CFO<br />

Showcase <strong>Jeweller</strong>s says.<br />

“Like most people when the pandemic first unfolded, our<br />

head office team was initially apprehensive about what<br />

the future would hold for our business and personal lives,<br />

but we’ve found that in the uncertain climate surrounding<br />

global transactions, consumers have fallen back into<br />

a more traditional approach to spending, trusting and<br />

supporting their local jewellers as opposed to looking<br />

overseas to make a purchase,” he adds.<br />

Josh Zarb CEO Independent <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Collective (IJC)<br />

also notes the hardiness and how people worked together.<br />

“I think the resilience of stores shone through for me and I<br />

am so proud to see how far many of our stores have grown<br />

their business despite all the uncertainty. The extended<br />

lockdowns were not fun for anyone, we don’t have a large<br />

number of stores in CBD locations so overall as a group,<br />

we still had a very strong year [2021] of trade,” Zarb says.<br />

Claire Packett, head of category – jewellery at Leading<br />

Edge echoes Zarb’s observation: “People’s resilience and<br />

adaptability, in general, have been amazing. The past two<br />

years have been a rollercoaster of good and bad times,<br />

and our members have been able to ride the waves<br />

through this period of time.”<br />

“Everyone is exhausted at the sheer effort that the past<br />


Head Priorities<br />

Colin Pocklington<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

“From late 2020, the demand<br />

for custom design/manufacture<br />

was particularly strong. Both<br />

diamond jewellery and gold and<br />

non-stone set jewellery were up<br />

100 per cent on 2019 figures.”<br />

Josh Zarb<br />

IJC<br />

“I think the resilience of stores<br />

shone through for me and I am so<br />

proud to see how far many of our<br />

stores have grown their business<br />

despite all the uncertainty.<br />

The extended lockdowns<br />

were not fun for anyone.”<br />

Jorge Joaquim<br />

Showcase <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

“One of the most pleasantly<br />

surprising things we’ve learned<br />

is that the concept of ‘local<br />

supports local’ is very much alive<br />

and well in Australian and New<br />

Zealand communities.”<br />

year has required to keep up with almost daily changes in<br />

rules and regulations, and now just keeping the doors open<br />

with staff shortages is the next challenge. Yet everyone has<br />

maintained their sense of humour and is now planning for<br />

a brighter future.”<br />

Apart from the spirit and resilience of members, many<br />

other things caught people by surprise.<br />

According to Colin Pocklington managing director<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s, the substantial growth in<br />

jewellery sales from late 2020 through to June 2021<br />

“was very surprising”.<br />

“A lot of the money that consumers would normally<br />

spend on overseas trips was clearly being diverted to<br />

discretionary products such as jewellery. From late<br />

2020, the demand for custom design/manufacture was<br />

particularly strong. Both diamond jewellery and gold and<br />

non-stone set jewellery were up 100 per cent on 2019<br />

figures,” Pocklington says.<br />

Some of this can be explained by a strong trend throughout<br />

government restrictions and lockdowns. Nicola Adams,<br />

COO Showcase <strong>Jeweller</strong>s agrees that “local jewellers<br />

seemed to be rediscovered for their skill and quality<br />

products, especially with regard to custom pieces, and<br />

customers were happy to pay a higher price point for a<br />

better, local product.”<br />

According to Adams, Showcase staff were pleasantly<br />

surprised with the nationalist approach to spending, and<br />

the support of each other, adopted by many Australian<br />

and New Zealand communities last year.<br />

“In a time with ongoing restrictions on travel and<br />

recreational activities, it seems consumers’ discretionary<br />

income allowances refocused on retail spending rather<br />

than investing in experiences,” Adams says.<br />

However, while the ‘Aussie spirit’ shone through during the<br />

tough times it should not be forgotten that not everyone<br />

coped well.<br />

Erin Keller, membership manager Nationwide explains,<br />

“Having survived the 2020 lockdowns, most retailers<br />

weren’t expecting the additional and longer lockdowns<br />

in 2021. The impacts of these lockdowns on businesses<br />

and stress levels were profound. Recognising this,<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 43

The Great Retail Reset | BUYING GROUPS REPORT<br />


Head Priorities<br />

our management team provided additional support by<br />

personally checking in with over 200 impacted members.”<br />

Lesson learned<br />

A great many lessons have been learned since the early<br />

days of COVID. Indeed, many simply accelerated the pace<br />

of change that was happening ‘organically’ before the<br />

pandemic, while others are new insights into the future<br />

of retailing.<br />

Pocklington says the most valuable lesson his group<br />

learned is to be flexible, innovative, and supportive.<br />

“With the COVID-related cancellation of physical events<br />

such as conferences and trade fairs, we have learnt to<br />

adapt by running highly successful virtual events. These<br />

events incorporated a strong educational program, and<br />

merchandise offers from our preferred suppliers.”<br />

He also believes members had time to review benefits<br />

the group offered and which members might not have<br />

previously used.<br />

“Many more members utilised and now have a greater<br />

knowledge of the wide range of industry-specific free<br />

support services and expertise that we provide, thanks<br />

to our COVID webinar series.”<br />

Zarb says, “The follow-on effects from COVID and<br />

lockdowns have forever changed the way many of us look<br />

at our overall business models. As a buying group, our life<br />

is interaction and communication and until early 2020 we<br />

had never used Zoom as a communication tool, now we<br />

don’t know how we ever lived without it.<br />

“We are fortunate to have quite a young and progressive<br />

management team however; our members all have varying<br />

levels of experience in digital communication, but overall,<br />

I think they have also learned to use new software such<br />

as Zoom in their own business since the pandemic. Not<br />

only to interact with us at the head office but to conduct<br />

interviews for new staff and to interact with clients for<br />

designs and remakes, as well,” he adds.<br />

Packett says that resilience and adaptability are<br />

paramount to being able to survive and thrive.<br />

“The convenience of online [transactions] has certainly<br />

grown [during the pandemic] as more and more people<br />

were pushed to shop this way during the pandemic. The<br />

e-commerce boom has also been matched by growth in<br />

omni-channel market tactics to attract new customers.<br />

“All of this has made it particularly challenging for small,<br />

independent retailers reliant on foot traffic to help<br />

generate brand awareness, and with limited resources,<br />

capabilities, and budget to compete with larger stores<br />

to drive awareness online. For small retail businesses<br />

to survive and thrive, and retain the diversity of our main<br />

streets, we have learned the importance of being clearly<br />

visible and discoverable online, now more than ever before."<br />

Claire Packett<br />

Leading Edge Group<br />

“People’s resilience and<br />

adaptability, in general, have been<br />

amazing. The past two years have<br />

been a rollercoaster of good and<br />

bad times, and our members<br />

have been able to ride the waves<br />

through this period of time”<br />

Glen Pocklington<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

“We are working on a cloudbased<br />

design solution that<br />

provides the ability to undertake<br />

significantly more manufacturing<br />

jobs. Following several years of<br />

research and development, we<br />

are planning to launch this new<br />

resource mid-year.”<br />

Nicola Adams<br />

Showcase <strong>Jeweller</strong>s<br />

“Some of our members have<br />

utilised our website services<br />

to create a digital commerce<br />

platform … while others have<br />

increased their digital presence<br />

on social as a means of<br />

facilitating online awareness.”<br />

Erin Keller<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong><br />

“The impacts of these lockdowns<br />

on businesses and stress levels<br />

were profound. Recognising this,<br />

our management team provided<br />

additional support by personally<br />

checking in with over 200<br />

impacted members.”<br />

Two-way street<br />

The groups also found that members were supporting each<br />

other, offering tips and advice during a period where the<br />

rules changed on a daily basis.<br />

“Our closed Facebook networking group provided focus<br />

for some during these difficult trading conditions and<br />

allowed members to support each other through some<br />

challenging times. With 306 members across Australia<br />

and New Zealand in the Facebook group, there is a huge<br />

amount of industry-specific knowledge being shared<br />

every day,” Keller says.<br />

Adaption became a keyword throughout 2020 and 2021.<br />

“Navigating a pandemic with lockdowns and restrictions<br />

that directly impacted the business operations of the<br />

Showcase head office and Showcase stores has meant<br />

many adaptations over time, including implementing<br />

working from home arrangements for our staff and<br />

increasing digital access for our members,” Adams says.<br />

“Some of our members have utilised our website<br />

services to create a digital commerce platform as a<br />

means to navigate unpredictable in-store operations<br />

over the past two years, while others have increased<br />

their digital presence on social as a means of facilitating<br />

online awareness until in-store operations were once<br />

again steady.”<br />

Nationwide general manager Glen Pocklington echoes<br />

these observations: “We found that where possible, our<br />

members continued to trade during lockdowns via their<br />

websites and social pages with Click and Collect options.<br />

Quite a few members were highly successful with digital<br />

promotions, utilising social media platforms like Facebook<br />

and Instagram.<br />

“Many shared their success stories on the Nationwide<br />

discussion/networking group, offering inspiration and<br />

support to others during these difficult trading conditions”<br />

Glen also points to a continuing strong trend: “It is clear<br />

that the growth and demand for custom-designed jewellery<br />

are not going to abate, and one of the challenges for<br />

jewellers over the next 12 months will be how to take on<br />

more business, with existing manpower and resources.<br />

“We are working on a cloud-based design solution that<br />

provides the ability to undertake significantly more<br />

manufacturing jobs. Following several years of research<br />

and development, we are planning to launch this new<br />

resource mid-year.”<br />

Perhaps the most important business lesson learned<br />

from the pandemic is that while strength in numbers is<br />

a great start, it means little without loyalty, and while it<br />

can be hard to find, it has shone through the jewellery<br />

industry for two years.<br />

44 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>



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The Great Retail Reset | BUYING GROUPS REPORT<br />




If there was ever going to be a time that the value of being a member of a buying group was on<br />

display, then COVID-19 was it. One of the main reasons for joining a group is strength in numbers.<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong> asked the groups to provide examples of how they helped specific members, and how<br />

members benefited in the past two years of the pandemic..<br />

We have provided more than 100 members with personalised email<br />

responses to their landlords who were reluctant to provide the correct<br />

rent relief under the code issued by the National Cabinet.<br />

In fact, we recently had a member whose lease expired during the rent<br />

relief period, and the landlord required them to enter into a new lease at<br />

a higher rental. We provided a letter, with references to the appropriate<br />

sections of the legislation, pointing out that the existing lease term had<br />

been automatically extended by the number of months of rent deferral.<br />

With varying compliance issues from each state and country, we have<br />

guided members with significant HR concerns and assisted in resolving<br />

these situations.<br />

The impact of COVID reduced a few members from breakeven trading<br />

levels to a loss situation. Using our industry-specific trading and<br />

benchmarking system, we identified that the best course of action for<br />

this member was to close the business and move to a more profitable<br />

location. We also provided free support and advice for this member<br />

and helped establish the new store location with free marketing and<br />

promotional assistance.<br />

One of our newer members who weren’t able to travel to Antwerp<br />

because of COVID was still able to participate in our Antwerp Diamond<br />

Broker program ‘virtually’. They were successful in pre-selling more<br />

than $40,000 of Antwerp diamonds and also achieved a significant<br />

increase in their overall diamond sales, which they would not have<br />

been able to achieve otherwise.<br />

Our marketing team provided several members with free marketing<br />

material for their stores and digital platforms, providing advantageous<br />

promotion for the business during these difficult times. This included<br />

our Powerpoint customer presentation on ‘The Path of Diamonds’, to<br />

assist our members in establishing themselves as the expert on<br />

diamonds within their community.<br />




We’ve distributed approximately $3 million in cash flow to members<br />

over the past two years to support Showcase stores amidst the<br />

challenges of operating a small business during a pandemicinduced<br />

economic downturn.<br />

Some of our members have experienced struggles related to rent<br />

negotiations and reductions made necessary from lockdown effects on<br />

business operations. Showcase has been involved in this process with<br />

several members, bringing about a positive outcome in many cases.<br />

We are thrilled to see our members’ businesses not only survive but<br />

prosper in these unprecedented times, with many members recording<br />

some of their strongest growth in many years despite the pressures<br />

presented by restrictions and lockdowns.<br />

Over the past two years, we have brought stores together via<br />

clever communication and have hosted monthly Zoom sessions<br />

from ‘day one’ of the pandemic.<br />

Industry experts were introduced to the group relevant<br />

to what was happening in the industry at the time.<br />

We then recorded the sessions and sent them to all stores as a video<br />

record with notes and attachments and we have also conducted staff<br />

interviews for stores and sat in as advisors on many aspects of their<br />

business.<br />

IJC subscribes to several retail management networks and have<br />

provided our stores with key updates during every phase of the<br />

pandemic and introduced experts in leasing, marketing, customer<br />

journey and HR to assist stores.<br />

We also work closely with members ‘behind the scenes’ to review<br />

their expenses, overheads and stock-ranging and are continuously<br />

assisting them to maintain a healthy bottom line.<br />

We produced several marketing campaigns for the stores to use as<br />

they see fit and we have a very strong digital marketing team, that<br />

have set up all stores with eCommerce, Social Media support and<br />

Database Communication strategies.<br />

One of the biggest challenges during the pandemic has been supply and<br />

delivery issues. Leading Edge has been able to use our stock warehouse<br />

to support members over the past two years when required.<br />

Consignment stock always helps when cash is a little scarce, so this<br />

has been a great benefit for some of our members to alleviate some<br />

of the pressure.<br />

We have had the ability to draw advice and experience from many different<br />

retail categories and deliver savings and opportunities to members, which<br />

can’t be found elsewhere.<br />

This, alongside being able to offer a product that supports all the basic<br />

stock requirements of a store, is unique in the market.<br />

Our team also ensured personalised support to all members throughout<br />

the pandemic as we tried to work with them on their specific needs to<br />

maximise their sales - whether it be sourcing specific products for them<br />

to creating billboards to help sell their items.<br />

The marketing team created close to 100 local and national campaigns<br />

over the past 12 months to support members through this time, and our IT<br />

department has worked one-on-one with stores to optimise their websites<br />

and ensure their e-commerce platforms are performing optimally.<br />

46 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

WHY JOIN<br />




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& DESIGN<br />

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MEMBER<br />

OWNED<br />

JOIN US<br />

If you are interested in exploring Showcase<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>s and how we can help grow your<br />

business, contact us today:<br />

enquiries@jimaco.com<br />

(02) 8566 1800<br />

www.showcasejewellers.com.au<br />

NO<br />


FEES<br />



The Great Retail Reset | BUYING GROUPS REPORT<br />


BUYING GROUP MEMBER ACTIVITIES FOR <strong>2022</strong><br />

Following two years of disruption and – in some cases, upheaval – <strong>2022</strong> should be the year<br />

that the buying groups can again gather together with their members. Many educational<br />

and management activities were lost during 2020 and 2021, at least on a face-to-face basis.<br />

Below is a snapshot of the plans and activities by the four buying groups during the year:<br />

Nationwide will commence its <strong>2022</strong> program at the new (…) March<br />

jewellery fair in Sydney, which will include free diamond training for<br />

members and staff, one-on-one consultations, and its six-month<br />

interest-free finance.<br />

Its Retail <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Business Management course has been revamped<br />

and will focus on the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual<br />

business tasks in order to achieve Industry Best Practices.<br />

Nationwide’s ‘It’s Time Out’ conference at the 5 Star W hotel in Brisbane<br />

is scheduled for May. The conference package, valued at $1,800 is free<br />

for all reward members. The keynote speaker will discuss the seven<br />

most important trends impacting small businesses. Nationwide will<br />

also use the conference to celebrate its belated 30th anniversary.<br />

The group will maintain the International <strong>Jeweller</strong>y & Watch Fair in August<br />

as its major annual event. Its traditional large and extensive lounge area<br />

enables the group to provide member seminars, workshops, individual<br />

consultations, and various merchandise and marketing opportunities.<br />

Throughout <strong>2022</strong>, Nationwide will demonstrate the Industry Merchandise<br />

Performance report. Members using the Retail Edge POS system<br />

now have instant access to the best performing products across all<br />

merchandise departments. Until now, only chain stores had access to<br />

this information. Used correctly, it should assist in increasing sales.<br />

Leading Edge is launching a national initiative titled ‘Local Like U’s’.<br />

The initiative focuses on providing members with tangible support<br />

to attract and retain customers by leveraging its community and the<br />

group’s status as a “trusted and recognised Australian brand”.<br />

A national conference at the Gold Coast is scheduled.<br />

From a product perspective, Leading Edge will work with suppliers<br />

to offer members innovative and fashionable fast-moving lines,<br />

including its Argyle range.<br />

Independent <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Collective is introducing several new marketing<br />

initiatives in early <strong>2022</strong> that will support stores in the design, repair, and<br />

remake area, which will provide members with digital and print content.<br />

Conferences and training workshops will be conducted throughout<br />

the year, while the monthly Zoom catch-ups with expert guest presenters<br />

that were started during COVID, will be maintained.<br />

A mid-year training conference is planned to include the latest<br />

information from business advisors and mentors to ensure members<br />

most current up-to-date business advice.<br />

And finally, IJC is working with several local supply partners on<br />

exclusive product ranges.<br />




Showcase has created a strategic plan to unveil a new series of member<br />

services in <strong>2022</strong>, including leasing, legal, taxation and training services,<br />

to name a few.<br />

Alongside these new services, the group plans to continue and expand<br />

existing service offerings, including members’ access to the Retail Edge<br />

stock management and ordering system; and Showcase’s partnerships<br />

with key international and national stock suppliers.<br />

It will unveil also new product ranges for its exclusive brands -<br />

Dreamtime Diamonds and Passion8 Diamonds.<br />

Showcase’s marketing department has expanded further into digital<br />

marketing support and assistance to help members to create a<br />

professional digital offering.<br />

Showcase’s 40th Anniversary Conference was postponed for the safety<br />

of staff and members but the group is optimistic that the new August<br />

<strong>2022</strong> dates will proceed and be worth the wait.<br />

48 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

THE<br />



Supporting Australia’s finest<br />

independent jewellery retailers and<br />

preferred supply partners with<br />

innovation, technology, strategic marketing,<br />

professional expertise, integrity and more.<br />

With clarity and confidence,<br />

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What are you waiting for?<br />

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0448 416 070 | josh@jewellerscollective.com<br />

jewellerscollective.com<br />



Strategy<br />

"Sure the pandemic has<br />

made it a tough year<br />

but we've increased<br />

our sales this holiday<br />

season. I know it's<br />

another 12-months away,<br />

but I'm going to review<br />

the sales reports and<br />

make a plan of attack<br />

ahead of time since<br />

some of our strategies<br />

worked like a dream.”<br />

Christmas and New Year are over, start<br />

planning for Christmas and New Year!<br />

You made it through the holiday trading period and might be sighing from relief. But it’s not enough<br />

to hope for the best – start planning stock levels now for a successful <strong>2022</strong>, writes JOSH STRUTT.<br />

“Well have you heard about the great<br />

crusade? We ran into millions, but<br />

nobody got paid.”<br />

These poetic words to the Hunters and<br />

Collector’s famed rock song ‘Holy Grail’<br />

could well apply to one of the most critical<br />

inputs to retail success: sales, margins and<br />

closing stock levels.<br />

Time and time again we see that stock levels<br />

are the ‘poor’ cousins of the three, yet they<br />

command the single largest investment a<br />

retailer makes.<br />

How can your business replicate the world’s<br />

best retailers, accurately managing your<br />

stock levels – thereby avoiding unplanned<br />

markdowns along with maximising cash<br />

flow and profits - while other retailers just<br />

buy what they think will sell, then cross their<br />

fingers and hope for the best?<br />

How many retailers really understand the<br />

significant impact that a well-managed<br />

stock position will have on increased sales,<br />

liquidity, and profitability?<br />

In search of the retail Holy Grail<br />

Let’s explore successful end-of-season<br />

performers from the ‘also-rans’.<br />

While the Christmas and New Year sales are<br />

over, you can now review your results based<br />

on a number of key contributing factors<br />

including economic confidence, weather,<br />

competitive environment and the day of the<br />

week on which Christmas fell. Recording<br />

and analysing factors influencing these key<br />

events in your retail diary for the New Year is<br />

an important step to plan for the end of year<br />

(EOF) <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Opportunities to maximise stock profitability<br />

depends on good management. Such<br />

management is made a lot easier by good<br />

systems – both computerised and manual<br />

– and the discipline of measuring sales,<br />

margin and stock position.<br />

Working your systems for profit<br />

Have a product budget: Formal product<br />

management often works within a concept<br />

known as Open to Buy (OTB). Plans for<br />

the performance of product groups are<br />

noted in terms of dollars and unit sales,<br />

with corresponding levels of purchases,<br />

discounts and delivery periods etc.<br />

If sales are trending up, you need to buy<br />

more. Discounts can be used to increase<br />

units sold to reduce your closing stock target<br />

where applicable. A good OTB system will<br />

balance all these factors even though that<br />

position may still be months away.<br />

Whether you run a formal OTB via<br />

a management system, computer<br />

spreadsheets or even manually, the key is<br />

to ensure you are working towards your<br />

planned closing stock positions.<br />

If you finish Christmas overstocked then this<br />

trading period will damage your cash flows<br />

and lead to unplanned discounts. Conversely,<br />

too little stock means you have probably<br />

missed out on sales.<br />

‘Retail is detail’<br />

and the detail<br />

you are looking<br />

for is based on<br />

understanding<br />

the velocity<br />

of sales and<br />

margins,<br />

relative to the<br />

amount of stock<br />

held.<br />

Finding the right stock levels to sales<br />

A product budget is an invaluable tool to<br />

manage EOF closing stock positions. It<br />

can help map predictions for customer<br />

purchases, sales, discounts and delivery<br />

times and ensure these positions are<br />

achieved.<br />

Take some time to consider your ‘right’<br />

stock levels.<br />

Average margin: Retailers should try to<br />

differentiate between the concepts of first<br />

margin and average margin. The first<br />

margin is the difference between the initial<br />

sale price and the cost of the item (that is<br />

the ‘buyer’s margin’).<br />

The average margin will reflect the various<br />

prices at which stock items are sold during<br />

an overall time frame and take into account<br />

discounts and/or changes in cost during<br />

that period.<br />

It is the average margin which is reflected<br />

in the profit and loss, however many bestpractice<br />

retailers ‘engineer’ better average<br />

margins by managing first margins and<br />

discounts across the whole trading period.<br />

Whilst a discount may reduce average<br />

percentage margin for part of your range,<br />

the increase in sales may increase dollar<br />

margin.<br />

Good retailing balances these positions<br />

without compromising the required dollar<br />

margin. By managing your discounts, you<br />

will avoid average margins being below plan.<br />

50 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Business Strategy<br />

For example: Offers such as ‘buy two, get<br />

one free’, may damage margins on one item<br />

but serve to increase your sales and your<br />

average dollar margin per sale.<br />

The best retailers will always focus on<br />

sell-through, margins and closing stock<br />

positions and retailers who focus on sales<br />

only may well be selling themselves short.<br />

Consider the following formal measures<br />

used by some of the world’s best retailers:<br />

• Sell through: This is one of the most<br />

important statistics for products<br />

that have a finite life. The measure is<br />

defined as sales (during a period of<br />

time) divided by stock available to sell.<br />

For example, if you had 80-items and<br />

sold 20 the ‘sell through’ is 25 per cent.<br />

• Week’s Cover: This statistic is similar<br />

to the above in that it measures sales<br />

and stock, except that week’s cover is<br />

the reciprocal of the sell through. From<br />

our previous example, with stock at<br />

80 and one week’s sales of 20, ‘week’s<br />

cover’ is 4.<br />

• Stock turns: This statistic measures<br />

investment in stock as well as sales,<br />

but is more appropriate to core items<br />

that are in stock for longer and/or<br />

re-ordered frequently. For example, if<br />

the 20 sold above occurred over one<br />

month, the extrapolation of sales for<br />

a year is 240. Once again, the average<br />

investment in stock is 80 per month.<br />

Therefore the ‘stock turn’ is three and<br />

indicates how many times the stock<br />

will turn in a 12-month period. Stock<br />

turns provide a handy ready reckoner<br />

as to the relative fitness of a retailer’s<br />

stock and is definitely one of my<br />

favourite measures.<br />

• Best/worst sellers: Without a stock<br />

position, a best or worst selling item<br />

can hide dangerous underlying stock<br />

positions. For example, selling 100<br />

items may sound good, but if the stock<br />

was 1,000 items, the rate of sale may<br />

not be enough to clear this stock.<br />

These statistics must be used with care and<br />

common sense along with a merchandise<br />

management mindset. In isolation each<br />

statistic is potentially irrelevant.<br />

For example, if a product is ‘turning’ eight<br />

times per year at store X and only three<br />

times a year at store Y – you could consider<br />

sending stock from store Y to store X – to<br />

balance supply and demand.<br />

If your ‘sell through’ on product group A is<br />

25 per cent in week 1 of December and only<br />

15 per cent on product group B – you may<br />

have a potential problem in either product.<br />

If your ‘week’s cover’ of earrings was 10 in<br />

the first week of December 2021 and looks<br />

like being three in December <strong>2022</strong>, you may<br />

be running short on stock (assuming you<br />

closed 2021 cleanly).<br />

Overall, avoid looking for the ‘silver bullet’<br />

answer.<br />

‘Retail is detail’ and the detail you are<br />

looking for is based on understanding the<br />

velocity of sales and margins, relative to the<br />

amount of stock held.<br />

Great retailers are already planning for the<br />

EOY22. The correct balance will be assessed<br />

by comparing performance relative to an<br />

objective benchmark point.<br />

That benchmark point may be similar to<br />

last year, but if you rank your performance<br />

across logical subsets of your business,<br />

the worst and best sellers need the most<br />

attention.<br />

By using merchandise management skills<br />

and some imagination, you can manage<br />

offers to head toward a desirable closing<br />

stock position.<br />

There is no point discounting items that<br />

are selling well, but equally it’s better to<br />


TO-DO LIST<br />

Slowly does it<br />

Take time to<br />

consider your<br />

‘right’ stock<br />

levels.<br />

Prioritise<br />

Make slow stock<br />

a loss leader<br />

Make space<br />

Clear poor<br />

performers in<br />

December rather<br />

than January<br />

Stop to reflect<br />

Reflect on your<br />

performance to<br />

make sure you<br />

leave nothing<br />

on the table this<br />

year!<br />

clear poor performers in December than in<br />

January.<br />

Is there a way to avoid a discount?<br />

Can you move the item to another store?<br />

Is there a conditional offer that will benefit<br />

broader sales whilst solving your problem?<br />

Will your supplier assist? If you do need to<br />

discount your item, can you gain a strategic<br />

advantage by making this a loss leader?<br />

It is better to consider these questions<br />

sooner rather than later. If you monitor<br />

performance throughout the year diligently,<br />

you may be able to avoid the effects of<br />

subsequent vicious discounting.<br />

To compete you need a plan to defeat<br />

Use stock statistics to gain additional sales,<br />

but still achieve your required margins, and<br />

ensure your finishing stock level is logical,<br />

both in terms of cash flow and in terms of<br />

the stock you want to start next year with.<br />

There is little point hanging on to dead stock<br />

‘just in case’.<br />

Your Christmas/summer sale period is your<br />

best opportunity to clean your stock rooms.<br />

Use it to your advantage, but use it logically<br />

and plan your management now for <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Failure to plan is a sure-fire plan to failure<br />

The best retail plans are based on<br />

understanding historical and current<br />

statistics and forecasting the future.<br />

If your current systems cannot help,<br />

change systems. If you don’t have a<br />

system then there is no better time than<br />

the present to establish one that will set<br />

your business on the road to your Holy<br />

Grail of retail success.<br />

JOSH STRUTT is Retail Doctor Group’s<br />

deployment consultant. His background<br />

is in driving tactical operational<br />

efficiency to maximise growth.<br />

Visit: retaildoctor.com.au<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 51


Selling<br />

Rebuilding mental wellbeing in sales<br />

Lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing have all played a part in bringing many of us down;<br />

SUE BARRETT explores how the pandemic has put workplace mental health in the spotlight.<br />

Not long after the pandemic began and<br />

we were all feeling unwell and out of sorts,<br />

the Harvard Business Review published an<br />

article that named what we were feeling,<br />

it was grief. Now we know that was only<br />

the tip of the iceberg of what we would go<br />

through.<br />

The pandemic and its consequences –<br />

on our health, way of living, work, how<br />

business operate, on our livelihoods, etc.<br />

– affected everyone. For business owners<br />

and management there was no choice but<br />

to work through.<br />

Many had to make critical decisions about<br />

the viability of their business, grasp the<br />

impact of gaps and changes in supply<br />

chains, customer behaviour, public health,<br />

employee welfare and face the fact that<br />

some people’s livelihoods would be lost.<br />

Workers had to adjust to work-from-home,<br />

home-schooling children, the uncertainty<br />

and chaos, and in some case the reality of<br />

no longer having a job, sickness, financial<br />

distress, childcare, parent care, to name a<br />

few consequences of the pandemic.<br />

Research also showed that people are<br />

often working longer hours because it’s<br />

difficult to create and structure boundaries<br />

between personal and working time.<br />

Staff spend more time reporting to<br />

managers and customers so work doesn’t<br />

seem invisible and many are burning out<br />

due to the sustained concentration needed<br />

in video meetings.<br />

The lack of personal social interaction has<br />

also taken a toll, particularly for in-field<br />

salespeople used to visiting clients.<br />

All this has brought to the fore discussions<br />

about mental health in businesses. So,<br />

what do businesses and sales teams need<br />

to do to stop, start, and continue doing for<br />

mental wellbeing?<br />

Stop<br />

Toughing it out by yourself: sales has long<br />

held onto the myth of the tough sales<br />

professional who can go it alone and<br />

survive. We have our limits. There should<br />

The question is not what's in your brain, but rather what's in your mind.<br />

be a shift to collaboration and a raised<br />

awareness about mental health, asking<br />

people how they are and taking time to<br />

listen. Seeking help should openly be<br />

encouraged.<br />

Pretending everything has to be positive<br />

all the time: Let’s move away from the<br />

sugary-coated, super positive hype often<br />

inflicted on sales staff. We already know<br />

this stuff does nothing for anyone’s short,<br />

medium, or long-term success and is a<br />

waste of time, effort, and money.<br />

Instead, expect to see more candid, real<br />

and constructive communication about<br />

‘what is’, ’what’s possible’ and ’what we<br />

can do’. This approach will be far more<br />

enriching and long-lasting than any hypedup<br />

motivational speech.<br />

Start<br />

Acknowledging salespeople as more<br />

than just closers of deals: sales leaders<br />

are reporting that some staff were<br />

experiencing, in essence, existential crises<br />

during lockdown because their day-to-day<br />

interactions were taken away.<br />

For many salespeople their daily<br />

interactions with their customers,<br />

markets, and competitors are a vital part<br />

of their social life and their identity.<br />

Finding new ways to stay connected:<br />

effective salespeople understand the vital<br />

importance of staying in touch with clients<br />

and markets.<br />

Expect to see<br />

more candid,<br />

real and<br />

constructive<br />

communication<br />

about ‘what is’,<br />

’what’s possible’<br />

and ’what we<br />

can do’. This<br />

approach will<br />

be far more<br />

enriching and<br />

long-lasting<br />

than any hypedup<br />

motivational<br />

speech.<br />

Workplaces, especially retail stores,<br />

have much more stringent COVID safety<br />

standards in place so people won’t be able<br />

to ’pop in’ like they used to.<br />

To give your staff some degree of<br />

agency and take the worry out of staying<br />

connected, smart managers are already<br />

rebuilding how their teams can keep<br />

selling, stay connected, and create an<br />

office ‘vibe’.<br />

This includes collaboration software, help<br />

to set up functional home office spaces,<br />

safe and flexible working arrangements<br />

and regular communication with each<br />

other to show support, share ideas and<br />

find ways to be successful together.<br />

Providing mental health support:<br />

organisations that are yet not providing<br />

some sort of mental health support will<br />

have to look into this. Support can mean<br />

raising awareness and guiding people to<br />

where they can find professional help,<br />

tips and tools, and activities to promote<br />

wellbeing.<br />

Continue<br />

Collaborating and communicating: smart<br />

business leaders should collaborate and<br />

communicate on a deeper level and more<br />

often. Creating open communication is<br />

not only worthwhile but also essential for<br />

success.<br />

This is where we are likely to see the sales<br />

profession really become a collaborative<br />

team sport as we find better ways to stay in<br />

touch and maintain relationships internally<br />

and externally.<br />

Humans, after all, are social creatures and<br />

rely on interactions with each other to get<br />

along and work together. This is our true<br />

nature and so it can be with sales.<br />

SUE BARRETT is founder and CEO of<br />

innovative and forward-thinking sales<br />

advisory and education firm Barrett.<br />

Learn more: barett.com.au<br />

52 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Management<br />

The global pandemic: What buyers discovered<br />

It’s possible to guide a conversation by asking the right questions.<br />

RYAN ESTIS says you should encourage customers to examine their plans.<br />

How much time do you spend each<br />

week presenting new ideas? We all<br />

spend an increasingly significant<br />

portion of our work days drawing on our<br />

persuasive communication skills to build<br />

relationships, earn trust and align to<br />

shared objectives.<br />

These skills, along with other ‘soft skills’<br />

such as creativity and critical thinking,<br />

will only become more important as we<br />

move further along towards the so-called,<br />

Fourth Industrial Revolution.<br />

These transferable skills are essential to<br />

keep pace with change as technical skills<br />

increasingly become obsolete. According<br />

to the World Economic Forum, within the<br />

next decade automation and AI (artificial<br />

intelligence) will affect more than one<br />

billion workers globally.<br />

Here are five ideas to help you develop your<br />

persuasive communication skills.<br />

Abandon negative stereotypes<br />

When many people think about ‘sales,’<br />

they think about a bad buying experience<br />

that usually includes an overly eager or<br />

aggressive sales rep.<br />

In fact, professional selling is about<br />

understanding another person’s needs,<br />

and helping them solve problems or<br />

accelerate opportunities. When you start<br />

thinking about sales as a collaborative,<br />

problem-solving effort, you expand your<br />

perspective and opportunities.<br />

No matter your function, the ability to<br />

communicate your ideas in a compelling<br />

way that resonates and helps challenge<br />

people’s assumptions is valuable. If you<br />

believe in what you’re doing and that what<br />

you’re doing is right, you’re not just selling<br />

– you are being helpful.<br />

Persuasive communication is essential to<br />

advance your position. You can’t contribute<br />

something valuable without convincing<br />

someone why you’re right.<br />

Focus on being helpful<br />

I call this the ‘service mentality’. When your<br />

goal is to convince or persuade someone,<br />

Discovery stems from a logical process of asking the right questions.<br />

don’t focus on how you can get them to do<br />

something, instead, focus on how you can<br />

be helpful. Think about the other person’s<br />

goals and objectives and how you can help<br />

get them there.<br />

When trying to understand another<br />

person’s view, follow this classic<br />

communication principle: seek first to<br />

understand, then be understood. Leaders<br />

are listeners, and active listening is an<br />

essential part of effective communication.<br />

The best salespeople are both helpers<br />

and teachers. They’re trustworthy, likable,<br />

collaborative and curious. They make<br />

an effort to uncover problems and then<br />

demonstrate how their solution can help.<br />

Provide context<br />

Content might be king, but context closes<br />

deals. If you’re presenting a new jewellery<br />

design to a customer or a new concept to<br />

your boss for example, come prepared<br />

with inspiration behind the design, why a<br />

new approach might work for the business<br />

model and customer, research and any<br />

additional insight you can leverage.<br />

Ideas need context to be relevant. When<br />

you have a good idea or a belief system,<br />

it’s likely that you will meet resistance<br />

along the way. How do you overcome this<br />

resistance? By coming prepared. Provide<br />

credible, well-researched design styles or<br />

management solutions and find examples<br />

that will convince others to jump on board.<br />

Plan for overcoming resistance<br />

Prepare to meet with resistance. I’m<br />

When trying<br />

to understand<br />

another person’s<br />

position or<br />

view, follow<br />

this classic<br />

communication<br />

principle:<br />

seek first to<br />

understand,<br />

then be<br />

understood.<br />

talking about that N-O word. Your natural<br />

reaction may be to give up or shut down,<br />

but often resistance can be an opportunity.<br />

Understanding concerns, objections and<br />

barriers is critical to making progress.<br />

Great sellers view resistance as an<br />

opportunity to learn, understand and<br />

advance the dialogue.<br />

So be prepared. Think through what you<br />

expect the resistance to be and how you<br />

will respond. Preparation may just provide<br />

you with the level of confidence and<br />

conviction to help evolve the perspective.<br />

However, it’s also important to recognise<br />

that once a decision has been made, even<br />

if it doesn’t land in your favour, move<br />

forward. Having the ability to disagree and<br />

commit is critical to getting things done.<br />

Ask open-ended questions<br />

Good questions are one of the most<br />

important ways to communicate. Often,<br />

when I’m trying to sell, I do this by<br />

viewing a question. When you meet with<br />

resistance, probe. Go deep enough so you<br />

walk away from the conversation with new<br />

information and insight.<br />

Learn more – their position, challenges,<br />

needs and areas of confusion – so you can<br />

help them move beyond their resistance.<br />

It is possible to guide a conversation by<br />

asking the right questions. Encourage a<br />

customer to examine their plans and goals<br />

through open-ended questions. That way,<br />

you can both see the big picture and figure<br />

out how you or your product can fit into<br />

their grand idea.<br />

Persuasive communication skills are<br />

crucial to working from a position of<br />

influence. Developing your communication<br />

skills will help to navigate your work more<br />

effectively, build relationships and thrive<br />

during increasingly challenging times.<br />

RYAN ESTIS helps companies to<br />

embrace change, attack opportunity<br />

and achieve breakthrough performance.<br />

Learn more: ryanestis.com<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 53


Marketing & PR<br />

Three steps to creating a great<br />

customer experience strategy<br />

The best customer experience strategy encourages a bold vision and<br />

takes all staff along for the ride, writes STEVEN VAN BELLEGHEM.<br />

One of the most popular questions in my<br />

conversations with decision makers has to<br />

be about setting up a successful customer<br />

experience (CX) strategy.<br />

The solution is at the intersection between<br />

your customers, staff and the vision<br />

binding everything together and any solid<br />

CX strategy should integrate a three-step<br />

approach:<br />

Create an engaging vision<br />

At the heart of any successful business<br />

strategy lies a powerful yet tangible vision<br />

and that’s no different when dealing<br />

with customers. The usual, ‘putting the<br />

customer at the centre’ is not sufficiently<br />

specific to enthuse and engage your staff.<br />

Identify the customer’s problem or their<br />

‘want’ and what you can do to improve<br />

their life and which mindset should be<br />

connected to that.<br />

Don’t start from a key performance<br />

indicator attitude but focus on an ‘intention<br />

mentality’ and make sure you are truly<br />

useful and helpful to customers, not just<br />

with your core offering but also with your<br />

other products and services.<br />

A good example of creative thinking is Lumi<br />

nappies by Pampers. Proctor and Gamble<br />

(P&G) pushed a standard commodity like<br />

a nappy to a whole new level by adding a<br />

baby monitor and sleep app into the ‘mix’.<br />

With this approach, P&G does not just<br />

sell nappies, instead, it aims to be a true<br />

partner in the life of parents and ‘helps the<br />

whole family rest easier’, as its website<br />

states.<br />

So, just like P&G with Lumi, make sure that<br />

your vision is both concrete and appealing.<br />

All staff should know how to contribute<br />

The reason why you need step one, a<br />

concrete and engaging vision, is to get your<br />

staff on board with your CX vision.<br />

It should not be some top-secret for<br />

‘C-level only’ strategy document; it needs<br />

to resonate throughout the entire business.<br />

The link between the vision, customer and<br />

Puzzled? The key to customer engagement is always experience.<br />

staff in large companies is often buried<br />

below processes, KPIs or vague slogans.<br />

Factory workers or people in HR often lack<br />

that tight connection with the customers<br />

but it is absolutely crucial if a company<br />

wants to offer great CX.<br />

There is no shortcut to achieve a tight<br />

relation between staff, vision and the<br />

customer. There’s no secret ingredient,<br />

you might have to find a way to convince<br />

your employees one by one.<br />

However, in SMEs, especially retail<br />

based business such as jewellery stores,<br />

focusing on customer satisfaction and<br />

enjoyment is much easier.<br />

One of my favourite examples of a business<br />

that has every staff member on board with<br />

the company’s vision has to be Disney, and<br />

the fact that it’s a master storyteller has a<br />

large role to play in that.<br />

From the outset, Walt Disney decided his<br />

theme parks would not have ‘employees’,<br />

instead they would be cast members who<br />

wear a costume, not a uniform and that<br />

made a huge difference in the way they<br />

engaged and behaved with customers/<br />

visitors<br />

He also made sure everyone knew their<br />

vision and stayed in character. From the<br />

actors playing Snow White to the staff<br />

selling ice cream or the cleaners: everyone<br />

knows their role in the script.<br />

Creating a<br />

vision and<br />

ensuring all<br />

staff are aware<br />

of their role is to<br />

accomplish the<br />

vision to help<br />

create fantastic<br />

customer<br />

experiences, are<br />

fundamental<br />

steps in a CX<br />

strategy.<br />

Make sure staff receive customer feedback<br />

Creating a vision and ensuring all staff are<br />

aware of their role is to accomplish the<br />

vision to help create fantastic customer<br />

experiences, are fundamental steps in a CX<br />

strategy.<br />

However, one crucial step many companies<br />

seem to neglect is ensuring staff receive<br />

feedback from customers.<br />

If they don’t know what customers think<br />

and feel about their work, they won’t be<br />

able to replicate what worked or change<br />

what didn’t work.<br />

This direct link is essential in order to<br />

offer great CX and keep adapting it to<br />

customers’ changing needs. Use quotes,<br />

videos, audio fragments or feedback<br />

scores, but make sure all staff know what<br />

customers feel about them.<br />

For example, at Coolblue – a Dutch<br />

ecommerce company – every morning the<br />

delivery drivers are shown their previous<br />

day’s Net Promotor Score.<br />

In a more hands-on approach, Dutch<br />

insurance company Centraal Beheer, (CB)<br />

holds Small Dent Days which they organise<br />

four times per year.<br />

On these days, 10,000 people have small<br />

dents in their car repaired free of charge<br />

while they are warmly welcomed by CB’s<br />

insurance agents, creating a human<br />

relationship and direct feedback with<br />

customers they otherwise almost never<br />

meet in person.<br />

A successful CX strategy goes beyond a<br />

written policy. All levels of the business<br />

must be involved in an engaging and clear<br />

vision that relies on constant feedback to<br />

fuel progress.<br />


provides coaching, workshops and<br />

advice about social media and<br />

conversation management. Learn More:<br />

stevenvanbelleghem.com<br />

54 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Logged On<br />

How user experience can impact your SEO<br />

Do you want your customers to hang around on your website? GARRY GRANT<br />

says you might need to take a long hard look at your user experience.<br />

User Experience is being touted as one<br />

of the most critical factors for effective<br />

search engine optimisation (SEO).<br />

With the average attention span of internet<br />

users seemingly decreasing by the day, and<br />

a generation that expects instant results, a<br />

website’s speed and ease of navigation are<br />

of utmost importance. So what is UX, SEO,<br />

how do you improve them and why are they<br />

so essential for retailers?<br />

What is UX?<br />

It’s all about the experience a website<br />

visitor receives when they view and<br />

navigate a site. A positive UX is made up<br />

of several factors including, but not limited<br />

to, the following:<br />

Loading speed; easy site navigation;<br />

minimal ads and pop-ups; quality content<br />

and a website that’s pleasant to view.<br />

The goal is for the visitor to have an<br />

excellent visual experience and navigate<br />

your site easily.<br />

Who really cares about user experience?<br />

Visitors care about good UX, so basically<br />

everybody. Dwell time, or ‘time on page’ as<br />

Goggle calls it, will be greater on a website<br />

that offers a positive user experience.<br />

If you present readers with a page loaded<br />

with flashing ads, loud colours, massive<br />

blocks of text, the visitor will most likely<br />

immediately leave the website. Google<br />

calls this ‘bounce’, as in they leave or<br />

bounce to another website. Therefore, a<br />

high bounce rate is a sign of poor UX.<br />

Site speed is also part of improving your<br />

UX, the faster it takes for a page to load the<br />

better, therefore, site speed is an evermore<br />

critical aspect. Of course this will<br />

also depend on the visitor’s internet speed,<br />

however, even a fast website load time<br />

won’t make that much difference if a site<br />

has errors, long load time and is sluggish<br />

when navigating.<br />

The aim is to make sure each page opens<br />

quickly and seamlessly. It will keep visitors<br />

on your site and reduce your bounce rate,<br />

which is good for Google rankings.<br />

No one wants to stick around your website if you don't curate the UX.<br />

Does a poor UX lead to lower rankings?<br />

UX will affect your rankings, conversion<br />

rates, and bounce rates. And that adds up<br />

to gaining or losing traffic, rankings, and<br />

new customers. Sites that are slow to load<br />

will be disadvantaged in the Search Engine<br />

Results Page (SERP) results.<br />

Google aims to deliver the best results for<br />

a search query therefore it assesses many<br />

factors in order to arrive at these results.<br />

Quality content is always vital, as are<br />

natural back-links and UX is of prime<br />

importance, because quality overall has<br />

become vital in the search engine world.<br />

For example, imagine people are visiting<br />

a website and immediately leaving<br />

(bouncing). This indicates to the search<br />

engines that the site is not offering a<br />

good UX.<br />

It could be something as simple as the<br />

content not being what the visitor expected,<br />

the site looking like a jumbled mess or<br />

being far too slow to open.<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>y retailers should review their<br />

website from a visitor’s point of view to<br />

tweak, test, and make design changes or<br />

adjustments that will improve the UX.<br />

Why are technical SEO and UX important?<br />

Technical SEO and UX help with your site’s<br />

SEO and ranking performance. It also adds<br />

to the UX because the website functions<br />

correctly and delivers the promised<br />

Social networks<br />

want you to<br />

have a better<br />

experience<br />

so they can<br />

sell more<br />

advertising at a<br />

higher price.<br />

content discovered in search results.<br />

Technical SEO covers things like: the site’s<br />

initial interaction with the SERPs; overall<br />

quality and relevance of the landing page;<br />

loading speed and JavaScript frameworks.<br />

The user experience can even go one<br />

step further by providing ways to interact<br />

with your site and your brand even after a<br />

visitor has left, perhaps by inviting them<br />

to join your email list, re-marketing, drip<br />

campaigns, a social media presence for<br />

your brand, and so on.<br />

How to improve your user experience<br />

All website owners should at least get<br />

familiar with white hat SEO – a term used<br />

to define honest and reputable activities -<br />

and the basics of UX to remain competitive.<br />

One of the best ways to improve the user<br />

experience is to view it from the angle of<br />

your visitor’s needs:<br />

• What are they hoping to find when they<br />

get there?<br />

• Is the content useful and easy to read?<br />

• If you were a visitor, would you like to<br />

spend time on your site?<br />

• Are the pages filled with too many<br />

distractions?<br />

• Are the menu and navigation logical?<br />

Enlisting expert help to focus on the<br />

mechanics of SEO and high-quality UX<br />

should also be useful as retailers often don’t<br />

have the time, knowledge, or inclination to<br />

improve UX.<br />

Search engine giants such as Google will<br />

factor in a positive UX more every time<br />

they do an algorithm update.<br />

So, if you want your website to stay<br />

ahead of the curve then focusing on<br />

an exceptional UX is of paramount<br />

importance.<br />

GARRY GRANT is a veteran expert in<br />

search engine optimisation and the<br />

digital marketing industry. He is CEO of<br />

consultancy SEO Inc. Visit: seoinc.com<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong> | 55

My Bench<br />

Darren Nancarrow<br />

Diann Darling <strong>Jeweller</strong>s. Engadine NSW<br />

Age 49 • Years in Trade 33 • Training Trade Certificate at Ultimo Technical College First job Apprentice <strong>Jeweller</strong><br />



2.12ct Ceylon Sapphire double halo ring with F / G colour<br />

diamonds in 18-carat yellow and white gold. This piece<br />

was made for stock as a point of difference. Our clientele<br />

prefer jewellery designs that are classical yet outspoken.<br />

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE Sapphires, especially<br />

Australian sapphires with the variety of colours, their<br />

hardness being a great selling point.<br />

4FAVOURITE METAL 18-carat yellow gold due to it<br />

being a clean and easy worked metal. It’s also nice to<br />

have a change from the large majority of remakes<br />

being white gold or platinum.<br />

4FAVOURITE TOOL Definitely the saw frame, which<br />

allows many different techniques, styles<br />

and intricacies to be created.<br />

4BEST NEW TOOL DISCOVERY Draw bench (saves<br />

my arms!)<br />

4BEST PART OF THE JOB The face of a happy client.<br />

4WORST PART OF THE JOB Polishing<br />

4BEST TIP FROM A JEWELLER Learn from your<br />

mistakes<br />

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER It’s good to listen to<br />

others opinions because we never stop learning.<br />


My back<br />

4LOVE JEWELLERY BECAUSE Being able to create<br />

a design that means so much to someone and may<br />

hopefully be passed down for years to come.<br />

56 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>


Soapbox<br />

Resetting the jewellery industry<br />

from top to bottom<br />

At the start of this New Year retailers and suppliers should focus on rebuilding and resetting<br />

the Australian jewellery industry back to where it once was, writes GARY FITZ-ROY.<br />

It’s been a tough time for all businesses,<br />

but some more than most. And while<br />

it's not a competition about who fared<br />

worst during the (ongoing) COVID<br />

pandemic, we should spare a thought for<br />

those industries, which, effectively, find<br />

themselves still closed.<br />

While the health restrictions, lockdowns<br />

and border closures, along with the stopstart-stop<br />

announcements by various state<br />

governments made it extremely difficult<br />

for a business to function – sometimes<br />

impossible – it's fair to say some businesses<br />

have boomed since <strong>February</strong> 2020.<br />

Sadly, some are still in limbo, all but<br />

‘closed’, two years on. Think airlines and<br />

international travel. Unfortunately, my own<br />

industry – exhibitions and events – sits<br />

somewhere in between those that have been<br />

minimally impacted and those that have<br />

been severely affected.<br />

Like you, the end of 2021 brought a<br />

collective feeling of relief and calm.<br />

Restrictions were easing, confidence was<br />

rebuilding and optimism was high for<br />

<strong>2022</strong> - and the continued return towards<br />

some form of normality.<br />

However, it's fair to say it doesn't feel like we<br />

got what was promised, or at least expected.<br />

The year has not started as expected,<br />

but it is important that we – retailers and<br />

suppliers alike – regroup and reset.<br />

It’s important that we all work together.<br />

It’s been happening in small ways<br />

throughout the past two years of the<br />

pandemic. People would call their<br />

business associates and colleagues to<br />

check to see if they were okay, and I also<br />

saw how people began to ‘think local’.<br />

Buyers and sellers went out of their way to<br />

help each other’s business and support each<br />

other. And that wasn’t just in the jewellery<br />

industry; I have seen it everywhere.<br />

Yes, in some cases people had no choice<br />

because supply chains were disrupted, but<br />

I got the feeling that even if they were, the<br />

same thing would have happened.<br />

My contact with the jewellery buying groups<br />

showed that they often lead the way. They<br />

have worked hard for the benefit of their<br />

industry.<br />

For the past two years all event organisers<br />

have found themselves between a rock<br />

and hard place. (Well, those that survived<br />

the first six months, and didn’t close.)<br />

Planning, organising and announcing events<br />

takes time and money, and there are many<br />

upfront costs that once started, we cannot<br />

recuperate or be refunded.<br />

Combine that with rule changes<br />

announced by the various state<br />

governments on a weekly, if not daily<br />

basis, the business environment has been<br />

fraught with enormous risk. Nevertheless,<br />

we saw our position as being a conduit for<br />

bringing the industry together; under one<br />

united ‘banner’.<br />

The amazing thing has been that, when it<br />

sank in that there wouldn’t be major trade<br />

exhibitions for the industry to come together,<br />

they realised their importance and role. I am<br />

still surprised to find how many calls and<br />

emails I have received from people saying<br />

things like, “Boy I miss the trade show”, or<br />

“I will never go near a ‘virtual’ trade show or<br />

Zoom seminar again”.<br />

People love meeting face-to-face. Live<br />

events create real conversations and<br />

transactions that are three dimensional and<br />

personal. They connect on a whole different<br />

level; emails, zoom, and teams are onedimensional.<br />

Part of our role in creating the opportunity<br />

for buyers and sellers to meet under<br />

one roof is making timely decisions that<br />

are in the best interest of everyone we<br />

serve. Sometimes the decisions are not a<br />

popularity contest – they impact people - but<br />

we always chose the option we considered<br />

the right and decent thing to do.<br />

People love<br />

meeting face-toface.<br />

Live events<br />

create real<br />

conversations<br />

and<br />

transactions<br />

that are three<br />

dimensional<br />

and personal.<br />

They connect<br />

on a whole<br />

different level;<br />

emails, zoom,<br />

and teams<br />

are onedimensional.<br />

A favourite saying of mine guides many<br />

of our decisions: "The first step toward<br />

success is taken when you refuse to be a<br />

captive of the environment in which you find<br />

yourself".<br />

When pushed into a corner you either take<br />

flight or fight! We choose to fight.<br />

Believing in the jewellery industry and<br />

talking less, and doing more, is the only way<br />

to build confidence in COVID-world. That’s<br />

something I believe is the fundamental and<br />

most important aspect to not only getting<br />

business back on track, but also resetting<br />

retail for a brighter future.<br />

And that’s because, if there is one thing that<br />

the pandemic has proved it’s that shopping<br />

at retail stores is more important than<br />

anyone ever believed. It’s about face-toface<br />

and physical interaction, right down to<br />

shaking the hand of a colleague!<br />

Any supplier who paid to ‘exhibit’ at a<br />

virtual jewellery show will attest to that;<br />

they were disasters. And as much as the<br />

operator – who took their money for little<br />

or no result – will say otherwise, they<br />

don’t work, people prefer face-to-face,<br />

whether it be b2c or b2b interactions.<br />

Following a number of years of industry<br />

controversy, and now two years suffering<br />

under the restrictions and lockdowns<br />

caused by the pandemic, we are not out<br />

of the water quite yet. But one thing is for<br />

sure, we need to help each other, and we<br />

need to buy local and support Australian<br />

suppliers.<br />

And above all, while there are still people<br />

who attempt to create division, we need<br />

to unite and reset the industry from top to<br />

bottom in the light of the ‘new normal’.<br />

Name: Gary Fitz-Roy<br />

Business: Event management<br />

Position: Managing director<br />

Location: Sydney, NSW<br />

Years in the industry: 30<br />

58 | <strong>February</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

The #1 <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Industry Directory<br />

Looking for new product ideas? Maybe you have an unusual request for a diamond or gemstone or perhaps<br />

you need a new supplier for your bread and butter items? Or you are looking for a new watch brand?<br />

The <strong>2022</strong> Suppliers Directory is the biggest ever edition at 400 pages and remains<br />

the “Bible” of the Australian and New Zealand jewellery industries – it has all the answers.<br />


#1 DIRECTORY<br />

280+<br />

Product<br />

Categories<br />

4<br />

Distinct Category<br />

Sections<br />

520<br />

Individual<br />

Industry<br />

Suppliers<br />

500+<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>y &<br />

Watch Brands<br />

Supplier - Are you and your products listed? Retailer – Get your copy?<br />

Email info@jewellermagazine.com<br />

Not only is the Supplier Directory the largest and most comprehensive<br />

industry database, you can access it online through any device 24/7.<br />


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Kimberley jewellery that contains pink diamonds greater than 0.08ct comes together with<br />

an authenticated Argyle pink diamond certificate.<br />

PinkKimberley.com.au<br />

E pink@samsgroup.com.au W samsgroup.com.au P 02 9290 2199<br />



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