Surveys

Survey Says: Competition is Jewelers’ Biggest Challenge

SurveysNov 16, 2016

Survey Says: Competition is Jewelers’ Biggest Challenge

Whether it’s coming from the internet, the big-box store down the street or other luxury categories, competition is jewelers’ biggest challenge right now.

Competition, creating marketing that drives foot traffic and finance--meaning maintaining profit margins and managing expenses such as health care--were the top three business challenges cited by jewelers in two separate surveys conducted this year.

New York--Jewelers who recently took part in an online poll said that the No. 1 challenge they face today is competition, particularly from online and big-box retailers.

National Jeweler/Jewelers of America fielded its latest Business Pulse survey between Oct. 24 and Nov. 2 and received 211 responses.

The survey consisted of one simple question: What is the biggest challenge facing your business today?

The No. 1 answer, cited by 27 percent of respondents, was competition, particularly from online players that don’t have to charge sales tax in every state.

This, brick-and-mortar jewelers have long argued, gives them an unfair advantage considering how much consumers can save by not paying sales tax on their engagement ring. And it’s an issue that still is the subject of legislation in Washington.

“Most people like to shop by phone, internet. (We are) losing that customer experience of sitting down with people and developing a relationship.”
Survey-takers also mentioned competition from big-box stores and other luxury categories, particularly travel.

There is “a lack of interest … in fine jewelry, a lot more traveling taking money from (the consumer’s) budget,” one respondent wrote.

The second biggest challenge cited by jewelers surveyed was marketing/driving foot traffic into their stores.

This is an obstacle that also is tied to the internet, as jewelers noted the need to find a way to get people away from their computer screens and into stores, and to figure out how to market to consumers, particularly younger consumers, in the digital age.

“Most people like to shop by phone, internet,” wrote one jeweler who cited “getting customers in the door” as his or her biggest challenge. “(We are) losing that customer experience of sitting down with people and developing a relationship.”

Meanwhile, another respondent acknowledged the importance of social media but expressed hesitance about using it.

“As a longtime jeweler, we are not big social media users, and I feel that is the only path for the future. And, no, I really don’t wish to be big in social media.”

The challenge cited by the third-largest percent of survey-takers (12 percent) was finance, managing expenses such as the added costs of operating online and health care--which one respondent called a “constant worry”--while grappling with narrowing margins.

Looking Back
JA asked the same question of jewelers--what is the biggest challenge currently facing your business?--back in February. The results did not differ vastly, with the top three concerns staying the same.

Twenty-five percent of jewelers
who took the survey then cited competition as their biggest challenge, followed by marketing/driving traffic (20 percent) and finance (11 percent).

Survey takers were less concerned with staffing this time around, with only 4 percent citing it as their biggest challenge, compared with 8 percent earlier this year.

The economy also was slightly less worrisome to jewelers in October (see chart at right), although a few did mention it along with the election, which was not yet concluded at the time the survey was conducted.

“The economy has still not gotten well enough for consumer confidence to grow, especially in this election cycle,” one respondent wrote.

Others mentioned low oil prices and terrorism fears as challenges, while one survey taker said it was the “unsettled issues this election has brought (to the surface) in this country.”

Merchandising, meanwhile, apparently became more challenging as the year wore on.

Nine percent of survey-takers cited it as their biggest challenge this time around, compared with only 6 percent earlier this year, perhaps due to the pressure jewelers feel to have the right merchandise in stock as the holidays approach.

Only a couple of survey takers said their business wasn’t facing any great challenges right now, while one said their biggest problem was a challenge any retailer would be happy to have--too much growth.

“Our town is undergoing massive growth,” the respondent wrote, “so we are as well.”
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

MajorsJun 24, 2022
Banter by Piercing Pagoda Celebrates Pride with ‘SayGay’ Necklace

All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.

Weekly QuizJun 23, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
TechnologyJun 24, 2022
Cloud-Based POS Software Jewel360 Launches for Jewelry Retailers

The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.

EditorsJun 23, 2022
Antique Show Observations From a First-Time Attendee

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow shares her impressions of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show and a few of her favorite finds.

Brought to you by
3 Reasons to Offer Estate Buying at Your Store

Provide your customers with a seamless selling solution by partnering with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

GradingJun 23, 2022
AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.

SourcingJun 23, 2022
Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

Sales were up 36 percent year-over-year in June and are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year at this point.

AuctionsJun 23, 2022
Auction House Freeman’s Appoints First Rep in Florida

Kate Della Monica, a senior specialist in the Jewelry and Watches department, will relocate to the Sunshine State.

Lab-GrownJun 22, 2022
LVMH Luxury Ventures Sinks Money Into Lab-Grown Diamond Start-Up

LVMH’s investment arm has taken a stake in Lusix, a lab-grown diamond company based in Israel.

AuctionsJun 22, 2022
Here’s How Two 100-Plus-Carat Diamonds Did at Auction

Sotheby’s New York put a colorless diamond and a fancy deep orange-brown diamond up for sale last week, with mixed results.

CrimeJun 22, 2022
Leviev Diamonds Launches Bracelet to Help ‘Tinder Swindler’ Victims

Profits will help them recoup financial losses.

MajorsJun 22, 2022
Swarovski Names First Non-Family CEO

Retail veteran Alexis Nasard will step in as CEO on July 4.

SourcingJun 22, 2022
Edward Asscher to Remain WDC President for Another Year

The organization also extended the terms of Vice President Feriel Zerouki and Treasurer Ronnie VanderLinden.

ColumnistsJun 21, 2022
State of the Majors 2022: Reflections on Resilience

After suffering a professional setback, columnist Peter Smith reflects on our ability to bounce back even when the hits keep on coming.

IndependentsJun 21, 2022
Jeweler Tommy Glatz, Known for Being Creative and Kind, Dies at 68

Glatz owned and operated Glatz Jewelers in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania for more than 40 years.

Events & AwardsJun 21, 2022
24 Karat Club of Southern California Will Honor These Industry Leaders

The organization will present three awards at its annual dinner, dance, and gala in October.

MajorsJun 21, 2022
David Yurman Hires Chief of People, Strategy

Former McKinsey partner Emily Yueh marks new president Evan Yurman’s first hire.

TrendsJun 17, 2022
Britney Spears Wore Over $500K of Stephanie Gottlieb Diamonds at Her Wedding

The New York jeweler also made the pop star’s wedding bands.

AuctionsJun 17, 2022
5-Carat Paraiba Tourmaline Ring to Hit the Auction Block

It’s predicted to sell for up to $484,000 during the Bonhams Hong Kong Jewels and Jadeite auction on June 22.

Events & AwardsJun 17, 2022
WJA Foundation to Offer Tech Scholarships for Women of Color

The recipient will receive up to $17,500 toward a tech-focused certification or program of their choice.

CollectionsJun 17, 2022
Piece of the Week: Gemella’s ‘Stella’ Necklace

It’s as versatile as it is glamorous.

Supplier BulletinJun 16, 2022
HiBid Is A Jewelry Lover’s Best Friend

Sponsored by HiBid

TechnologyJun 16, 2022
Cartier, Amazon Suing ‘Influencer,’ Sellers Over Counterfeit ‘Love’ Jewelry

The alleged scheme involving fake “Love” bracelets, necklaces and rings was designed to circumvent Amazon’s counterfeit detection tools.

MajorsJun 16, 2022
Helzberg CEO Beryl Raff to Retire

Chief Financial Officer Brad Hampton will take over as the retailer’s new CEO.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy