Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68NATIONAL JEWELER 15 MATCH STONES SEARCH SHARE COLLECTION 360° VIDEO FREE TO SEARCH Request Username and Password 21ST CENTURY DIAMOND SOURCING NETWORK The STATE of the MAJORS site or with brick-and-mortar locations, is to make sure brand messages are communicated clearly and merchandise is dis- played in a way that best embodies the spirit of the brand. These companies are not abandoning their retail partners entirely, but they’re not entrusting their entire business to them either. It should come as no surprise, then, that a few of the jewelry industry’s most well-known wholesale brands are now “Supersellers” and sizable chains in their own right. According to National Jeweler’s 2016 “$100 Million Su- persellers” list, Swarovski AG, for example, sold an estimat- ed $138 million in its 150 North American stores in 2015. David Yurman Enterprises LLC, started by David Yurman, the sculptor-turned-jewelry designer who once traveled the country himself to sell his silver jewelry to independent jewelers, now has more than 40 of its own stores in North America. Then there’s Pandora, the Danish bead and jewelry brand that’s the subject of ire among many independent jewelers. Retailers feel they built up the brand only to have Pandora pull the rug—or, more precisely, the beads—out from under them by opening a competing shop next door. In 2015, Pandora sold $116 million in beads and other jewelry at the 51 company stores it now operates in North America, ranking No. 32 on the Supersellers list and No. 20 on the Top 50 by store count list. On its quarterly earnings calls, Pandora continually stresses the importance of company-owned and -oper- ated concept stores and heavily branded shop-in-shops over placing its product into the showcases at less heavily branded retail stores. Another reason that brands are going direct to the public is due to the growing availability of retail space, Iannaccone says. It’s no secret that malls, particularly those serving middle- and working-class Americans, have fallen on hard times. Eerily sad photos of these one-time cultural center- pieces in ruinous condition are all over the internet. But it’s not just mall stores that are struggling. As WD Partners’ Peterson put it, “The writing’s on the wall. There’s going to be a lot fewer stores, a lot fewer stores (going forward). I don’t care what category you are in.” Jewelers Board of Trade data, which includes the big chain jewelers as well as mom-and-pop shops, shows that the number of retail jewelers/repairers that closed their doors in 2015 was 760, up 24 percent from 2014. The widespread store closures mean there’ll be a lot of re- tail space available in a market where demand is soft, bringing down prices and perhaps encouraging physical experimenta- tion, whether it’s a pop-up shop fromAmazon, a webroom from Blue Nile or a permanent store with a new concept. “In a situation where more square footage becomes avail- able at more affordable prices, it might facilitate the decision to say, ‘you know what, let’s try it out,’” Iannaccone says. “Innovative companies are very good at capturing op- portunity, and this is an opportunity.”