Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mixed messages

We are now moving into the critical part of the year of the jewelry industry.  The summer trade shows are not far away, and suppliers are waiting to see, with bated breath, just what depth of commitment retailers are going to make in stocking for the fall. 

The political news, here and abroad, is unsettling.  The stock market is bubbling, but news about the residential market is bad.  Employment stays relatively high, but corporations are making money.  The dollar is weakening (making our exports more attractive overseas), but the cost of materials and labor for our jewelry seems to be rising geometrically.  Even US Treasuries have seen its credit standing trimmed.

All of this adds up to uncertainty about the future (as evidenced by the latest New York Times/CBS poll).  Is this a problem only for the lower and middle market, while the affluent are back buying?

What do you think?  And how are you responding in your business?

1 comment:

  1. Well, i see that nobody wants to jump in here. So I will comment on my own comment!

    It does look like the affluent, at least those that are confident their income stream will continue, are loosening their purse strings. The competition for those dollars has intensified - no surprise - leaving some retailers still pressed to make payrolls.

    For the moment, many retailers are making good money recycling gold, silver, diamonds, etc. That may become a very regular part of business, especially as the public generally does not know how to figure out scrap values. Certainly not diamond values.

    This translates into uneven results at the summer trade shows. Suppliers will be working hard.