If you follow business news closely and your confidence is affected by it day to day, then this month will have made for a turbulent one. Hallmarking was down in the month of August – a disappointing continuation of the surprise downward movement seen in July – but then global demand for diamond jewellery was up. Furthermore, some high street stalwarts including Signet, posted significant sales growth, with their UK business performing notably well.
It’s hard to say what the industry should make of all this. How can jewellers and indeed anyone else in the supply chain look forward with any degree of certainty to the future, when the statistics that do come in do not seem to correlate with each other, or worse are totally unexpected.
Last month for a feature on the Chinese slowdown and the possible effects on the gold price, I spoke to industry figures who held the view that the high street jeweller must take each day as it comes. And what else can we do?
Well, in the meantime, we can protect what we have. The steady trickle of robberies suffered by independents throughout the UK continues, and so for this issue I sourced some comprehensive advice on prevention tactics to ward off would-be criminals in the first place, and best practice for how to deal with the aftermath.
Retail crime currently costs the sector in excess of £600m per year, and on an individual basis jewellers are disproportionately affected because of the high value of their stock. As with anything concerning important issues like security, we offer this as a common-sense guide rather than a foolproof consultative document – but I think you will find it useful nonetheless.
To read the latest issue of Jewellery Focus, click here.