Tell us about Clive Ranger Jewellery.
Clive Ranger is a small family owned business that started up in 1977, but was taken over last year by our former manager, Carl Parry. We pride ourselves on old fashioned customer service and continue to manufacture our own diamond rings so our jewellery has a very personal touch. We specialise in diamond rings but also offer a range of precious gemstone jewellery as well as brands such as Clogau, Jersey Pearl and Sheila Fleet. We have also recently moved into the watch market and have brands such as Bering, Bulova and Elliot Brown. All the staff here have an extensive knowledge of the pieces so are able to transfer this knowledge onto our customers.
How do you find being an independent family run business benefits you?
Customers can trust us. We go the extra mile to get them what they want and don’t have to go through channels in head offices to get answers to queries. All of the staff are all involved in all elements of the business so we’re able to advise people on various queries or requests. We offer the same service to people whether they are buying a £10 pair of earrings or a £5000 diamond ring because we enjoy what we do. All the employees here have been here for years as we have such a good working relationship! This is beneficial to the business as we remember customers that came in five years ago to buy an engagement ring from us and are now looking to purchase their wedding rings.
You like to build lasting relationships with customers, how do you do this?
Many of our customers have been coming back to us since the seventies! They’ve bought their engagement rings and wedding rings and then years later they buy eternity rings and their children and even grandchildren buy their engagement rings from us. I think they like the fact we’re happy to talk to them about what’s going on in their lives or offer advice, not just sell them jewellery. We even go to customer’s houses to show our pieces if they can’t get to the store before a special birthday or Christmas.
What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry?
Make sure you’re very passionate about your products, customers appreciate this. Get to know your customers and build relationships. At Clive Ranger, we try to make sure we have a mixture of very classic pieces like diamond solitaires as well as some quirky silver jewellery. We want to appeal to people of all ages and budgets and you have to do this in this economy. I’d also advise them to get them on all forms of social media as it just gets the name out there to people that may not have heard of you.
What makes you stand out from competitors?
We’re a traditional jeweller that has been in Cardiff for 37 years so again, it’s because people can trust us. All the staff here are naturally friendly, there’s no scripts and there’s no hard sell-which I certainly appreciate when I go shopping! We’re also based in a beautiful Victorian arcade in the more historic part of Cardiff rather than a huge shopping centre. Customers that appreciate traditional service and staff that are genuinely interested in the products they sell will always come back to us over the large chain stores.
What do you class as the biggest change to the industry since your inception?
I have been working in the trade for 5 years and even in that amount of time, I have seen that people are sticking to budgets a lot more. We’ve had to adapt to these changes by offering more affordable jewellery that’s of high quality but doesn’t have the larger price tag. The managing director here has been working at the store since the eighties and he has noticed this change quite considerably.
Where do you want to be in five years?
I’d like to see the business grow even further, of course and have a wider customer base. Hopefully people will start to have more disposable income by then and will be able to invest in larger diamond pieces. Whatever happens though, we’ll be continuing to sell jewellery as we always have done; in a professional and friendly manner. I personally specialise in the social media side of things and but in the next few years I’d like to branch into doing jewellery valuations myself, but that involves going back to school!
This feature first appeared in the June 2014 issue of Jewellery Focus.