It was rather disturbing to see in the mainstream news this week that Glasgow’s iconic Argyll Arcade – populated with a string of quality jewellers – had been targeted by armed men wielding axes. It was worse to discover that their haul totalled some £250,000 worth of watches.
Outside of the trade associations (which are often referred to pejoratively inside Westminster as ‘special interest’ groups), there are only a few other ways an industry can lobby for itself, and one is for the biggest players to start shouting.
A year ago Jewellery Focus ran a piece on smartwatches, wondering aloud whether they would destroy the mid-market for wristwatches. It was entirely conjecture, of course, because it was in response to Samsung’s launch of its ‘Galaxy Gear’ devices – the first time any tech company had launched such a product with …
It is beginning to feel more like a job as a leader-writer for the Financial Times than a jewellery trade magazine, but there is just so much positive news out there it cannot go without comment.
Genuinely upbeat. That is how I would describe the atmosphere at International Jewellery London, which finishes its first re-launched iteration at London’s Olympia today.
It was always an ambitious undertaking, trying to draw a single thread between dozens of craft skills and come up with a qualification that could effectively test the talents of everything from furniture makers to piano tuners (not to mention jewellery, of course).
They always say ‘growing too fast’ can be the ruin of a business, and the former Pandora-man, Danish Jesper Nielsen, has obviously heard this too, as it has been announced that Endless Jewelry has raised significant investment capital by selling 23% of the business to some external investors.
One of the most frustrating things about CSR initiatives in any industry is the cost and effort involved in doing your bit. It’s why CSR departments in big corporates have huge difficulty achieving ‘buy-in’ from the rest of the board of directors.
Corporate tie-ups are normally so much hot air and uselessness. But IJL’s decision to partner with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) suggests the organisers are genuinely looking for function, not flare, in the show’s latest iteration.
When luxury goods giant LVMH announces that handbags and belts at £1000+ a piece are doing better than watches and jewellery, you have to ask what is going on.