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Jewellery – Quality Versus Volume

I’ve touched on this topic many times before, but it’s worth revisiting. Are you better off stocking your shop or market stall to the rafters with as many different styles as possible, or would you and your business be better served by displaying a smaller, more quality focused selection?

This is a key question. Many retailers are of the opinion that you must have as wide a selection of stock as possible — something for everyone, cater to all tastes and price points. That way, the thinking goes, you’ll be able to grab a little of every market. Trouble is, all those lines of jewellery have to be paid for. And in their effort to carry as wide a selection as possible, they end up cutting corners on quality in favour of quantity. Why spend £5 each on a fantastic style of necklace when they can buy five styles of inferior quality for only £1 each?

Surely five new styles trumps a single style?

No. Quality trumps quantity every time. Those £1 necklaces will command a retail price of — at most — £4. Selling all five of them, in itself a real achievement, will net a profit of £15. And because the quality is so low, the chances of selling these cheaper items in any volume is remote.

Who wants to wear cheap and tacky jewellery (apart from young teenage girls)? Who buys cheap and tacky jewellery as a present?

Quality items, though far more expensive to buy, command a much higher retail price. That £5 necklace could easily retail for £20, and in some markets you might achieve £25. That’s a profit of £15-£20 for the sale of only a single item. Unlike the cheaper jewellery, where you have to entice five separate customers to part with their money, in the case of a quality item you only have to entice a single customer to earn the same profit.

And who is that single customer? Not a teenage girl with a small amount of pocket money to spend, that’s for sure. More likely you’ll be attracting grown women with real spending power. And once you’ve attracted them, once you’ve made that first sale of a quality necklace that her friends will admire, chances are she’ll come back for more next week or next month.

Less clutter, more quality. Turn your shop into an elegant destination for customers with money, not for a teenage hangout that looks like a discount superstore.

10 Dec 2013

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