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Where do new jewellery styles and trends come from?

This is an important question, and it’s one that every jewellery retailer with an eye to future profits needs to know the answer to. In an ideal world, your jewellery wholesaler would be aware of current and upcoming trends, stocking the styles that are sure to prove popular next month or next season.

But this is the real world, and in the real world most wholesalers are as bad at foreseeing trends as the retailers who buy from them. Translation: they haven’t a clue, and go by what sold well last year.

So what do you do? How do you work out what to stock for Christmas three or four months in advance?  How do you keep on top of the new trends so that your shop is the go-to place for fashion conscious women?

You start by ignoring what your supplier or his sales rep tells you. They have no idea what is going to prove popular; they only know what was popular in the past. Quite often, if they’re pushing styles at you, it’s because they have an abundance of that style in stock that they want to unload — which usually means it’s NOT a strong seller.

So where do you look for unbiased information on future styles?

Celebrities.

I hate reality TV shows. I couldn’t pick Kim Kardashian out of a crowd. But the reality is, many of the current trends in fashion were kicked off by what one or more celebrities happen to have been wearing when snapped by a photographer at an awards ceremony or walking down the street pushing a pram.

Buy a copy of Heat Magazine. Keep an eye on the website of a particular photo-rich UK daily newspaper that I won’t name. Look at the photos. Take note of what the celebrity of the day is wearing. Then go looking for something similar in the showrooms or catalogues of your suppliers. It doesn’t need to be identical — you’re looking for general movements in style, that’s all. Is colourful jewellery back in? Flowers? Long, beady, hippy styled necklaces (God help us all if that ever comes back).

Keep a close watch on what reality TV stars and photogenic Hollywood actresses are wearing.

This is what your customers will want a few months from now.

02 Jan 2014

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