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Things are picking Up – What should jewellery retailers do now?

Recessions and depressions don’t last forever. Not even big ones like the 1930s, or the more recent doom and gloom kicked off by the bank failures of 2008. Like all good things — and bad things — they come to an end. And this one is well and truly coming to an end.

Politicians have been saying this for years, but why should you believe them? They lie or bend the truth about this sort of thing all the time. Business and economic experts have been saying it for months now, but these are the same business and economics experts who never predicted the current mess, and who still tell us that London is not in the middle of a property bubble because “This time it’s different…

The guy running the shop next door or down the street may have told you, citing his slightly improved sales figures as evidence, but he’s one shop on one street in one town. How can you trust that?

We have hundreds of active jewellery and accessory retailers on our books, many of whom buy from us every couple of weeks or every month. We monitor buying trends across the entire UK and Ireland. We’re particularly interested in how often retailers place orders, how much they spend, and how many of each item they buy.

We need this information for cash flow purposes, and so that we know how many of a particular best seller we should be ordering this month for delivery next month.

But these sorts of figures also give us a good insight into the market as a whole. When things started going bad a few years ago, we knew it well before the BBC was telling you on the evening news, because our customers were telling us through smaller orders, less frequent orders, and lower volumes of popular lines.

A few months ago we mentioned on this blog that things were looking up, that the summer of 2013 marked the slow beginning of the end of the current slump. Now we can say with confidence that things are definitely picking up. Order sizes are well up on this time last year, and most importantly, the volume of popular lines that average retailers are buying from us has risen. Jewellery retailers would not be buying 20 and 30 of certain lines unless they were confident that they could sell them, and orders of that size and above are now coming in every day.

Things are picking up.

With the best selling months of 2014 ahead of you, what should you do to prepare — to be in a position to take full advantage of the stronger economy? If you’re new or relatively new to the business, you might not have known the good times and how different they can be. Your business will need to be run differently. Your buying and selling habits will have to change.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be writing a series of posts on how jewellery and accessory retailers should prepare for the year ahead. If you want to take full advantage of a stronger economy, you need to be ready.

So watch this space.

23 Apr 2014

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