The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted communities and businesses around the world, putting the livelihood of many people in our industry is at stake. It is in these moments of hardship that we need to work together, support each other, and focus on strategically building the common path to a sustainable recovery.
Local jewelry stores and retailers, many of which are family-owned for generations and comprise a large and important aspect of the industry are particularly vulnerable during this crisis. In response, we have joined forces to form the Jeweler Support Network to provide assistance to independent jewelers. Our goal with this initiative has been to keep the trade engaged by providing skill-building opportunities with free e-learning programs and webinars, financial guidance and legal support, and a platform where retailers can connect and share their stories. Visit jewelersupportnetwork.com in the US and jewellersupportnetwork.com in the UK for more details.
In addition to the trade campaign we have also launched a consumer campaign Support Your Local Jeweler, to remind consumers that independent jewelers need their support now more than ever. Reaching consumers through social media, we are reinforcing the values of independent jewelers and their service to local communities.
As some parts of the world return to the ‘new normal,’ we have seen encouraging signs and a return to luxury spending, particularly in China where 90% of jewelry stores are now reopen. We believe that diamond jewelry is well positioned to connect with consumers as the world begins to reopen. Consumer respect and appreciation for all things natural will be enhanced by the crisis, as will the desire for connection between friends and loved ones. Both trends will favor natural diamond jewelry–a meaningful purchase to celebrate life’s moments, big or small.
Despite these trying times for all of us, the diamond jewelry industry is finding silver linings–rallying to support their local communities, adapting to serve customers remotely, and remaining steadfast through difficult times. We’d like to share your positive stories on the Support Your Local Jeweler social media channels, and encourage you to submit them here, as well as to check out those we’ve gathered so far.
The current situation has given us time to re-think our strategies, and has forced us to adapt, innovate and ultimately grow. The world is changing faster than ever. How we connect with consumers is forever changed, but change is essential to staying relevant and, as tough as it has been for the industry, I am confident we will emerge from this stronger than before.