By Arta Ertekin
The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) has reported positive Christmas sales among its 150 retail members, with 61% stating that sales were better last month compared to Christmas 2012.
Of the responses, 61% of CMJ retailers said that festive sales were better in 2013 than 2012, while just over 15% reported sales were about the same as 2012. Only 23% reported sales were down in 2013 compared to the previous year. Marketing campaigns as customer events and special promotions reportedly helped to boost sales.
CMJ retailers said that watch sales continued to perform well year on year, with more than 60% reporting that watch sales were better or the same as those in December 2012.
The strongest watch brands for CMJ retailers were Bering, followed by Seiko and Citizen, with pre-owned watch sales also delivering strong growth. CMJ retailers reported that their best-selling luxury watch brand in December was Rolex.
CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton said: “The comments we have received from our members reveal that those who saw the best sales were as a result of taking part in CMJ marketing initiatives, such as our customised Bejewelled magalogue, and an ability to have the right stock in place to satisfy customer demand. Our survey results clearly show the benefits of belonging to the CMJ, which provides marketing support and assistance in choosing the right products to invest in."
However, the buying group reported that its retailer’s Christmas sales came very late into December. David Clark of WE Clark & Son in Lewes said: "It was bloody tough, but came good in the end. There are so many more channels to compete with, but good service wins through.”
Jason Allum of Allum & Sidaway reported: “Every year people say Christmas was late, and this year I know what they mean. From the Thursday before Christmas we were trading considerably down and I was bracing myself for a six figure drop in sales, matching 2011’s figures, but that turned around and we ended up showing a small increase in December trading.”