Gearing up for the holiday seasons during a pandemic
September 3, 2020
Season 2 of CIBJO’s popular webinar series kicked off on September 3, 2020, with a panel of retail jewellery trade experts considering one of the most vexing challenges facing their sector in living memory – how to plan and prepare for the upcoming holiday seasons in the midst of a global pandemic.
Traditionally, the return of businesses from the summer vacation signals the start of preparations for the holiday shopping seasons, which include the Diwali festival celebrated by Indians around the world; the Christmas season, which generally is tracked from Thanksgiving Day in the United States, running through the end of December; and the Chinese New Year, which begins February 12, 2021. It is a period of gift giving that is considered the most critical in any year by the jewellery trade.
And while the markets have settled into a new routine, characterised by strict health protocols in the popular shopping areas and an increased reliance on ecommerce, questions remain about the mood of holiday shoppers and their readiness to spend in economies that have been impacted severely by the pandemic. Retailers are faced by a myriad of vexing challenges, among them the degree of risk they are prepared to take in building up inventory before the holidays, whether the mix of jewellery that has worked in previous years will be successful in 2020, and how price points may need to be adjusted in the new market environment.
The panel includes four industry leaders, each of whom made his Jewellery Industry Voices debut during Season 1. They include John Carter, Chair of the AGS Laboratories Council and Past President of the American Gem Society, who is himself a retail jeweller based in Illinois; Anantha Padmanaban, Chairman of the All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council, who also heads a jewellery company headquartered in Chennai; Steven Tranquilli, Chief Executive of Federpreziosi Confcommercio, the Italian Federation of Jewellery, Silverware and Watches Enterprises; and Alan Chan, General manager of the Group Branding Centre of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, the largest jewellery chain in China and Hong Kong.
The webinar was co-moderated by Edward Johnson and Steven Benson, and Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President, welcomed the participants.