Surviving the COVID-19 lockdown
April 22, 2020
As the jewellery industry entered what for many was a second month of economic lockdown and social isolation caused by COVID-19, businesses throughout the supply chain were looking for immediate solutions. There was a growing realization that that the industry as we knew will be inexorably changed when the pandemic ends, but first it was necessary to keep one’s head above water.
The premiere edition CIBJO’s “Jewellery Industry Voices” webinar serieslooked at the impact and implications of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis on the business from the perspective of industry figures. It tackled the existential challenge of surviving the lockdown, which for many had involved shuttering store and offices, little to no cashflow and the agony of having to lay off or furlough members of staff, while still being expected to honour rental contracts and financing agreements.
Navigating through the stormy waters of this unprecedented predicament was not a simple task. No-one had a crystal ball, and none could see into the future. But there were signs of hope. China was starting to come out of lockdown and Chow Tai Fook, Asia’s largest retail jeweller, had reported positive reactions from its customers as it reopened stores. How may jewellery retailers both large and small, survive today and be best prepared for the day when business returns?
Entitled “Surviving the COVID-19 Lockdown” the first Jewellery Industry Voices webinar featured three leading industry exports – Tiffany Stevens, President and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), a New York-based organization that provides legal services for the jewellery trade and represents the industry before U.S. government bodies; Erik Jens, CEO of LuxuryFintech.com, who formerly headed the diamond and jewellery group at ABN AMRO, the industry’s largest financier; and Amit Dhamani, CEO and President of the Dhamani Jewels Group, a major jewellery manufacturer and retailer headquartered in Dubai.
CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri will introduce the series, and the webinar was co- moderated by Edward Johnson and Steven Benson.