NEW YORK — Jewelry retailers were concerned, but mostly unfazed, by recent hurricanes and the high price of gold while shopping the JANY Special Delivery Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here last week.
The second annual cash-and-carry trade show, intended to give retailers a chance to load up on last-minute holiday product while giving vendors a chance to clear out their inventories, had a slight decrease in attendance and exhibitors. The last show recorded 4,700 people and 430 exhibitors, while this year’s edition welcomed 4,500 and 450, respectively.
Drew Lawsky, group show director for the JA shows, described this year’s event as “OK,” having lost some retailers because of Hurricane Wilma and the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah on Tuesday. Nevertheless, Lawsky said the show is relevant.
“Retailers are putting off their buying later and later in the year,” Lawsky said. “They don’t know what they need until this time of the year. [It’s now when] they get a feel for the year and have more of a snapshot of what their business is going to look like.”
Many buyers and vendors were pleased with the show and said business was up in general.
Joe Carullo, vice president and co-owner of the 20-year-old, New York-based jewelry design company KC Designs, said his business surged 15 percent for the holiday season.
“I see a continuing, steady increase,” Carullo said. “I don’t see a big increase, though.”
Styles such as diamond earrings with movement were popular among buyers, as were classic diamond bangles, he said. KC Designs’ mostly white gold and diamond jewelry falls between the $500 and $1,500 price mark.
Angélique de Paris, the Allentown, Pa.-based design company known for its whimsical use of brightly hued resin combined with gold vermeil or sterling silver, introduced a rubber-based collection of jewelry and a children’s line at the show.
“Gold is crazy and diamonds are also crazy right now,” said company designer Angélique Knafo of the prices of precious materials. “People come here for that look.”
Lulu Beyda, a Brooklyn-based retailer with an eponymous boutique, said there is a dichotomy in her customers’ needs.
“People want everything to be either very classic, or something totally different and out there,” she said.
Beyda said she was certain of one thing: “I’m not interested in chandeliers [earrings].”
Jamie Camche, co-owner of J.L. Rocks, a jewelry store in Greenwich, Conn., experienced a lull in September and October because of the persistent warm weather and the record-breaking hurricane season, but as late as last week saw sales pick up. She now anticipates a fruitful holiday.
Camche said white gold and diamond jewelry would be a popular gift category, adding: “Men will continue to buy white gold jewelry for women.”
She also bought yellow gold, turquoise and cocktail pieces. To compensate for the high prices of gold, Camche is cutting her margins slightly, so as not to charge the consumer more. She added, however, that women will keep on buying jewelry.
“As long as there are events, women still need a piece of jewelry,” she said.