I’m back at work, fresh from behind the booth at the Spring, 2020 Continental Buying Group (CBG) Show with some interesting thoughts to share.

The timing of our Jewelers Suite cover article and feature article, which showcased Andie Weinman and Joe Murphy of the Continental Buying Group and Preferred Jewelers International™ was well planned.  It’s not a secret that Andie and Joe have their pulse on what is happening with the independent jeweler and the jewelry industry.

As an exhibitor of 11 years, I was excited, and I’ll admit, a little apprehensive preparing for this show, my first of 2020.  Excited because I was looking forward to seeing my CBG family, buyers and exhibitors.  Apprehensive because I was worried that my extensive industry research on business during the 2019 holiday season might somehow be turned on its head with negative reports on the season from buyers and exhibitors who I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to yet.

In the end everything turned out well, and I walked away from the show feeling confident that our industry is enjoying an upswing in business across all sectors that hasn’t been felt in quite some time.  With that in mind, I’m happy to share my top takes from the CBG Show Floor in Atlanta with you.  Hopefully you’ll be as inspired as I am about the possibilities and opportunities this year is going to bring.

Lab Grown Diamonds are Here to Stay

Whether you are for or against them, it’s clear that the market for Lab Grown diamonds is growing, and it’s time to acknowledge and, dare I say, even embrace them, if you’ve got a market for them.  Atelier Swarovski, as a newly appointed vendor for CBG, showcased their fine jewelry collections for the first time at a CBG show, and the booth was packed all three days. 

The excitement I saw over the Atelier Swarovski fine jewelry collection spells good news for the company, which recently announced it will be launching a collection of colored, lab-grown diamonds.  Lab grown diamonds are not new to Swarovski, as the company has been producing white lab grown stones since 2018.  However, colored lab-grown diamonds is a relatively untapped market, and one the 125-year-old company seems ready to take on.  For retail jewelers who are ready and able to add a new collection, backed by a 125 year old powerhouse name like Swarovski, this could turn out to be a local market game changer.

Sometimes B2B Business for Exhibitors is Stronger than B2C

My friend Heidi Kaufmann, owner of appointment setting and event marketing company TK Enterprises, was wowed by the amount of B2B business she picked up at the show.  While her B2C business from CBG buyers is always strong, Heidi couldn’t believe the amount of business her company generated on the B2B side during the 3-day CBG event.

I think this bodes well for vendors who are looking for an additional sales channel in 2020.  Do you have a product or service that fits, or could be adjusted to fit, on the B2B side?  If so, take some time to explore it.  You might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome!

The Importance of Cybersecurity can’t be Ignored

If you still think simple firewalls and antivirus software are enough to act as your sole security measures, you are sadly mistaken, my friend.  In today’s world, business owners can’t turn a blind eye to the need for professional level cybersecurity.

Cyber threats can come from both inside and outside of your business, and it’s up to you to educate your staff about scams like phishing, and cybersecurity attacks from ransomware and other malware that is designed to steal intellectual property and personal data.  Security incidents regularly affect businesses of all sizes and can cause  irreversible reputational damage to the companies involved.

Don’t take a chance on having your profits go up in smoke with a cybersecurity breach. We connected with Greg Merten at CBG, and found a free and easy way for you to see if you’re at risk.  Visit HMHConsultants.com and request your free scan and security consultation today!

Let Nothing Dim the Light

You know the old saying, “you learn something new every day”?  Well, that applies to me, and I certainly learned something new from Jorge Pascual at Lighting 4 Diamonds.  I’ve been in the jewelry business for nearly 40 years, and I must confess I never realized that different jewelry products, such as pearls, yellow gold and platinum, actually look better under separate color temperatures.

Retail jewelry store and pawn shop owners are always looking to optimize the visual appeal of the products they sell, and lighting obviously plays a key role in this search.  If you’re looking for a way to refresh your store without having to undertake a detailed interior refresh, consider updating your lighting.  It might be the best investment in your interior that you could make to increase your 2020 sales.

Want to know more about my thoughts on the CBG Spring 2020 event, have questions about this article or want to suggest a topic for me to cover in future blogs? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at Ann@JewelersSuite.com today!

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