Steve Rogers, owner of Penny Farthing Jewellers in East Grinstead, a historic southern English town, will seek fresh business opportunities and competitive pricing when he meets Antwerp diamond suppliers at the next edition of BrilliAnt in 2017.
Steve, whose shop is located on the longest row of Tudor houses in England, has so far bought loose diamonds from the London bourse and some finished goods from UK manufacturers, but knows that a large proportion of his suppliers source from Antwerp.
“Meeting prestigious suppliers in a formal and informal gathering as a retailer, would potentially be an immense opportunity for future business projects,” he said.
“Additionally, meeting other retailers, from the UK and worldwide, is always beneficial, for an exchange of views, ideas and discussion about retailing.”
A strong appeal of BrilliAnt to retailers and manufacturers is the competitive pricing of the loose diamonds available at the fair.
“Due to the worldwide recognition of Antwerp as a diamonds centre, both within the trade and in the eyes of the general public, the marketing benefits would be advantageous,” Steve said.
“The quality of the offering is guaranteed, and one would hope that the prices would be competitive. Comparison of prices has to be borne in mind.”
Almost a third of Penny Farthing Jewellers’ turnover comes from bespoke orders, many of them including diamonds in the finished pieces.
“Princess cuts are increasingly popular, as are diamond set shoulders, and white metal is still clearly leading the way,” Steve said.
“We are being asked more than ever before about grading of diamonds, confirmation that they are ethically sourced, where items are made etc.”
Steve recognises the importance of treating customers as individuals, which he says is a vital part of selling diamonds to the general public.
“Whilst the bridal market is ever growing, the 20 to 30 year old bracket are far more fashion conscious than ever before, and lifestyle expectations have changed, resulting in the mass explosion of fashion jewellery brands and branding in general,” he said.
“This should be a worry for traditional jewellers who do not adapt to, or engage their clients as individuals.”
Steve looks forward to attending BrilliAnt in 2017.