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I Love Steven Singer

I Love Steven Singer

by Ellen Fruchtman, President 

There. I admit it. Not in a romantic way, I love Steven Singer because of his marketing prowess. His bravery. His willingness to take a position on an issue we all know is right for the jewelry business. Yes, Steven Singer is large enough that he can scream it from the mountain tops many retailers are reluctant to do. We all know it’s the ultimate double-edged sword. The Lab-Grown Diamond industry is growing, literally and figuratively. More and more people are coming into your store asking for it. And, so as a retailer, what are you to do? Send them down the road to the retailer that sells them? Many initially refused to jump on the bandwagon for this very reason. But, then you gave in. Because you did not want to send that prospect to the guy down the road. And, better to have a sale than have nothing at all. I mean if De Beers can feed us a bunch of BS and play both sides of the fence, who are we to buck that trend?

Who doesn’t think in the very back of your mind, if we continue down this path, we’re simply hurting ourselves? So, what’s an industry to do? Steven Singer asked (and answered ) that question and did something about it. And, so he has my admiration. 

Many, many years ago I wrote an article about PANDORA and other brands that seemed so exciting at the start, but ultimately hurt your business. How many brands have built themselves on your back and then turned around and pulled the brand from your store? How many have gone direct to the consumer? There was a time in the fine jewelry business when you would never sell a sterling silver bead that would eat up your employees’ time and bring down your average sale. 

There are many products and brands which started out with sheer excitement, providing you extraordinary short-term gains, only to play out to the detriment of your business. Played out to the detriment of “the” business. And, I fear Lab-Grown Diamonds will be one of those products. There is no clear answer to this dilemma. Or is there? Could you collectively take a stand? With every buying or business group you belong to, every show and seminar you attend, is there no honest business discussion on this issue?

There is a man who, yes, has the marketing savvy and financial backing to stand by his conviction about Lab-Grown Diamonds. He’s giving them away. He is the industry’s Howard Beale and saying “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”. He is taking a stand. He has more chutzpah than De Beers, who rather than take a stand, told us at JCK a few years back that Lightbox was for “fun” jewelry. Buy your sixteen-year-old a diamond pendant. The marketing will clearly target this young consumer as an entry into their next phase of life when they have the financial wherewithal to purchase a Natural Earth-Mined Diamond. They will never market them for the engagement ring market. And, here we are.

So yes, I love Steven Singer. I’m not screaming it from the mountaintops. But, this newsletter is a start.

Want to scream with the best? Contact suits@fruchtman.com.

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