Challenges and Opportunities


We haven’t even hit the end of the first quarter of 2016 and already the world has been hit with a very mixed bag of economic data.  World swings in equities.  A strong gold price.  Tales of economic turmoil in China.  Headwinds for the foreseeable future in the primary mining industry.

What does all of this mean for Australian jewellers?  There are many who have told me that last Christmas was one of the better Christmas periods in recent times but that now business seems to have stopped.  Others say that Christmas was nothing out of the ordinary and that 2016 is more of the same.  And then there are others who report continual improvements in sales 

I suppose it’s the same story in every industry.  Some people are doing very well.  Some people are coping and others are really struggling.  But is there a middle ground?

I am a big believer in the power of positive thought.  By that I don’t mean that if you sit at your desk and wish for something for long enough it will come true.  What I mean is that if you believe something hard enough, you make it your own reality.  So what are can we do to make our reality great?

For starters – stop repeating the self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.  The fact of the matter is that business today is harder than ever before.  The competition is stiffer than ever before and consumers are better informed than ever before.  But those things aren’t peculiar to the jewellery industry.  That’s the reality of life in every industry.  Just like every industry there will always be people who stand out from the crowd, offer something different and better than the rest.  The trick is to make sure that you’re one of them.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind:

  1. Technology: Integrate new technologies into their production and partner with people who develop that technology.  Trial things together.  Make mistakes together.  Learn together.  And get to offer your customers something that others can’t.
  2. Being nimble: Stay abreast of changes in the industry and new trends by visiting fairs and roadshows.  And I’m not just talking about those ones that happen overseas (those fairs are important too).  I’m talking about local events like the JAA International Fairs and the Jewellery Roadshow.  What these events have that international fairs don’t is that they are tailored to our market.  They are literally microcosms of your trends that have immediate application to Australian jewellery businesses.
  3. Speak to your competitors: They’re not your enemies.  Cross pollenate ideas with each other.  Share experiences.  Apply those learning to your business.


Written by

Andrew Cochineas

Chief Executive Officer

Pallion (ABC Bullion, ABC Refinery, Palloys, AGS|PJW, A&E Metals, Regentco & Goldenage International)