Q: Is the bead trend over?
“The bead trend is definitely down. It’s not a sharp decline, but we’ve seen our bead business at about one-third of where we were at in the peak of bead sales with PANDORA about 10 years ago. At this stage we’re selling enough bead jewelry to hold on to it as a product category. In our market we don’t have a lot of direct competition for bead jewelry, so we’re in a good position there. We also benefit from summer tourist sales with bead jewelry and other types of jewelry. Tourists tend to buy bracelets and add beads, while regular customers are more about just adding beads. We’re not sure how much longer the bead trend will continue - it could be another two to three years, who knows. For now we’ve decided to be careful about investing in bead advertising and inventory. Our bead business is pretty much running itself just fine right now, but there is still a lot of work that goes into maintaining it. We do offer other price-point jewelry similar to that of bead jewelry, but even Alex and Ani jewelry sales have leveled off for us. Like other jewelers we’re getting back to basics with selling fine jewelry with an emphasis on diamonds and bridal. This has been a big focus for us for the last two to three years now. We want to be known as a diamond and bridal store that also offers other jewelry essentials.”