Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

When Will The Big Jewelry Companies WAKE UP?

Posted on | December 10, 2010 | 12 Comments

I was reading my friend Rob Bates’s column in JCK Online, Diamond Shavings, and came across this article about Blue Nile and their plans for mobile over the next few years. From the article:

But a phone call from a customer during the 2009 holiday season put the future into better perspective, says Diane Irvine, Blue Nile’s CEO.

“We had one gentleman, a customer who called us from a chairlift and placed an order for a product of over $40,000,” she recalled. “So we knew there was something there.”

Yes Diane, it’s smart for you all to be thinking about mobile and the fact that young guys getting engaged may want to buy diamonds on their phones or iPads. But what struck me the most was this retort from Signet Jewelers, one of the largest jewelry companies in the world:

But Signet Jewelers (SIG), which operates Kay Jewelers and Jared, two of the largest jewelry store chains, says Blue Nile’s strategy to allow more price comparison via mobile devices won’t dent its sales.

“Our customers tell us the in-store experience is the most valuable, particularly when you are trying to talk customers through carat, color, clarity and cut” of diamonds, said Signet spokesman David Bouffard.

David, you are missing it! What you should be thinking is how to beat Blue Nile at their own game. You should be



thinking about how to make a bigger and badder mobile app and experience for your customers. Do you still think that the internet is going away? I wish I had your cash and resources so I could do some really cool stuff, but I don’t…yet. However, Signet and Zale Corportaion, whose revenue was down 14% from last year, need to think outside the box.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Jewelry stocks like Signet Jewelers, owner of Kay Jewelers, and Zale suffered even more because they depend on appetite for high-dollar purchases.

Maybe they could use a few $40,000 purchases, dont’ you think?

WAKE UP big boys or you”ll be gone soon!