Hearing very different perspectives from my own has proven very useful to me for keeping discussions well-rounded. And every so often, you see a research piece which tells a very different story from what you’ve been hearing from other quarters.
In this recent article from the Pacific Standard, the technology they speak of is not necessarily CAD/CAM but rather consumer gadgets. The article link is below, and my thoughts about what the writer has said are after the break:
Quite simply, the article is asking whether the next generation of consumers now spend most if not all of the money they used to spend on jewellery purchases on gadgets instead. From the tone of most of it, it can easily seem as if the American jewellery industry is in even worse shape than I had originally thought. But reading deeper into this there is some interesting and useful considerations as to what jewellers should think about when adapting their businesses with the times.
From my own standpoint, it seems the writer is indirectly making a case that using new technology to help take advantage of new ways of reaching consumers and delivering goods is more important than it has ever been. This assertion is reinforced by a pair of articles published not long ago in InStore magazine, the first answering worries about the demise of the high street store, the second about staying relevant as an independent jeweller. In short, many jewellery purchases are now made while consumers enjoy other luxuries, or through entirely new mediums that weren’t available a decade ago (such as purchasing semi-bespoke or on demand manufacturing through 3D model communities). By finding ways to be flexible and work within the changes to this market, jewellers will continue to survive and thrive.