British jewelry retailers have expressed concern over the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, which puts headline inflation at 9.1%.
Jewelers cited rising gold and silver prices, lack of support and understanding from the government, and declining sales as reasons for concern.
Sina Gosrani, owner of London jewelery house Bottlebee, said: “This extraordinary level of inflation has really hit my business hard. The price of gold and silver has skyrocketed and I will have to increase my prices to keep up with rising supplier costs.
“Competition is fierce in this sector and a lot of people are into selling as a hobby rather than a business, so it’s hard to compete. Jewelry is not a need, it’s a desire, and as inflation rises, people will look to buy mass-produced items rather than what is handmade and unique to them.”
Meanwhile, Julia Asher, managing director of Burton-on-Trent-based Ashes Memorial Jewelery, said: “As a small jewelery manufacturing and e-commerce business, I am deeply concerned about rising inflation. The last three months have been the most difficult in the history of our company.
“In April, sales fell by 35%, in May they did not change, and in June they are now down by 52%. I’ve been in the jewelry retail industry for 20 years and have never been more worried about the economic situation we’re in right now.”
Gillian Colley, designer at Paper2Pearls, Peterborough jewelry house, added: “Inflation is giving me sleepless nights. I know that many experience the same. Rising fuel and electricity bills are the worst since I need my house to be warm and I depend on my car. Almost everything has become more expensive.
“The government shows a complete lack of empathy and understanding of how the current financial crisis affects ordinary people. My online sales have dropped as buying jewelry is more of a pleasure than a necessity.”