Jeremy Oster, co-owner, Oster Jewelers (Colorado, USA):
“More and more, I feel the brands are looking to dominate the retail market and go direct to the important collectors. It is an opportunity to hold a customer captive without any competition from competing brands as one would expect in a multi-brand independent retail store.
- Missy and Jeremy Oster
“Brand boutiques will take sales away from independent retailers. The only benefit to independent retailers is an elevated image of the brand. “Competing with local retailers is not so easy in a small market with a loyal customer base. An independent retailer already has the trust of the consumer. If a brand is seen as trying to take business away from the retailer who built the following it can actually turn off the consumer. And remember, the retailer will replace that brand with the next hot brand that their customer has not yet purchased!
An independent retailer also has the freedom of not relying on one brand. One of the pleasures of being independent is that I can be honest and open with my clients and can recommend an ideal selection for each individual based on their own taste. “The brands need to be careful not to cut off the hands that have fed them for so many years. If the brand is supportive of the retailer there is no reason why both cannot exist in harmony. Competition is healthy. However, mutual respect is the only way to ensure a prosperous future for the industry.”
Brand Boutiques - Pros and Cons
Source: Europa Star August - September 2013 Magazine Issue