Succeeding as an independent jeweller-Kozhikode-based Cammilli shows the way

retail
By retail November 26, 2020 15:51 Updated

Succeeding as an independent jeweller-Kozhikode-based Cammilli shows the way

By Suneeta Kaul

In an era of large-format, multi-store retail jewellery chains, is there space and scope for independent jewellers to exist and thrive?

The answer is yes, if you know how to find your niche, offer personalized, boutique-level services, stock a unique product range, keep your finger on the pulse of the market, and communicate your brand message clearly – the way Cammilli Diamond and Gold does.

Based out of Kozhikode, Kerala, Cammilli is a single-store retail outlet, which opened just five years ago on November 20, 2015. “As we celebrate our anniversary, and look back at our journey, we feel proud of our achievement. We have managed to make a place for ourselves in the hearts of the discerning Kozhikode customers,” says Saju Thomas, Managing Partner, Cammilli Diamond and Gold.

Life as an independent jewellery retailer

Sharing his insights about how to succeed as an independent, single-store retailer, Thomas says, “Jewellery is a very personalized business. It is not all about the size of your store, the number of outlets you have, your advertising budget, and so forth. Yes, the big corporates, with their multi-store chains play the volumes game, but what we offer is very selective and unique collections, an experienced and knowledgeable staff, the best customer service, and a great ambience in which to shop at a leisurely pace. We have managed to build a strong brand equity in the city, with repeat customers who do our advertising for us, for there is no better advertising than word-of-mouth reference.”

Cammilli lays a lot of stress on the quality of its products. The company is particularly proud of its selection of one-of-a kind pieces of jewellery. “When we started out, it was our dream to offer truly unique products, where each piece would be styled in a way that had hitherto not been seen in the city of Kozhikode. The response was immediate and overwhelming. The people of this ancient, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city took to us, and, in return, we offered a novel jewellery philosophy to them,” adds Thomas.

Ask him what the philosophy is, and he has a lot to say. “It is an amalgamation of several factors. It is our personalized service, our dedication to the craft, our commitment to our patrons, our obligation to them to offer them something unique. Each ornament we have is a marvel of creativity, artistry and finesse. Each piece has been crafted by people with genuine love, passion and absolute commitment to the art of jewellery making. The choice at Cammilli may not be the widest, but it is certainly the best, because each piece on display has been handpicked by experts from among thousands of pieces available at a given price point.”

Thomas goes on to explain that he believes in learning from every challenge, and turning it into an opportunity. Says he, “Take the COVID pandemic. It impacted every sector, and we were no exception. The market had already started slowing by January of this year, and the lockdown knocked the wind out of it. Our business also suffered, we had fewer walk-ins, but still, our loyal customers remained with us and returned to us. We, on our part, used the lockdown and quarantine period to have training sessions and we brainstormed a lot.”

In the process, Cammilli came out with a different strategy to get connected with customers. It collected e-catalogues from vendors, and shared its collections and details pertaining to them with its customers. “Once we re-opened the showroom after three months of lockdown, we applied the same strategy to the business – calling customers, taking appointments, conducting video calls. All this has worked for us, and we are almost back to normal,” informs Thomas.

He also has a word of advice for independent retail jewellers. “If you want to succeed as an independent retail jeweller, you have to remember two key points – purchase and selection. If you can find the perfect vendor, capable of selecting the best product which is in sync with the taste of customers, half the battle is won,” he declares.

 

Courtesy : Retail Jeweller India News Service

retail
By retail November 26, 2020 15:51 Updated
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