Sterling Forest, a jewelry supplier in New York City, has long expanded beyond the sterling in its name. In addition to 925 sterling silver jewelry, it has added gold filled units and stainless steel ones. The latter are primarily for men and are doing exceptionally well, according to Dinesh Kumar, the company's owner.
He began adding stainless steel pieces about eight years ago, and the primary motivator was to utilize an alternative to the rising price of silver. "It is now very trendy, and has grown especially popular over the past two years," Kumar reports. In addition to representing a price advantage, he notes that, "it is a very tough metal, and it doesn't tarnish."
The stainless steel line includes bracelets, cuff bangles, key chains, cuff links and money clips, among other designs. "Cuff links are making something of a comeback," he says, adding, "cuff links and money clips make great gifts." Bracelets in the line typically wholesale for about $7, and the suggested retail price ranges from $29 to $50, giving retailers a hefty profit margin.
The gold filled units are also in response to the high price of gold. "Gold filled jewelry never peels," he says, and his company provides a lifetime guarantee. "They are light weight and sell for a fraction of the cost of gold," Kumar says.
The company's gold filled bracelets, for example, typically wholesale for between $4 and $8, "versus $300 for gold," he notes. And the suggested retail allows for a markup of between 300 and 400 percent.
"We still also do a substantial business in women's silver, particularly the designer look-alikes, which are contemporary designs that are very popular with women," Kumar explains. He carries necklaces, earrings and bracelets that replicate the designer brands, but don't have designer logos. The actual designer units sell for five times the cost of those made by Sterling Forest, he points out. Rodium plated pieces, which are protected from tarnishing, also do well. "We also use a lot of cubic zirconia," he adds.
Catalogs of between 60 and 70 pages each are available free to retailers. And each shows more than 1,000 different items. In addition, the full selection is shown on the company website, which has a shopping cart for retailers' use.
The company will help put packages of best sellers together for retailers. "We know the latest and best fashion trends," he says, "and we'll configure a package for different types of retailers."
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