Jewelry trade downsizes, cuts prices due to crisis

Published by rudy Date posted on January 6, 2009

Jewelry and housewares exporters have downsized their workforce by as much as 60 percent and reduced prices by whopping 50 percent to cope with the impact of the global economic woes, a survey revealed.

Twelve companies in these two exporting sectors responded to the 2008 financial crisis survey made by the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., the country’s umbrella organization of exporters.

Around half of them reported 20 to 50 percent decline in orders. One jewelry firm said it has no orders this year from $1 million revenues it generated in 2007.

Given this situation, a few of these companies bared they will temporarily stop operations and resume when market conditions improve.

Meanwhile, those who opted to maintain their business operations were forced to lay off their workers by 20 to 60 percent, implemented job rotation or reduced operating time to cut costs.

Crisis-hit companies said they have shifted their marketing to other countries such as Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, China, Vietnam, India, Middle East and Europe even as these markets are suffering as well.

Others intend to tap Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, US, Asia, Eastern Europe and Middle East.

On the other hand, half of the respondents said they will be engaged in product development to develop other products to sell to their existing, new and even old buyers.

“Hopefully, with this strategy, even economic storms can bring in buyers to the country if they are in search of unique designs, novelty and the ‘wow factor’ in a product,” one exporter believed.

To survive the financial turmoil, exporters will also develop the local institutional market such as resorts, hotels and food service, avail of the Export Development Fund, pursue market intelligence efforts, and join even international exhibits to help maintain their market presence.

But few of exporters surveyed reported they have not been adversely affected by the global crisis as their orders remained stable, while some reported a 20 percent to 89.4 percent increase in orders.

In fact, they will expand current export markets in Asian countries (Japan) and US by 50 percent; increase product offers to include new materials, technology and products; invest in product development, technology and training; and engage a group of subcontractors particularly institutional market.

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