Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - M12

JEWELRY TELEVISION
habits is part of the challenge for content creators. JTV is
already thinking about how the next generation of video
compression codecs and handheld devices will alter programing and ecommerce. To prepare for that unknown, the
company has a dedicated team that works in a skunk works
capacity to brainstorm ways to take advantage of emerging
technology, such as virtual reality and 4K broadcasts.

Embrace the New
Embracing new technologies is a mindset that
Matthews has instilled in the company since
becoming CEO. He describes himself as an
electronics-minded individual. In the '90s, he
owned a production company that purchased the seventh serial number among
Panasonic's first line of HD cameras.
It's no surprise that his interest has
permeated and benefited JTV. "It excites
me to stay on the leading-edge and know
what's happening from a technological point
of view," Matthews says. "I believe if we do
that we can also stay ahead of the demographic
shifts that are impacting retail."
Matthews believes it can be dangerous for a company to put an inordinate focus on any one channel.
He's watched as competitors panic over the changing
media landscape and flock to new channels, leaving their
traditional audiences behind. Oftentimes, companies that
follow a reactionary path end up alienating their longtime
customers and struggle to grow a new base.
JTV considers how each channel fits into its larger strategy. "We think to ourselves, 'What's a channel really good
at doing, how does it complement other channels and how
can they work together to improve customer engagement
and, as a result, grow the entire pie?'" Matthews says.
The goal is not to force an app or streaming service on
viewers, but to let customers tell JTV when and where they
want to shop. "It's giving them the best experience in each
channel," Matthews says.

Weathering the Great Recession
Matthews came to JTV as an investor in 1996, three years
after the company began broadcasting. It wasn't until 2007
that he had a formal role with the company, when he
took a consulting job that lasted about a year. At the time,
Matthews was still practicing law on a full-time basis in
Cincinnati and JTV asked him to help develop its technology systems and be part of a few other projects going on at
the company.
JTV was at a critical juncture at the time Matthews
joined the company. By late 2007, JTV was noticing a
12

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

May/June 2017

small downward trend in sales
volume. The company had expanded rapidly in the decade before, experiencing 35 percent
compounded
annual growth
in sales.
What was a
$3 million
business in
the mid-'90s
had rocketed
to 100
times that
size by the
mid-2000s.
So even a small
decline in sales
during the holiday season raised
eyebrows. "That was
obviously a very clear
indication that something
was changing in the economy," Matthews says.
The dip ended up being a precursor to the economic downturn to come. "We were like
a canary in a coal mine as far as the recession was concerned," Matthews says.
When the economy sours, people eliminate discretionary
spending. Jewelry is a luxury item, so when salaries stagnated and mortgage payments were missed, customers did
not simply decrease their jewelry purchases, but cut them
completely. Those kinds of budget decisions from customers translated into a 30 percent drop in business for JTV in
only 12 months.
It was clear new leadership was needed to guide JTV
through the looming difficult period for retail. As a consultant, Matthews brought a background in computer science,
web development
and e-commerce
India Gems
to the company,
We are a manufacturer and wholesaler of
but he also had
Designer Sterling Silver Jewelry. Our designs
experience in
are inspired by the unique stones that we
corporate finance
incorporate in them. Our collection includes
Rings, Pendants, Bracelets, Earrings and our
and banking
wonderful one-of-a-kind Necklaces. All of our
from his fulljewelry is studded with semi-precious stones
time job as an
like Labradorite, Rainbow Moonstone,
attorney.
Larimar, Tanzanite, Kyanite & Ethiopian Opal.
Those were


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Intro
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 3
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - 7
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Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - MCover1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - MCover2
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - M1
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - M2
Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - M3
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Retail Merchandiser - May/June 2017 - M11
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