SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales


Welcome to the Silver Salon Forums !
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!

Flatware/Holloware - non silver Forum

The Silver Salon Forums are open to anyone with an interest in silver and a willingness to share. Know little or nothing about silver? Don't worry! Anyone with a genuine desire to explore the subject of silver and related metal crafts is welcome.



Favorites: (9/09/07) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


REGISTER (click here) How to Post Photos


customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  Flatware/Holloware - non silver Forum
tline3open  How is flatware sold these days?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   How is flatware sold these days?
Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-07-2010 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For a bit of cheery news, Bed Bath and Beyond does sell Sterling. Their catalog offers 31 patterns, most of them old favorites. Three are by Lunt, which will probably be gone soon. But there is a mass marketer selling sterling.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-07-2010 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sears offers quite a bit of flatware. The old time American institution has 36 patterns on offer: 14 from Oneida, 10 from Reed & Barton, 7 from Cambridge and 5 from Fiesta which is a Cambridge brand. Interesting that for years their flatware was made by Wallace under the Harmony House brand, which seems to have disappeared. Over in serveware there are a number of items described as being made out of metal with no further description. And the William Armetal which I assumed were pewter turn out to be ceramic.

Here is the description of one item:

quote:
;The elements of Nature...Earth, Water, Wind and Fire have inspired our adaption to metal. Our artisans have embodied these inspirations into hand crafted Serveware and Decorative Accessories. Fashioned by metal artisans in the heritage and traditions of the craft, each piece is unique with the character and signature of its creator. With designs both timely and timeless, our pieces befit casual entertaining or your most elegant affair. Star Home...The hall mark of gracious living.'

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-07-2010 06:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Target offers 106 stainless sets for 8. The makers selected are Cambridge, Hampton Forge, Gourmet Settings and Oneida.

The 2008 Annual Report tells us that in 2008 21% of sales were in the category of Home Furnishings and Decor, which is where flatware is. On gross sales of 65,000,000 that means something like 13.5 M.

Sales per capita is broken down by state. In 4 states Target sold more than 300 per person. In 14 states sales were between 201 and 300 per capita. This is a major venue for selling flatware and only Oneida of the traditional silver makers is in it.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-07-2010 06:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even though it is part of Sears, KMart has a slightly different list of flatware makers:

Sourcing Solutions (54)
Ginkgo (47)
Oneida (24)
Essential Home (17)
Whole Home (14)
Jaclyn Smith Traditions (10)
Jaclyn Smith Today (9)
Chicago Cutlery (4)
Zelco (4)
Disney (2)
Ty Pennington Style (2)

Once again, only Oneida is sold at KMart from the traditional silver makers.

IP: Logged

chase33

Posts: 362
Registered: Feb 2008

iconnumber posted 06-07-2010 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chase33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi,

Just a correction. Wilton Armetale is made of metal. According to their website faq:

quote:
Q: What is the metal content of the Wilton Armetale?

A: Wilton Armetale is a Metal mixture of over 10 different metals with the primary metal being Aluminum. There is NO lead in any of the pieces. Almost all of the Wilton Armetale products are safe to cook, bake, broil, grill, chill and use for serving.

They have/had some pieces that combined a ceramic component but their primary product is all metal.

Robert

IP: Logged

ellabee

Posts: 306
Registered: Dec 2007

iconnumber posted 06-08-2010 12:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ellabee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Armetale and similar non-tarnish alloys are also sold in smaller, more expensive gift shops, accompanying other serving items (crystal and ceramics). Michael Aram designs are among these; I can't remember if those are done for Wilton or another maker using similar materials.

IP: Logged

ellabee

Posts: 306
Registered: Dec 2007

iconnumber posted 06-08-2010 12:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ellabee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale, I don't know if you have information bearing on this, but I'd be interested in knowing how big a factor Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn have become. It seems to me that those retailers (both physical stores and mail-order and online) now play the role for prosperous middle- and upper-middle-class households that jewelers and department stores did forty years ago.

W-S is where my stainless flatware came from in the 1990s. It's Italian (Calderone Bros.), and I've seen some French lines offered in the last several years. They don't give makers' or even the actual pattern names in the catalog or online, so it's hard to tell without going to a physical store whether there are an increasing number of Asian brands on offer. Hard to believe they can hold out forever.

IP: Logged

ellabee

Posts: 306
Registered: Dec 2007

iconnumber posted 06-08-2010 12:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ellabee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Posted above before seeing the thread about Cambridge "Silversmiths". I'm assuming that Cambridge makes virtually nothing and is primarily an importer/middleman, buying from produceers and selling to the retailers.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-08-2010 01:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cambridge does the design of their flatware. They also handle this for several other designers. The production is in China and Korea. They then package and distribute it. The advertising seems to be done by the retailer.

IP: Logged

chase33

Posts: 362
Registered: Feb 2008

iconnumber posted 06-08-2010 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chase33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't recall Wilton having outside designers for their products but I do know that Nambe was one of the first to collaborate with big name designers like Michael Aram, Karim Rasheed and one of my favorites Eva Zeisel.

Robert

IP: Logged

Marc

Posts: 414
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 06-14-2010 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi there Dale and Co.,

Yes, BB & B (Bed Bath & Begone) has some sterling silver flatware, but at a price point that makes me agree with Ulysses Dietz, that is, sterling, for gifts or for everyday use, is on its way out.

Part of the reason is the cost of raw silver, which has risen from $4./ozt. to over $18./ozt. A portion of the blame is labor costs. But the main reason is that tastes have changed and customers will buy an entire set of stainless for less than the price of one place setting of Fairfax.

Stainless... Throw it in the dishwasher and be done with it!

For those who really entertain, 4 sets of china and 4 of stainless. Easy and cheap.. and good looking.

I am able to see that as a dealer in second hand silver, I will be able to make a reasonable living for the next 20 years, by stocking more stainless steel sets, (Oh my back), fun, lightweight and inexpensive sterling servers, and providing repair services for those forks that go down the garbage disposal.

More later.

Marc

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-15-2010 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What strikes me as the central mystery here is how a group of companies that had dominated the flatware market for over a century were defeated by new upstart companies in under 20 years. Keeping in mind that the silver makers did enter the stainless market over 60 years ago, things get even more puzzling. What I can't grasp is why BBB, Crate and Barrel, Target, K-Mart and the others are buying from Oneida but none of the other traditional makers. Sears carried, under their own label Harmony House, Wallace produced flatware for generations.

Somehow this goes to the heart of how the industry got left behind. There probably are answers here that would illuminate our studies, but I don't know what they would be.

IP: Logged

Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-15-2010 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Marc brings up an interesting point. Anyone who wants to entertain can easily and inexpensively assemble an attractive table top for not a whole lot of money. So, the argument that the silver companies are suffering because people no longer entertain is simply not valid. The meals may be less formal than in the past, but why did the silver makers loose this whole market to upstart competitors? Gorham, Reed & Barton, Wallace, IS, Lunt, Kirk, Stieff were brand names with a long history of wide spread customer acceptance. Cambridge Silversmiths and Hampton Forge have come to dominate the market in less than 20 years.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 06-17-2010 12:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why haven't sterling manufacturers started using tarnish-resistant sterling alloys (such as Argentium)? The main reason, besides price, that people resist sterling in their homes is the idea that it requires lots of polishing and needs to be washed by hand instead of in a dishwasher.

I would think that tarnish-resistant alloys, if marketed well, could cut down on some of that resistance.

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 06-24-2010 05:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of days ago we were chatting to a silversmith and I asked why he didn't use a non-tarnish alloy. He said he had tried a sample from his bullion provider and found it was no good for hand wrought silver. If I understood him correctly and have remembered properly, one problem is that it doesn't change colour when heated so he couldn't judge by eye when the temperature was right. I think he ended up hammering when it was too brittle.

There was also an issue about firescale that I thought I had grasped at the time (sometimes he wanted it?) but am now uncertain of. I don't know whether any of this would apply to machine made pieces as well.

The only item we have in non-tarnish silver consists of small enamel flower heads on wire stems which I imagine used different techniques.

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 06-24-2010 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ooops! The non-tarnish silver item I referred to in the above post is indeed non-tarnish, but not silver. When I checked back on the receipt from a good few years back, I found it was described as niobium which I believe to be a separate metal in its own right.

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices