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Foreign Currency – A Hidden Gem For Your Jewellery Business

20 Mar 2015
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As an independent Jeweller, you’ll no doubt be on the lookout for new ways to grow your business and revenue without necessarily expanding the size of your store. The obvious and most common way of doing this is to diversify your product range.

If you’ve already been diversifying your range there are other, less obvious, services that jewellers can be offering. One of these is selling foreign currency. This may come as a surprise but No1 Currency offers a unique foreign currency model to third party businesses. No1 Currency provides companies – regardless of their size – with an excellent opportunity to develop a new stream of revenue, and bolster sales through cross-selling opportunities.

Over the last four years No1 Currency has established these partnerships with jewellers across the UK and the average income generated by selling currency is £17,000 per annum – hardly a negligible sum.

Ian Sumray, owner of Wot-a-Gem jewellers in Clacton-on-Sea, was No1 Currency’s first jewellery partner. Four years ago, Ian was comparing rates online for his own currency for a holiday to Norway.

He said: “I found that No1 Currency had the best rates for Norwegian currency and had several locations I could pick it up from as I didn’t really want to purchase online. I noticed whilst I was on the No1 Currency website that they offered a partnership programme and made further enquiries. From there it all began.”

Ian and his business partner have processed 25,000 foreign currency transactions in their store over the last four years

Wot-a-Gem has been in its current premises for 15 years and, although situated between Superdrug and Wilkos, people often looked past their independent shop. Raising the shop’s profile and getting more people through the doors was a major incentive and consideration for going forward with No1 Currency.

Ian said: “These things don’t happen overnight but I’ve now found myself with a lot of repeat customers, who regularly use Wot-a-Gem for their currency when going on holiday.”

In terms of marketing their new currency service, Ian has invested a small amount in advertising. Alongside this, No1 Currency has provided support with branding, supplying a rate board, an ‘A’ board for the outside the shop, and branded vinyl stickers to place around the front windows. As well as this, word of mouth recommendations spreading through the grapevine in this seaside town have also helped to drive sales.

He said: “Our rates remain the best in Clacton. We even have banks recommending us to their customers as the best place to go for their currency.”

Selling currency is not just a good way of generating additional revenue for your business, it can also support the sales of your core product. Offering an additional service gets people through the door, meaning it’s a boost to opportunist purchases. Ian says he’s certainly experienced this.

Ian explains: “Our store is very long and narrow, with the currency being sold right at the back of the shop. People who come in to get their currency end up walking past the jewellery and giftware counters, and have either ended up making purchases there and then, or have come back at a later date to peruse and buy, impressed by what they saw before.”

Selling currency has also helped drive sales owing to the type of clientele this has helped bring into Wot-a-Gem. Ian says: “Let’s not forget that people who are buying currency are likely going on holiday which means they have disposable income. Bringing these people into the shop is certainly no bad thing.”

All diamond dealers know about the four Cs, – colour, cut, clarity and carat weight – but perhaps now it’s time to add a fifth. Selling currency and jewellery might not be a well-known combination, but it can certainly add value to your business.

Since launching operations in the UK foreign currency market in 2012, No1 Currency has trebled its share of the UK market and expanded its retail distribution network to 240 outlets across the UK. New service innovations such as Click & Collect, where customers can order online and collect their travel money in stores, and Click & Sell, where customers can sell back unused currency, which launched last year, have been hugely successful and are driving footfall into high street stores.

For more information about becoming a foreign currency agency partner, and the support available to you, please call 0800 840 2886 or email

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