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Australia's buying groups have recently held initiatives to assist retailers in the 'new normal' retail environment
Australia's buying groups have recently held initiatives to assist retailers in the 'new normal' retail environment

Buying groups address challenging jewellery landscape

Recent initiatives organised by Australian buying groups have provided a range of business solutions for jewellers wanting to address the ‘new normal’ retail environment.
Colin Pocklington, Nationwide Jewellers managing director
Colin Pocklington, Nationwide Jewellers managing director

The theme of this year’s Nationwide Jewellers conference was ‘How to Prosper in the New Normal’.

During the event, which was held in Fiji from 9 to 11 June and attended by 165 members, Nationwide managing director Colin Pocklington presented statistics showing how industry sales had stalled and explained the various local and international contributing factors.

Pocklington also identified the significant global and demographic trends that were expected to shape and influence retailers relying on discretionary spending in the future. 

Members were provided with information on five specific challenges and how they could address those in order to prosper in the ‘new normal’. Some of the areas covered were the in-store experience, enhanced training, custom design marketing, workshop profitability and industry best practice.

While Pocklington wouldn’t elaborate on these trends or challenges at the time of publication, he said a similar presentation would be conducted for the wider industry at the Sydney International Jewellery Fair in August.

As previously reported by Jeweller, Pocklington had researched retail developments over the past few months, noting retail had altered forever and that dramatic changes were still expected to take place.

Carson Webb, Showcase Jewellers general manager
Carson Webb, Showcase Jewellers general manager

“A number of retailers large and small, in all segments including jewellery, have closed their doors in the past six months. They have become victims of what they call the Retail Disrupters that are being driven by these megatrends,” he said at the time.

International lessons

Showcase Jewellers also organised a recent international trip with the aim of helping jewellers to improve their businesses, specifically diamond and jewellery sales. 

Between 28 May and 8 June, 18 Showcase members visited Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas in the US.

According to Showcase general manager Carson Webb, the purpose of the tour was for members to experience jewellery retail first-hand in an international environment and have the opportunity to meet ‘key’ diamond retailers for additional insight.

“We had meetings with them [diamond retailers] and store visits, which took us through the previous year’s history and also the current environment including what the future holds,” Webb explained.

When asked about the main takeaways from the tour, Webb stated it was important for retailers to understand that the most important ‘brand’ was their own.

Joshua Zarb, Leading Edge Group Jewellers general manager
Joshua Zarb, Leading Edge Group Jewellers general manager

“Customer engagement, knowledgeable and professional staff is paramount to a jeweller's own business success,” Webb said, adding, “The days of thinking people will come to you because you have a business are long gone; you have to work for that now harder than ever to stay relevant and in front, giving people a real want and desire to come to you.”

Planning ahead

Australia and New Zealand’s other buying group, Leading Edge Group Jewellers, held a training conference in Sydney from 3 to 5 July to assist members plan for the next financial year.

Leading Edge general manager Joshua Zarb said the event provided a chance to focus on the ‘real issues’ impacting businesses on a day-to-day basis.

Areas covered across the three days included: sales and product knowledge training with dedicated sessions on Millennial customers and diamond and gemstones; management training; and modern marketing training and techniques for how to achieve the best return on investment.

More reading
Jewellery conference confronts ‘challenging’ landscape
Christmas jewellery sales represent ‘new normal’
Nationwide Jewellers reveals more international plans
 




















Sunday, 17 December, 2017 05:35am
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