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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (263 Articles), BUYING GROUPS (88 Articles)

A few of the many jewellery pieces available in the inventory of images in 'Virtual Vault'
A few of the many jewellery pieces available in the inventory of images in 'Virtual Vault'

Nationwide goes high-tech with iPad for jewellers

At its 20th anniversary conference in Fiji, Nationwide Jewellers announced that it is leading its members into the digital age with the introduction of iPad technology for jewellery retailers.

Nationwide Jewellers announced the launch of its ‘Virtual Vault’ initiative which proved to be a resounding success after 65 stores signed up for the service within hours of the announcement. Nationwide collaborated with Raeleen Kaesehagen from jewellery software company Octahedron to come up with the initiative.

‘Virtual Vault’ is an initiative that will provide members the opportunity to present to their customers an inventory of jewellery worth millions of dollars. It uses iPad technology to incorporate high-quality images, a product search engine and automated emails for ordering and handling customers’ requests.

Nationwide managing director Colin Pocklington said, “Members have to pay $49 a month, which includes an iPad 2, cover, license fees for the Virtual Vault and a data plan. It covers all types of jewellery, including loose diamonds.”

The iPads will be delivered fully configured and ready to use towards the end of June and will be delivered pre-loaded with a supplier/product search option to assist members find any of Nationwide’s preferred suppliers.

Nationwide members who were not able to attend the conference can sign up for the initiative now or will have an opportunity to do so at the upcoming JAA International Jewellery Fair in Sydney at the end of August.

“We will take orders between now and the fair but we expect a lot more to sign up at the fair once they see for themselves how it works. We will provide a support desk at the fair where there will be a hands-on training workshop to help retailers get the maximum benefit from their iPads,” Pocklington added.

Nationwide Jewellers’ members hailed its recent annual conference in Fiji as the “best ever” after the buying group organised a conference in an offshore venue for only the second time in its history.

Pocklington said, “It was special because it is our 20th anniversary this year, we had record attendance and many members said that our speakers and social events were the best ever.”

A total of 320 people – representing 105 retail stores and 30 suppliers – attended the conference held at the Sheraton Denarau Island Resort in Fiji. The four-day event was free to all Nationwide members and was part of the group’s member reward scheme.

Former psychologist Dr Ian Brooks delivered an opening speech entitled “How to compete on value, not price” while other noteworthy attendee James Maxwell from Tolkowsky’s London office secured four additional stockists for Tolkowsky Diamonds at the conference.

This year’s annual Nationwide members’ dinner – to be held in late August, to coincide with the Sydney Trade Fair – will be a special gala evening to celebrate the group’s 20th anniversary.

More reading:
Nationwide to tour HRD Antwerp lab
Dora to launch app in Brisbane
Custom design system launched for retailers

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