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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (259 Articles)

The Melbourne Jewellery Fair commences this Sunday March 4
The Melbourne Jewellery Fair commences this Sunday March 4


Positive signs for Melbourne Jewellery Fair

This weekend’s Melbourne fair is set to be larger than last year showcasing a wide range of new products as well as innovative selling tools.
The Melbourne Jewellery Fair, the first event for 2012, kicks off for its second year this weekend with many exhibitors predicting a successful fair and a positive start to the year.

Not only will the number of exhibitors exceed last year’s fair, all three buying groups will in attendance and feature ‘on the floor’.

“While Nationwide, Showcase and Leading Edge have all been on the floor at Sydney for many years,” Fair organiser Gary Fitz-Roy said, “this year will be the first time that all three groups will attend Melbourne and Brisbane.”

Nationwide has scheduled a cocktail party on Sunday evening after the conclusion of the fair’s first day. Located in its member pavilion, the buying group’s managing director, Colin Pocklington said the company had more members attending this year’s Melbourne fair compared to last year and said the cocktail function provided an ideal way for members and suppliers to network and forge strong business relationships.

“The fact we’ve got more members registered this year really took us by surprise,” Pocklington said. “It’s a pleasant surprise however, with more members this year, it can only help the fair grow in its early stages.”

According to Leading Edge general manager, Josh Zarb, the group’s March conference will be the largest ever, with 93 stores in attendance.

“In previous years our March conference has been on the Gold Coast, before the Brisbane fair, but this year we’ve scheduled it to coincide with the Melbourne fair because the dates are better suited for restocking.”

Zarb said that Leading Edge will also be unveiling to members the second phase of the group’s digital strategy at the conference and fair.

New ranges and new technology

Most exhibitors have timed the launch of new ranges to coincide with the Melbourne and Brisbane fairs while others are using the events to expand into the Australian market.

Lisa Anthony, business manager for Austrian jewellery brand, Crystalp Jewellery, said this year the company was making a serious “thrust” into the Australian market with a heavy emphasis on Victoria and New South Wales.

“We figured if we’re going to attack, the time was right now and we plan to start with the Melbourne fair,” Anthony told Jeweller. “We’ve hired representatives in both Melbourne and Sydney both experienced in fashion jewellery and marketing.”

Anthony said the company’s new back-end online system via iPad technology was proving to be a major success and will be advertised heavily at this weekend’s fair. The system, implemented in February, reduces the need for sales agents to carry large amounts of sample stock, allowing them to showcase the range on an iPad.

Retailers also have access to the back-end of this system allowing them to place orders at their own convenience. “This has been great for everyone involved,” Anthony said. “Stockists can access the system, choose what they want and it negates the need for us to find more sales reps.”

Royal Exhibition Centre in Melbourne's Carlton Gardens
Royal Exhibition Centre in Melbourne's Carlton Gardens

Anthony said the company would be “pushing it hard” at the fair because she believes this system creates increased organisation and convenience for both supplier and retailer.

“Not only does it bring convenience to us and our reps on the road, but the back-end ensures we can keep track of stockists’ payments, schedules and increase our organisation when managing stockists accounts,” Anthony said. “It makes retailers and sales agents lives easier and I am able to go to one place and track all the dealings.”

Strategy shift

Meanwhile, sales and marketing director for Integral Design, Tony Bone, said the company has a promising new range of products available to retailers. Bone said this year’s designs are significantly different to previous years, with a new emphasis on silver.

“For the first time ever we will be releasing 9ct sterling silver pieces,” Bone told Jeweller. “We’re starting to look at affordable alternatives for our stockists with the changing climate.”

Bone said the company’s new Art Deco and Decadence ranges would be Integral’s main attraction at the fair and with the positive feedback from stockists, Bone expects they’ll be well received.

The new ranges will be released in four different collections throughout the year and Bone believes this ‘scheduled releasing’ will reduce the chance of retailers having excess stock.  

“Our ranges have been popular thus far and we want to set a new trend for 2012 by releasing new products more often,” Bone said. “But in addition to that we’re implementing price incentives for new stockists and applying a guaranteed sales method creating minimal outlay so retailers don’t have to worry about pieces that don’t sell.”

Important event

Paul Hicks, director of Ellani Collections, said last year’s Melbourne fair was a great success for him and he stressed the importance of a third event in addition to Brisbane and Sydney. 

“Australia and New Zealand is so spread out that it’s almost impossible to see everyone so the Melbourne and Brisbane fairs are great for everyone to come together,” Hicks added. “Retailing can be a tough gig at the moment so for them to see the wholesalers and form a view of where their business should head is beneficial.”  

This Melbourne Jewellery Fair at the Royal Exhibition Building Carlton Gardens, commences 10am, this Sunday March 4 and concludes 4pm Monday.

More reading:

Win a new car at Melbourne fair

Jewellers optimistic as 2012 fairs approach

Jesse-Leigh Elford Photography

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