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Advertising Report













Australian Buying Group 2016: Leading Edge Group Jewellers

LEADING EDGE GROUP JEWELLERS: JOSHUA ZARB Q&A

What are the prerequisites for joining?
Initially new members will need to comply with our application process, which consists of standard trade checks and proof of assets. We look to partner with proactive retailers focusing on fine jewellery that are eager to share in the knowledge held within the group. Honesty and ethical trading are fundamental requirements.

What are the benefits of joining?
We are part of Australia’s largest buying group, supporting more than 1,100 independent retailers worldwide across 14 industries, offering specialist-retailing resources. Membership benefits include:

  • Australia’s most cost effective buying group
  • Extensive shared resources, more value, more support for less cost
  • We supply what we believe are the best prices in the industry
  • Completely flexible with our user-pays marketing program, and access to a market leading digital marketing platform
  • The most comprehensive range of additional member rewards, designed to reduce business expenses.

What unique benefits are offered?
Members can join Leading Edge Group and retain their existing business name, model and brand. We are unique in the marketplace in that members may also choose to utilise the Leading Edge Jewellers brand to enhance their business by gaining access to our robust business model that provides a comprehensive marketing platform and access to a specialist stock mix.

In addition, we offer retail assistance at the store level and our entire management team has personally managed multi-million dollar jewellery retail businesses. Because of our strength in numbers across multiple business units, we offer the most extensive range of additional member benefits in the industry.

What have been Leading Edge’s major achievements in the past two years?
We have been very fortunate to have had two record years of growth in both new members and sales. We have used this growth to better refine and add resources to assist members and supply partners. We have invested heavily in digital marketing and are proud to offer members what we believe is the most comprehensive traditional and digital marketing support package in the industry.

Has your traditional marketing changed in the past two years?
Traditional marketing services have not changed at all – in the sense that we still offer catalogues, TV, radio, print and local advertising support. What has changed is the amount of flexibility now offered.

For example, we provide several catalogue options to cater for the numerous brands in our marketplace. We also offer fully customised front and back pages on catalogues to allow stores to promote their web, database/loyalty and e-commerce offerings as they see fit.

How have you improved your B2C online and social media marketing strategy?
We were the first group to offer a complete B2C e-commerce solution for all members, and have now refined this based on member feedback and requirements. Considerable time has been spent ensuring that members can access all of our supply partners’ stock feeds and yet remain independent by selling directly from their own stores without a head office intervention. We have also developed a sales app that is store-specific and used to complement our B2C e-commerce offering.

What B2B and internal digital technology have you recently implemented?
We have refined our B2B solution for members – which essentially provides a one-stop shop between our supply partners and members. We are unique in that our B2B solution seamlessly integrates with our B2C offering and store-specific sales app. We have also improved the B2B platform to better cater for multiple store vs single store solutions. Most pleasingly, B2B sales orders have exceeded our initial forecasting by 200 per cent.

What other kind of promotional support do you offer members?
Numerous store-specific promotions are offered, including sales campaigns, interest-free payment campaigns, remake/remodeling campaigns, diamond marketing and an array of direct marketing offers that support the target demographic of member stores.

How do you support local designers/manufacturers?
We focus on being “hands on” with supply partners by tailoring offers specific to members. We use our conferences to work with industry professionals and share new opportunities. Examples include hosting Q&A sessions with designers and manufacturers to share advances in traditional design and CAD. We also sponsor many industry awards and events.

What is the cost of membership?
There are no joining fees, exit fees or any lock-in contracts. We have a $50 per month membership fee (first six months are free).

How have you improved your training and education in the past two years?
The prime focus of our buying group model is to provide hands-on training to members from our head office management team. In the past two years we have formalised our store management-training package and have continued to build on our exhaustive member benefits tool kit. In addition, we have partnered with The Friedman Group to provide a permanent staff sales and management training package that is available online 24/7 free of charge.

 

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