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The conference included educational seminars such as the keynote sessions from social media specialist Crystal Vilkaitis
The conference included educational seminars such as the keynote sessions from social media specialist Crystal Vilkaitis

Nationwide Jewellers preps for 25th anniversary

Celebrations for Nationwide Jewellers’ 25th anniversary kicked off during the buying group’s annual conference held at the Gold Coast over the weekend. 

While the event focused on providing retailers with presentations and workshops to help improve business, as well as a traditional buying day, it was also the group’s first official engagement to mark its 25 years of operation.

There were 103 members – some of whom had been with Nationwide since its launch in 1991 – in attendance at the conference. Collectively, these members represented about 135 stores located across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

The buying day held in conjunction with the conference is typically well supported, having reported record sales over the past few years, and the most recent event didn’t appear to be different.

Nationwide Jewellers managing director Colin Pocklington told Jeweller it was too early to provide details on 2016 trading performance but noted that overall feedback from exhibiting suppliers indicated they had been particularly happy with their results.

“The buying room was busy all day, right up to the closing time at 5pm,” he commented.

In total, there were 45 exhibitors.

Increasing market share

During the conference, Pocklington provided members with a summary of the major industry trends that had occurred over the past 15 years. He said overall consumer spending on jewellery had not decreased so the challenge for jewellers was learning how to increase market share through strategies like the group’s Antwerp diamond marketing initiative. 

In addition, retailers attended several educational seminars and workshops, including keynote sessions by US-based social media specialist Crystal Vilkaitis.

Vilkaitis, who presented at the 2015 Nationwide conference held in Auckland, New Zealand, explained how jewellers could maximise Facebook marketing and also introduced the ‘social media library’ tool she had developed in association with the buying group.

The resource comprised more than 50 social media post ideas and design templates that could be accessed by members.

Other sessions included a two-part presentation by marketing specialist Dr Greg Chapman, who discussed how to turn a jewellery business into a ‘profit machine’, and a practical photography workshop conducted by industry photographer Valerie Martin.

The group announced that special celebrations for its 25-year anniversary were planned for the upcoming Sydney International Jewellery Fair in August.

The Nationwide conference was held at the Gold Coast QT hotel from Thursday 18 March to Monday 21 March.

 

2016 Nationwide Conference

More than 100 members attended the event
More than 100 members attended the event

Marketing specialist Dr Greg Chapman was among the presenters
Marketing specialist Dr Greg Chapman was among the presenters

Nationwide members at the
Nationwide members at the 'tropical' themed conference dinner

The buying day showcased product from 45 suppliers
The buying day showcased product from 45 suppliers

More reading
Nationwide Jewellers smashes previous sales record
Record-breaking jewellery sales at conference




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