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Leading Edge Jewellers restructures

Leading Edge Group Jewellers (LEGJ) has announced the resignation of its general manager Joshua Zarb as one of the many changes in its corporate restructure.

After 12 years at the helm, Zarb told Jeweller he would leave the company on 21 December “with nothing but love for the group, the members, our many preferred supply partners and the industry as a whole”.

“I feel as though I have grown up in the jewellery industry, and I have made many friendships over the past 19 years that will last a lifetime.  I will always think fondly of my time at Leading Edge as it allowed me the freedom to help build the group to where it sits today,” he said.

Upon reflection, Zarb said he had witnessed the industry “reinvent itself at least three times” during his management and added the company’s new operating model would hold LEGJ in good stead for further change within the sector.

“The new operating model at Leading Edge marks an exciting time for the group and will provide our members the support they need in such a changed retail industry,” Zarb said.

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

“As we enter 2019, we are seeing a genuine shift back to what independents [retailers] are good at, custom made and designed jewellery, in order to regain some differentiation and margin back into the retail stores.”

Company CEO Struan Abernethy revealed plans for the company that were actioned in response to its vendor feedback survey.

“LEGJ, part of the Leading Edge Group, has undergone an extensive, 18-month review of its current operating model and whether it provides the greatest value and support to its portfolio of independent retailers and publishing partners,” Abernethy stated.

“The review has found that whilst they have proven results in effectively delivering a traditional buying group function, the needs of the industry are requiring a wider range of support.”

Abernethy announced the establishment of category and customer relations teams headed by Hannes Coetsee and Anita Gounder respectively.

According to Abernethy, the category team will be responsible for “getting the right products at the right price for our customers. The buying group function that we currently provide today will now have the dedicated focus of the category team, without distraction.”

Coetsee will be joined by Lee Scott, acting head of category, while Gounder will work alongside Kate Levy in customer relations in what will be LEGJ’s primary point of contact for consumers. The team is also currently taking applications for regional state managers.

A retail services team will cover marketing, retail operations and human resources, however no appointment has been officially announced.

In parting, Zarb said LEGJ’s members and retailers must be prepared to adapt to further change in the industry.

“Moving forward, we are going to see a shift into those retailers that embrace modern retail best practice and those that won’t change or do know how to,” he said.

“I think for those independents that focus on their own brand identity, offer exceptional service and find ways to embrace digital are well positioned to succeed.”

 

More reading
Leading Edge considers change to 2019 schedule
Australian Buying Group 2018: Leading Edge Group Jewellers
Buying groups address challenging jewellery landscape
 
















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Friday, 19 October, 2018 02:40am
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