Three major independent jewelry buying groups have teamed up and launched a new collaborative project, the Global Jewelers Network.
Nationwide Jewelers has entered into a new collaboration with The Company of Master Jewelers (CMJ), based in the UK and Ireland, and Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO), based in the US and Canada.
Representatives of the three organizations are due to meet for the first time in Antwerp, Belgium, in September. Nationwide has over 400 members in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and collectively the three groups represent over 1,500 independent jewelery stores in nine countries.
Nationwide chief executive Colin Pocklington said the project would present exciting new opportunities for Australian retailers.
“The groups will share information about new products and suppliers. Sharing successful marketing, training and education programs will benefit members of all three groups,” he said.
“In fact, IJO has just referred one of its new suppliers to us, which is achieving excellent growth among its members. We are working with this supplier in order to launch an interesting offer to members of the [Sydney] International Jewelery and Watchmaking Fair.
“For our members, being part of a global collaboration of the world’s leading jewelry groups, representing more than 1,500 stores, is a big plus. This will definitely give consumers even more confidence when they visit one of our members.
Nationwide Jewelers and IJO have been collaborating since the 1990s, exchanging advice and resources. Pocklington said the two groups first explored formalizing the partnership three years ago.
“We have been working with the IJO since 1999, which translates into benefits for both of our groups. In 2019 we decided it would be a good idea to contact The Company of Master Jewelers in the UK, to see if they would be interested in participating in a more structured three-way collaboration with Nationwide and IJO.
“Following our initial contact, Erin Keller, our Membership Manager, traveled to the CMJ headquarters in Rugby, England in early 2020 to meet with their management team.
“Following the meeting with the CMJ, we then set up a series of Zoom meetings from mid-2020 until now with Jeff Roberts (IJO) and Emmet Cummins (CMJ) and myself. The launch of the Global Jewelers Network has taken longer than we had hoped – with the COVID lockdowns and the need to focus on supporting members in each of our markets.
Independent Jewelers Organization President Jeff Roberts said his group is eager to share the knowledge gained from more than five decades of business.
“Over the past 50 years, IJO has helped create successful, profitable retail jewelry stores for thousands of IJO business owners, their employees, and their families by leveraging the combined buying power and intelligence of our group,” he said.
“Our collaboration with other jewelry groups representing more than 1,500 jewelry stores around the world will only reinforce this advantage.”
Company of Master Jewelers chief executive Emmet Cummins said his group would make the most of the opportunity to learn from two established industry forces.
“CMJ greatly admires what Nationwide Jewelers and the Independent Jewelers Organization have achieved in their respective markets,” he said.
“As a combined leadership group, we have agreed to regular zoom calls so that we can discuss specific topics and share lessons learned from initiatives so that we all assess their relevance to our members.
“There are a number of areas where both organizations are considerably more established and advanced, which is of great interest to CMJ.”
The International Watch and Jewelery Show is scheduled for August 27-29 in Sydney.
Nationwide’s annual conference begins in Brisbane on Friday 13 May. This year’s conference is called “Time Out – Time to Shine” and will take place over three days.
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