The Melbourne Jewellery Expo (MJE) begins at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre tomorrow (4 February) and concludes on Monday and will run alongside the Gift & Lifestyle Melbourne event.
Australia’s youngest buying group – the Independent Jewellers Collective (IJC) – will use the MJE to launch a new buying group servicing the gift and homewares category.
According to Josh Zarb, CEO Gift and Homeware Collective (GHC), the retail category has more than 25,000 stores and yet there are no buying groups supporting the industry in a similar way to the jewellery industry.
“As you know at IJC we want to keep a tight group of ‘true jewellery retailers’ that wish to share resources and be part of a family that all help each other to become stronger as a group,” Zarb said.
“Our goal is to continue to only partner with proactive jewellers that suit our culture of sharing and inclusion. We are continually approached by stores that would fit our new buying group and using our existing infrastructure we can now extend into a second buying group offer.”
The gift category has had a long “relationship” with jewellery because most jewellery stores once stocked giftware items, and in many cases, rural and regional stores still offer a small range of non-jewellery products such as crystal and silver-plated homewares.
Likewise, many gift stores stock fashion jewellery ranges, usually at lower price points.
Zarb said that following the launch, GHC plans to increase resources within the marketing and operations team, negotiate greater benefits and offers to reduce costs for our retail and supply partners and provide access to new supply partners for promotional items and marketing initiatives.
“If the group is supported by retailers and supply partners as we think it will, we will employ a dedicated group manager and support team members for the Gift and Homeware Collective, to run the day-to-day,” he added.
“I will continue to support our jewellers as I love our industry.”
Since launching in January of 2020, the IJC has gained 78 stores and 72 supply partners. GHC is currently accepting expressions of interest from gift and homewares retailers and suppliers.
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