Three major independent jewellery buying groups have joined forces and launched a new collaborative project, the Global Jewellers Network.
Nationwide Jewellers has entered a new collaboration with The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), based in the UK and Ireland, and Independent Jewellers Organisation (IJO), based in the USA and Canada.
Representatives from the three organisations are expected to meet face-to-face for the first time in Antwerp, Belgium in September. Nationwide has more than 400 members in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and, collectively, the three groups represent more than 1,500 independent jewellery stores across nine countries.
Nationwide’s managing director Colin Pocklington said the project would present exciting new opportunities for Australian retailers.
“The groups will share information on new products and suppliers. Sharing successful marketing, training and education programmes will benefit members from all three groups,” he said.
“In fact, IJO has just referred to us one of their new suppliers who is achieving excellent growth amongst their members. We are working with this supplier with the aim of launching an exciting offer to members at the [Sydney] International Jewellery and Watch Fair.
“For our members, being part of a global collaboration of the leading jewellery groups in the world, representing over 1,500 stores, is a big plus. It will certainly give even more confidence to consumers when visiting one of our members.”
Nationwide Jewellers and IJO have been collaborating since the 1990s, exchanging guidance and resources. Pocklington said the two groups first explored formalising the partnership three years ago.
“We have been collaborating with IJO since 1999, resulting in benefits for both of our groups. In 2019 we decided that it would be a good idea to contact The Company of Master Jewellers 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, visited the CMJ headquarters in Rugby, England in early 2020 to meet with their executive team.
“Following the meeting with the CMJ, we then set up a series of Zoom meetings from mid-2020 to now with Jeff Roberts (IJO) and Emmet Cummins (CMJ) and myself. The launch of the Global Jewellers Network took longer than we had hoped – with COVID lockdowns, and the need to focus on supporting members in each of our markets.”
Independent Jewellers Organisation president Jeff Roberts said his group was eager to share the knowledge they’ve acquired over more than five decades of operation.
“For the past 50 years IJO has helped build successful, profitable retail jewellery stores for literally thousands of IJO business owners, their employees and their families by leveraging the combined buying power and brainpower of our group,” he said.
“Our collaboration with other jewellery groups representing over 1,500 jewellery stores around the world will only strengthen that advantage.”
The Company of Master Jewellers managing director Emmet Cummins said his group would be making the most of the opportunity to learn from two established industry forces.
“The CMJ hugely admires what Nationwide Jewellers and the Independent Jewelers Organisation 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 the learnings from initiatives so that we all evaluate their suitability for our members.
“There are a number of areas where both organisations are considerably more established and advanced and this is of great interest to the CMJ.”
The International Watch and Jewellery Fair is scheduled for 27-29 August in Sydney.
Nationwide’s annual conference begins in Brisbane on Friday (13 May). This year’s conference is titled ‘Time Out – Time to Shine’ and will run across three days.