Web-based project will allow jewellers to show they are retail ready.
The British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) is due to launch a new service called Designer Showcase, allowing BJA members to host their own webpage targeted at jewellery buyers.
The initiative will be hosted via the BJA website and has been trialled in recent months with a handful of BJA members. The association’s chief executive Simon Rainer says there is already a waiting list of 30 members wishing to sign up to the Designer Showcase service, which will offically launch in the coming months.
Rainer told Professional Jeweller: “We are currently working on a number of exciting and extremely relevant projects, including credit reporting, a jewellery industry database and a new major project called the Designer Showcase, which will allow members to show their work to a wide B2B audience in addition to giving retailers access to new and exciting BJA designers.”
The initiative requires members to pay a one-off annual fee of about £120 to be part of the Designer Showcase webpage and in return they will be allocated their own page on which they can showcase their work, provide contact details and wholesale prices. The Designer Showcase has been launched as a one-stop-shop for retailers seeking new jewellery brands to sell in store. The site is currently in its final test phrase.
Rainer added: “Of importance is that the members also demonstrate that they understand the needs of the retailer and in this respect the product has to be supported with branding, packaging, point of sale, clear pricing and possible staff training to aid sell through. If I achieve 40 [members] in year I will be extremely satisfied.”
The BJA also plans to increase its work on responsible sourcing, hopes to launch membership applications and payments online and has a mobile version of its website in the pipeline.
The association also reported 20% growth in its membership since 2010, with more than 20 applications received in July this year. The BJA said the growth has been led by retailers signing up for full membership, a trend that continues in this latest increase in applications.
According to Rainer the BJA’s recent membership applications outline access to business services, networking and industry links as primary reasons for companies wishing to join the association, as well as membership “adding gravitas” to their businesses.
Last month the BJA hosted both a networking lunch in London and its first Growing Your Business seminar day at its offices on Vyse Street in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, a day that attracted positive feedback from attendees.
The BJA has spent the past 12 months focused on the development of its structured membership, and Rainer says that the feedback received from members has provided greater insight into how companies wish to develop their businesses in the future. The BJA says it has reacted by implementing discounted services and support programs such as access to free Mintel market reports and free business development training.
This report was taken from the August issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the magazine in depth online, click here.