Buying group smashes own records with 70% sales uplift.
The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) reported another record-breaking year of sales at its AGM and business conference which took place in London this week.
Sales through the buying group were up 70% on the previous year, rising from £45.27 million to £76.88 million.
The CMJ has experienced dramatic expansion over the past three years, with a growth of 161% since 2009, when sales were just more than £28 million.
Directors at the CMJ said that business has been buoyant for the majority of its retail members, across all business sizes, but that mid-size businesses have been experiencing real growth over the past year. CMJ finance director Dominic Wakefield said: “What is especially encouraging is that while our biggest members have enjoyed growth, it is the middle tier of our members that we have seen putting more sales through the group this year.”
CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton said that the impressive figures were proof that the CMJ has played an effective role in helping independent retailers to thrive in tough economic times. He added: “Our buying strategies give our members clear advantages not just in the discounts we secure but also in returning a substantial seven-figure retrospective rebate to our members at the end of the financial year.”
The CMJ has added a number of new retail members to its books this year, including TJ Davies of Aberystwyth and Fish Brothers, which operates in London and the Southeast. It has also signed up new supplier members including fashion watch brand Toywatch.
Hamilton claimed that the increasing membership levels of the CMJ, which is the biggest watch and jewellery buying group in the UK, is only one of the factors that has led to the dramatic rise in sales flowing through the group and that the rise has also been fuelled by support network that the CMJ provides that Hamilton says has led to increased sales for its retailer and supplier members. He said: “These strong results show that CMJ retailers are outperforming their competition: the benefits we bring to our members also includes training, networking and marketing support – this all helps to drive our individual retailers forward to achieve better sales results, which is clearly seen in our financial analysis.”
The CMJ AGM formed part of a two-day business conference held in London on June 12 and 13. Speakers at the event included retail guru Howard Saunders from Echochamber, diamontaire Jean Paul Tolkowsky, visual merchandising consultant Eve Reid from Metamorphosis, Adorn Insight trend expert Juliet Hutton-Squire, Gemma Cartwright from Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold and CMJ member Steff Suter from retailer Steffans in Northampton.