Buying group to create POS and catalogue imagery for retailer use.
The Houlden Group is set to launch a retailer-focused marketing service, just one of a number of new and improved services tailored to support of its members at retail level.
Houlden Group chief executive Stuart Laing spoke of the new services at the buying group’s annual summer meeting in Sussex last month. He discussed various new initiatives and developments being implemented by the Houlden Group including the Members Marketing Club which will provide accessible but luxurious campaign imagery and POS for Houlden members.
The Members Marketing Club will also be used as a platform for members to share ideas and marketing concepts with each other. Houlden says the type of marketing material it will produce for retailers will be tailored to support key gifting occasions such as graduations, Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
Laing told Professional Jeweller: “We have just announced the launch of our own Marketing Club providing marketing services to the group. This is something we used to do many years ago but it wasn’t looked after as well as it should have been so now we have revived it.”
The Members Marketing Club will commence with a model photography shoot that Houlden retail members can use for advertising, catalogues and store visuals, thus taking away the need to organise their own seasonal photo shoots.
Laing said the launch of the Marketing Club is in reaction to Houlden members asking the group to provide such a service. “We will create a wish list of what our members want us to do [in terms of marketing] and we’ll get on and do it,” stated Laing.
Houlden will be working with a marketing specialist on the project as well as jewellery consultant Judy Deuchar who will work with Houlden on both its the Marketing Club and developing the presence of the Houlden Group brand.
The buying group has also announced the creation of a new program, Management MasterClass, providing training courses for owners of retail stores and senior management. The classes will run over the course of a year with five meetings in total. The MasterClass will also offer advice to younger generations taking over family businesses, in particular those who want to carve their own path without too much influence from their parents or family members.
Laing recently returned from a trip to Luxury JCK in Las Vegas where he met with a number of American diamond and bridal jewellery brands. As part of his address at the Sussex meeting Laing reminded members that Houlden “takes every opportunity to cast its net wider in its desire to source new and attractive product ranges from the UK and abroad”. As a result of his trip to Las Vegas the Sussex event played host to a new US exhibitor and JSN jewellery sales and marketing director Steve Reale flew in from Canada to attend the summer meeting, representing the Houlden Group’s exclusive Canadian diamond brand Canada Star. He took part in the group’s Stadium Sell session where companies pitch new products to an audience of retailers, focusing on the products’ attributes and points of difference to pique interest.
The Houlden Group also held its AGM at the Sussex meeting. Laing outlined the group’s growth this past year, with turnover up 17% to 20% and overall group retail turnover in excess of £150 million.