Lowered entry conditions aim to “embrace diversity of the trade”.
The Houlden Group has announced that it has revised its membership criteria in a bid to embrace the diversity of the jewellery trade, opening up its membership to enable smaller, quality, independent operators to join the group.
The previous standards set by the buying group included meeting particular turnover and buying commitments, but these have been lowered to enable other retailers and operators to join the group. However the Houlden Group says that it will remain focused “on accepting credible, quality operators [while] respecting the location of existing members”.
Houlden Group’s chief executive Stuart Laing, said: “There is a wealth of talent in our industry and turnover is not necessarily a criteria of quality alone. Many of our members started small and grew to be the major retailers that they are today, partly by virtue of the benefits they have gained from their Houlden membership.
“We believe that a greater diversity of retailers, with similar aspirations to grow their business, will bring something more to Houlden. In return, these retailers will be able to take advantage of being part of our network – with attractive buying terms, interesting and exclusive suppliers and tremendous support in training and marketing. Most importantly though, networking with like-minded independent jewellers is a most rewarding experience,” he added.
The new criteria outline that to join the Houlden Group, retailers must have an annual turnover of more than £300,000 per shop, with a desire and plan to reach £1m turnover. They must buy a minimum of £50,000 worth of jewellery per annum.