BRAND TO WATCH: How a new sales director has raised the profile of UNOde50 in the UK market

Spanish jewellery brand UNOde50 has been going from strength to strength in the UK market, and now it’s looking to take business to the next level with the promotion of Emma-Louise Gregory to sales director.

Gregory joined the brand exactly two years ago (February 2017) as an account manager for South Wales, the South West, and the Midlands.

Now, in the newly-created role, she’s responsible for sales across the whole of the UK & Ireland.

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As the brand gets off to a successful start to the year, including the employment of two new account managers to help propel growth, Professional Jeweller chats with Gregory about where UNOde50 would like to see the business in the UK & Ireland this time next year and how she plans to open more doors.

How have you grown UNOde50 in the UK market since joining the brand as an account manager?
My main goal was to get UNOde50 into key jewellers within my territory. This strategy worked fantastically well and, as the saying goes, ‘success breeds success’ — the more retailers we work with, the more other retailers want to work with us.

UNOde50 seems to be breaking the mould and growing during a time where other brands are struggling, why do you think that is?
Simple because UNOde50 breaks the mould with convention. Our jewellery is so unique and every piece is handcrafted in Madrid meaning we have zero competition in the market. On top of this we have over 120 retail stores in over 45 countries around the world located in the best streets. This in turn drives footfall into stores.

What are stockists telling you about the brand?
Literally every retailer in every location is reporting that some consumers already know the brand because they have either bought a piece whilst on holiday or on the luxury cruise liners. Stores are also reporting that as soon as consumers try on a piece, they are hooked, which is why I always say during staff training that staff need to get a piece onto the consumer because they instantly fall in love.

Sales director for the UK is a new position, why was this created and what does the role entail?
We ended the year on a 198% increase vs 2017, this is a huge increase and shows how fast the brand is growing. We recognise the full potential in the UK and feel we are at the point where we need actual employed members of staff to drive business forward. Those that know me know that I live and breathe UNOde50 and with my passion and motivation my wholesale director David Azulay feels I am the right person for the job. Within my new role I will still maintain South Wales and the South West, as well as continue looking after key accounts. I will also lead a team of three reps in the UK and an agent in Ireland to ensure all sales targets are met and retailers are supported. I want my team to continually grow UNOde50 and support retailers to the best of their capabilities.

This statement necklace has become a bestseller in the UK

How do you plan to take the brand to the next level in the UK & Ireland?
My plan is to continue working with the best independents and grow within those stores in terms of presence and shop in shop furniture. I would also like to work with some key independents and ultimately keep UNOde50 as an exclusive jewellery brand. I do not want to saturate the market, I believe that 80% of success comes from 20% of retailers so it’s a matter of working with the right ones who are going to support and present UNOde50 in the best light possible.

What goals have you set for the UK market in 2019?
We currently work with over 100 independents within the UK and also Fenwick department stores. I would like to position the brand in the best retailers around the UK along with working with some key accounts. My main goal is to spread the brand story and give retailers a brand to be excited about. Obviously, we will have a complete UK team and a perfect strategic plan alongside some incredible eye-catching collections. This is the perfect combination to ensure success within retailers and the UK market.

How would you describe your approach to sales?
Within my career, I have always believed that your smile becomes your logo, your personality becomes your business card, and how you choose to leave people feeling after they spend time with you becomes your trademark. I make sure I am pleasant to everyone I meet, whether that be a retailer, another supplier or a customer. I believe people buy people first and product second which is why I always work in a very honest and open way. I am not a pushy sales person, I like to build strong business relationships and give my retailers the confidence to help them to maximise sales with UNOde50.

How do you support retailers?
I feel it is extremely important to help retailers in any way possible. UNOde50 actually encourages events within retailers and previous events have been a huge success. For example, I did an event with one of my retailers for the Women In Wales Luncheon, this was an incredible event with over 450 women from in and around Wales — the catwalk models wore UNOde50 and I was also photographed giving a piece of UNOde50 to BBC Wales Newsreader Sian Lloyd and ITV Newsreader Andrea Byrne. We also support retailers with beautiful marketing images and cooperative advertising. We also feel it is important to reward staff members, so we often put incredible staff incentives in place. It is extremely important to me that all my retailers feel loved and supported and most importantly confident with selling UNOde50.

UNOde50 supports retailers every step of the way.

What types of retailers make good partners for UNOde50?
Because UNOde50 is so unique, the brand can be positioned in numerous outlets, for example jewellery retailers, high-end department stores, galleries, and high-end clothing boutiques. We are even positioned in the 5* Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales. I genuinely will scope out a town and find the best fit for the brand.

What products have been particularly well received in the UK & Ireland?
By far the larger, chunkier silver pieces and the Swarovski stone set pieces. As a brand, bracelets represent 40% of our business and I am finding the same pattern within UK sell-through data. I feel it’s extremely important to monitor sell-through data with all of my stockists. I have been doing this since the day I started and I now have a clear indication of the best-selling pieces within the UK market, interestingly this also matches sell-through in other markets.

What’s the number one piece of advice you would give a jeweller?
Be open minded, be excited, be passionate and most importantly make sure you get consumers to try the product on, this makes a huge difference to a sale because the brand is so incredible on.

How confident are you feeling about this year?
Extremely! I have an amazing team starting who can’t wait to hit the ground running and I feel that retailers will receive great support from these women. On top of this, our new SS19 designs are incredible. I cannot wait to launch these lines into my retailers.

What do you think is the secret to the brand’s success in the UK?
As previously mentioned, we have zero competition in the market because UNOde50 cannot be compared to any other jewellery brand, this in turn creates lots of interest within stores, especially because we back this with eye catching displays and shop-in-shop furniture. On top of this the brand has over 120 stores in over 45 countries around the world, this number grows every year and due to the store locations, consumers recognise us within UK retailers.

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