A new Employee Reward Scheme was announced at the Houlden Autumn meeting as part of the Houlden Advantage – the scheme designed to provide members with connections, knowledge, training, and support – along with the return of face-to-face training in Antwerp.

Taking place on 8-9 September 2022, a record number of members and suppliers were in attendance at the Autumn meeting, Houlden reports.

Business conducted over the course of the two-day Houlden Autumn meeting surpassed both the 2022 Spring meeting in March and the Autumn meeting in September 2021, exceeding all expectations and targets laid out by the consortium.

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Keynote speaker, chief economist of Macronomics Consulting, Graeme Leach, gave an introductory overview of the present and future economy, and its impact on the luxury goods and jewellery sectors.

This was followed by the announcement of Houlden’s new Employee Reward Scheme. A resource offering employees financial benefits to help counteract the rising cost of living. The scheme offers discounts with numerous well-known providers of groceries, homeware, fuel, welfare and health, and the management of finances.

Another initiative launched as part of the Jewellers of Excellence Training Academy, in addition to the ongoing virtual training programme, was the return of face-to-face training – which will resume this Autumn.

Houlden also revealed that a more detailed two-part Salary Survey was being finalised, together with the launch of a Taking Greater Responsibility project – part of which will be reviewing Houlden’s Supply Chain with a focus on both sustainability, and corporate and social governance.

The Suppliers Exhibition, including 55 premium brands, also returned to offer an exclusive buying opportunity for attendees over the course of the two days.

Shaun Leane, Clark Diamonds, Matt Aminoff, Bremont Watches and Diamond by Appointment featured alongside newcomers, including L J West Diamonds, Garmin, Marshall Packaging and Annamaria Cammilli.

Discussing the benefits of showcasing collections at Houlden events, UK brand manager for Hans Krieger, David Fell, said: “The Houlden group is undoubtedly the pre-eminent jewellers in the country and to have them all in the one location is fantastic for a Supplier because we have the pinnacle of British jewellery here, and Houlden brings it all together.

“We are here, they are here…it is a perfect match.”

Summarising the success of the meeting, Houlden CEO, Helen Haddow, said: “We have received excellent positive feedback from everyone who attended the event, and it is very encouraging that the meeting also provided the catalyst for achieving record breaking business.

“And to be together with colleagues and friends when the news of the death of the Queen was announced, helped provide solace for us all to reflect and share our thoughts and memories.

“The Houlden Advantage has come into its own during all the recent challenges of the pandemic and now the economy and rising cost of living.

“Its value I believe will grow in the coming months, providing vital connectivity and the sharing of insights, with the ability to tap individually and collectively into the inherent unrivalled experience of our Members – thirty of the leading jewellers in the UK and Ireland, including our newest member, Dipples.”

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