Stuart Laing dubs group recession-proof at summer buyers’ meeting.
The Houlden Group held it buyers’ meeting in Sussex last week, describing its members as “recession defying”, with its sales, new members and new supplier numbers up.
The buying group’s chief executive Stuart Laing opened the event. He said: “Despite the recession and economic downturn the Houlden Group has increased its sales by over £1 million in the last three months; membership continues to grow, we have a wider range of new suppliers and membership enquiries are at an all-time high.
“The industry is moving at a faster pace reflecting the continuing demand for fashion jewellery and watch brands and Houlden has placed itself in a strong position to offer its members more choice and flexibility.”
This year’s meeting was dubbed a “major transformation”, with around 90 suppliers exhibiting over two floors in better defined areas such as fine jewellery, gems and diamonds, designers, branded and fashion jewellery, gold jewellery, silver jewellery, pearls, watches, services and gift lines.
A new aspect was also launched called supplier “stadium” selling where invited suppliers were given the opportunity to pitch their product to members.
JSN Jewellery used the stadium selling to launch its Canada Star Diamonds of Excellence, a new diamond brand that will be supplied exclusively to Houlden members.
Other brands that took part in the process included Fossil, which showcased a portfolio of fashion watches, diamond engagement ring supplier Domino, watch brand Bulova and fine jewellery brand Tivon.
The meeting was tied up with an evening of Caribbean-inspired fun, including Houlden Group’s inaugural Roundy Rudell Golf Tournament, which was won by Charlie Pragnell of Pragnells.