| ||The Company of Master Jewellers' Chief Executive Willie Hamilton, at the CMJ Spring Buying Meeting, March 2011 |
BIRMINGHAM, England, March 16, 2011 – The UK’s biggest buying group, The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), a cooperative grouping more than 130 independent retailers, anticipates welcoming overseas retail members in the next few years, Chief Executive Willie Hamilton said.
“I would say it would be in a five-year plan, and it won’t be this year,” Hamilton told Jewellery Outlook in an interview, speaking on the sidelines of the CMJ’s March 13-14 Spring Buying Meeting at the Hilton Metropole at the Birmingham NEC in central England.
“If a German retailer decided he wanted to join the group (CMJ), he would have access to UK brands and suppliers that had been proven to work in the UK. We could also start swapping UK suppliers into a (foreign) market where they don’t have anything (exposure).”
The cooperative remains focused on building up its retail membership within the UK.
“We’re feeding an industry that’s hungry,” Hamilton said.
Members benefit from discounts from suppliers negotiated by the CMJ, as well as networking opportunities.
“We are determined to support the independent industry, because if it doesn’t get the support it needs it will die away like so many other independent industries up and down the High Street.”
The CMJ will set up a new subsidiary media business soon to help its members and suppliers to promote themselves.
The Spring Buying Meeting achieved a strong flow of orders and some suppliers such as Daisy, Greenspark, MasterCut and Clogau, achieved outstanding results, Hamilton said.
“It (Buying Meeting) went exceptionally well and way beyond expectations,” he said.
He said suppliers and buyers had welcomed a shift to shell-scheme stands from a previous market stall style, reflecting the increasing importance of branding within the industry.
Some suppliers had brought their own furniture, and others had presented tailor-made stands.
“Our members are loving it,” Hamilton said.