TRADE FAIR – INHORGENTA MUNICH: perfect for trend scouting

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Jewelers are the most important visitor group at INHORGENTA MUNICH, which will host the international watch, jewelry and gemstone industry in Munich from February 24 to 27.

How does the retail sector deal with present challenges? We asked Anja Heiden, CEO Jewellery Division and Member of the Board of Wempe in Hamburg/Germany, and Dominik Maegli, Owner of MAEGLI, in Solothurn/Switzerland.

In late February, INHORGENTA will provide valuable guidance in turbulent times. Despite all the challenges due to the pandemic and current economic developments: “We were rewarded with encouraging sales when customers returned to the stores—the run on products that hold their value was intensified by the crisis,” reports Anja Heiden, Member of the Board at Wempe Jewelers. Switzerland’s Dominik Maegli, owner of MAEGLI, is experiencing rapid changes especially in the watch industry, “more specifically in the distribution at retail level. The gap between small retailers and those expanding enormously is widening. Jewelers need to strike a balance between being independent and leveraging the appeal of big brands.”

 perfect for trend scouting

A must: a digital strategy

Both jewelers are very much concerned with the digital transformation. “Although we draw customers’ attention to ourselves online and also sell some products online, we definitely don’t want to be perceived as an online retailer,” Maegli says.

“After all, you can only truly experience the intricacies in our consulting services through personal contact.”

Wempe continuously invests in its IT infrastructure, “currently primarily in our CRM and checkout systems. That is the basis for steadily growing online sales, including cooperations such as with the Breuninger online marketplace. Omnichannel is the magic word,” says Heiden.

Especially young customers think about sustainability

Sustainability is particularly important to younger customers, “a fact we primarily observe in the wedding ring segment,” reports Heiden.

“Our partners sign a Code of Conduct on Corporate Social Responsibility before we include them in our portfolio. However, the overall demand for sustainability is marginal—simply because jewelry is not a disposable item.”

And yet, Maegli confirms that its relevance is on the rise: “We strive to provide as complete information as possible about how products were made and which manufacturers are involved and how—and act as sustainably as possible ourselves.”

Networking and finding inspiration at INHORGENTA

“INHORGENTA is very important for us, especially in the jewelry sector,” says Maegli, as this is where we can “fully focus on jewelry without it quickly being marginalized by watches, as at other trade fairs.”

For Heiden, INHORGENTA is above all “key for trend scouting, non-binding exchange and expanding my network”.