Nationwide Jewellers, Australasia’s largest jewellery buying group, has announced its Pre-Christmas Expo virtual event will return for a second year to assist retailers in stocking up ahead of the holiday season.
The decision to once again hold the Expo followed the cancellation of this year’s International Jewellery & Watch Fair (IJWF), which fell victim to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney.
Colin Pocklington, managing director, Nationwide, praised the Expo format, saying, “Our 2020 Expo was a huge success with our participating suppliers achieving substantial orders. In fact, the total orders exceeded the amount that members would normally place at the IJWF.
“There was also great participation from members in the webinar program that we ran over the two-week Expo period,” he added.
This year’s Expo will take place from Monday 25 October to Friday 5 November, with more than 70 of Nationwide’s preferred suppliers taking part and offering special deals to members.
Nationwide’s virtual Expo platform features three supplier ‘pavilions’ – Australia, New Zealand and International – and each supplier ‘stand’ comprises a video message, Expo special offer, and list of best-selling products.
Members will be able to order from the supplier ‘stand’ or by contacting the supplier directly.
Notably, each Nationwide member will be allocated up to $60,000 in ‘Expo Dollars’ – depending on their Member Reward Scheme level – to buy from participating suppliers and pay over six months, interest-free.
In a statement, the buying group confirmed $14.7 million Expo Dollars would be available.
“With the uncertainty about re-opening in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in particular, we have made our Expo Dollars available over an extended period from early October to mid November,” Pocklington explained.
“We felt that this flexibility is essential, as members not affected by lockdowns are ready to place orders soon, while other members will need to wait until after they can resume trading,” he added.
In addition to special offers from suppliers, the Expo will also include a keynote address from Pocklington “discussing the current economic environment and its impact on jewellery retailing, as well as the essential strategies required for business recovery in the lead up to Christmas”.
Similar to last year’s Expo, daily online workshops focused on business management and training will be held, and members can once again submit questions to be answered by the Nationwide team and specialist advisors during a live panel.
Plus, the buying group will also hold a number of socialising events to allow members the chance to catch up.
Erin Keller, membership manager at Nationwide, said, “We know our members relish the opportunity the IJWF usually provides for them to catch up and network with each other, so it’s important for us to host these more casual virtual sessions as part of the program.”
These events include a special Melbourne Cup-themed virtual session on Tuesday 2 November and a concluding Happy Hour on Friday 5 November, where Nationwide’s 2021 Apprentice of the Year and 2021 Members and Suppliers of the Year for Australia and New Zealand will be announced.