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Retailers urged to embrace change at Houlden Group meeting

Stuart Laing urged members to embrace change at the Houlden Group Member’s Day, yesterday.

CEO of the Buying Group, Laing, welcomed members to the Houlden Group meeting, which took place yesterday at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London during the Management & Buying Event, which runs from February 13 to 15, 2012. Laing described significant changes seen during 2011 and said: “It’s a very changing trade”. Among the developments, Laing referred to the August 2011 changes to the criteria for joining Houlden Group. To join the Houlden Group, retailers now have to have an annual turnover of above £300,000 per shop, with a desire and plan to reach £1m turnover, and buy a minimum of £50,000 worth of jewellery per annum. Laing said that the reduced membership threshold had encouraged new businesses to join the Group and brought in an injection of new suppliers.

Laing said that the Houlden Group now has 80 shops in the UK and Ireland and continues to build on its effectiveness for its members. “I want you to feel proud and priviledged to be a member of such a prolific and powerful community,” said Laing. “The tools of the Houlden Group are available to you and should be used.”

Laing said that while the Houlden Group is changing, so too must retailers. He said: “Those family businesses that are not surviving are not changing and adapting.”

Laing highlighted plans to get more big fashion brands on board with the Group and initiatives to help refresh the retailers’ businesses.

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