Retail Jeweller has re-launched its annual Inspiring Independents event. This year, it will also include valuable content sessions aimed at independent retailers. Here is everything you need to know.
Since it was launched as an event in 2014, Retail Jeweller’s Inspiring Independents has grown to become an important fixture in the industry’s calendar, not least because of its sole focus on the independent retail sector, which remains such an integral part of the UK jewellery trade.
However, it is no secret that UK high streets have suffered in recent years. Competition from online as well as economic uncertainty have dampened footfall and now, more than ever, it is vital that retailers innovate in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Independents have a competitive edge. Their independence means they can be more agile and respond to change more quickly than their multiple counterparts. But in today’s ever-evolving market, it can be difficult to know which areas to focus on in order to deliver the best results.
By introducing content to its Inspiring Independents event this year, Retail Jeweller hopes to equip independent retailers with practical examples and advice to help them combat today’s business challenges.
In 2019, Retail Jeweller’s Inspiring Independents offers a unique platform for the industry to not only recognise and celebrate its achievements, but to also reflect on and address today’s challenges and examine the opportunities that will take their individual businesses forward into the future.
Crucially, and unlike many other conference and content programmes delivered by the jewellery trade, the Inspiring Independents programme will focus on tried-and-tested best practice from independent retailers in other sectors that can be easily transferred to jewellery and watch retailers.
Drawing on the contacts of Retail Jeweller’s sister publication, Drapers, the sessions will highlight examples from leading fashion independents as well as featuring a morning of thought-provoking keynotes, case studies and panel discussions exploring changing consumer behaviour, experiential retail and how to create new business opportunities in a challenging retail economy.
Full details of the morning programme will be announced shortly, but the morning will kick off at 9am, with content sessions set to run until 12.30pm. After this there will be networking opportunities followed by a lunchtime awards, which will honour the achievements of the top independent retailers in the jewellery and watch sector.
Retail Jeweller has not only secured a new venue for this year’s event, but has also made changes to the way in which independent businesses can be considered for an accolade.
The voting for the Top 100 Inspiring Independents works the same way as in previous years. Anyone working in the jewellery or watch trade, including brands, manufacturers, suppliers, trade associations, retailers and PR companies, can cast their votes for their top five most inspiring independent jewellery and watch retailers in the UK and Ireland.
Votes can be cast online in a matter of minutes via the Inspiring Independents website at independents.retail-jeweller.com/nominate-2019.
The 100 retailers with the most votes will make up the final list. As part of this Top 100, the independents with the most votes will be identified in each of the following regions:
- Scotland and Ireland
- The North
- The Midlands
- The South
- The Southwest and Wales
Over and above the list of the Top 100 and associated regional winners, there are five enterable categories now available for this year’s awards, four of which are aimed at independent jewellery and watch retailers, with the fifth aimed at suppliers.
In a similar way to the entry process for the UK Jewellery Awards, businesses can put themselves forward for these five awards via an entry form at independents.retail-jeweller.com/enter.
The enterable categories for the Inspiring Independents awards are as follows:
- Best customer experience
- Best new independent retailer
- Best use of visual merchandising and store design
- Independent retailer marketing campaign of the year
- Supplier of the year to the independent jewellery/watch sector
The entry form is straightforward and requires most information to be answered in bullet points. Entries for the awards categories and nominations for the Top 100 are both open until Friday, August 9, 2019, with the shortlist announced on August 21.
Those who are shortlisted in the enterable categories will be judged by a select panel of industry experts before the end of August. The winners will be unveiled alongside the Top 100 at the event, which this year is being held on Thursday, October 17, 2019.
It is hoped that by allowing independent retailers to enter specific categories this year, it will open up Retail Jeweller’s Inspiring Independents to a wider pool of independent retail businesses, all of which deserve recognition for their particular areas of expertise and achievements.
The lunchtime awards and networking event will follow the morning of business-boosting content, meaning that attendees at this year’s Inspiring Independents will have the opportunity to learn and gain valuable business advice as well as networking with each other and celebrating all as part of the same one-day event.
The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) has already been announced as the headline partner for the awards part of the day, but there are plenty of other opportunities for companies wanting to align themselves with independent jewellery and watch retailers to get involved in either the awards, the conference or indeed both.
Commenting on the significant changes to this year’s Inspiring Independents event, Retail Jeweller editor Ruth Faulkner explains: “We see this event as totally unique in our sector, celebrating and recognising everything that is great about independent retail, while at the same time assisting independents by providing them with crucial business-boosting content, which should inspire and encourage them in today’s tough retail market.
“We are really excited to bring this event to life, as we believe it will genuinely benefit independents and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the event in October.”
Inspiring Independents: What You Need To Know
Date: October 17, 2019
Venue: Park Plaza London Riverbank, SE1
Closing date: Friday August 9
Cost to attend: £99 retailer rate (includes all day access, conference, lunch and awards)/£299 non-retailer rate (Limited number of tickets available)
For entry enquiries: Farah Sattaur 020 3953 2051
For sponsorship opportunities: David Palmer 020 3953 2761