Retail Jewellers’ annual Inspiring Independents supplement and event is set to return for 2015, this time with The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) on board as headline partner for the first time.
Commenting on CMJ’s involvement this year, chief executive Willie Hamilton said: “”The independent retail jeweller is the lifeblood of jewellery retailing in the UK and the inspiration that they bring to the industry deserves to be recognised.
“The partnership of CMJ with Retail Jeweller to support Inspiring Independents reflects the core values of CMJ: we passionately believe that independent jewellers should be independent, but also have the support, strength, vision and camaraderie of a collective. We hope that the 2015 Inspiring Independents Awards will motivate others to adopt the same high standards of the award winners, ensuring that the independent retail jeweller continues to thrive on the high streets of the UK and Ireland.”
Ruth Faulkner editor of Retail Jeweller added: “Retail Jeweller is absolutely delighted to be working with CMJ to deliver this year’s Inspiring Independents supplement and event.
“As the UK’s largest collective of independent retail jewellers, comprising some of the country’s best jewellery businesses, they were a natural choice for us to support the initiative and we really appreciate all of their support in helping to make 2015 the biggest and best year yet for Inspiring Independents.”
Other sponsors of the event this year include Continental Jewellery, Lightworks and Pursuit.
The annual list of the UK’s most inspiring jewellery retailers has been growing in popularity ever since it was launched by Retail Jeweller back in 2011 so much so that last year, as well as publishing the annual supplement, there was also an Inspiring Independents event to honour and celebrate the achievements of all those retailers who made the list.
Additionally, this year, the list of jewellers, which in previous years has only profiled 50 retailers, will increase in size to profile 100 of the best independents across the UK and Ireland.
As in previous years, the list will not be something which the editorial team choose, although the voting process for 2015 will be slightly different.
In the first round of voting, which is open now, anyone from across the industry from manufactures through to brands, suppliers, trade associations and retailers, can vote for the three independents that they consider to be the most inspiring via an online voting form (click here to vote now).
Independents can be nominated and suggested as being inspiring for various reasons. Some have a fantastic eye for spotting and backing the best new brands, while others make their mark by offering phenomenal customer service or implementing innovative marketing strategies.
After the initial round of nominations, which closes on Wednesday August 5, the top 100 retailers with the most votes will be presented to a panel of experts comprising representatives from the industry’s leading suppliers.
This panel will review the list to check it is a fair and robust representation of businesses from across the industry that are all worthy of a place on the list. They will also be asked to cast their votes for their top three retailers to give an overall winner and two highly-commended spots. All of the other retailers on the list will then be ranked alphabetically and given a write up in the Inspiring Independents supplement.
The overall winner and highly commended retailers will be revealed at the event on Thursday October 22.
This peer voting system used in previous years has been removed from the process this year following feedback that it was difficult for some independents to peer vote for each other when they had limited knowledge of each other’s businesses.
Faulkner added: “CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton has been instrumental in helping to suggest and implement changes to the process this year so that we have in place a system which is as fair as possible when it comes to deciding which businesses should be honoured.
“I would like to thank CMJ and, in particular, Willie for all of their assistance with this.”
Last year in 2014, London jeweller EC One topped the list, having been recognised for its ability to support and nurture new design talent in the UK.
Inspiring Independents in association with the Company of Master Jewellers is set to take place on October 22 at The Hospital Club in London’s Covent Garden.
Please note that this is an invite-only event and will only be open to those retailers who make the list as well as sponsors and the event’s partners.
The supplement will then also be sent out with your November issue of Retail Jeweller, which is published on October 23.
Voting is open until August 5 – click here to cast your votes now.