Having not long returned from Hong Kong and what has now firmly cemented itself as Retail Jeweller’s annual trade mission to the country’s International Jewellery Show and Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, run in conjunction with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), I am reminded of what exactly it is that makes this industry, and indeed my own role in it, quite so unique.
Following a successful inaugural mission in 2016, this year the HKTDC permitted us to extend the invitation on the trip beyond retail buyers to also include suppliers. So, on February 27, 22 of us, including retailers from both CMJ and Houlden, as well as those not in buying groups, together with representatives from brands and suppliers, made the 11-hour journey to Hong Kong for the shows.
Full coverage will follow in next month’s issue, but what this trip demonstrated in abundance, is how much better things work when we all collaborate. Here you had a group of people representing all types and scales of businesses, from retailers with multiple doors to one-store independents, fine jewellery manufacturers to fashion jewellery brands. The youngest person on the trip was in their mid-20s and the oldest in his 80s. Some knew each other well, while others had never met before. However, by the end of the first day, all of these differences were basically irrelevant. Instead, what you had was a group of like-minded individuals, all in Hong Kong with the aim of not only finding new and interesting product but also improving their businesses. No one acted like they were competitors; everyone worked in collaboration, helping each other out with the names of suppliers they had found at the show or sharing business tips and best practice.
At the end of the day, everyone’s aim is the same and that is to produce or sell jewellery that will be bought and enjoyed by the end consumer. It is our job here at Retail Jeweller to help facilitate that in whatever way we can. We are immensely proud that this year’s Hong Kong trip was such a success and look forward to aiding with more collaboration for the good of the UK trade in future. Click here for details of a similar trip we are running to JCK in Vegas this June.
Ruth Faulkner, editor