HOT 100 2014: Willie Hamilton CMJ

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With around 150 retail members who between them run more than 220 stores in the UK, The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) knows more than most about what makes watch brands successful in the country today.
It comes as no surprise, then, that in a conversation about what is hot today, it is Rolex and Michael Kors that stand head and shoulders above all others in the fine and fashion watch markets.
The CMJ has evolved beyond recognition in the seven years Willie has been heading its executive office. A buying group of like-minded shop owners has developed into a tightly integrated collective of businesses where financial services, training and business mentoring, inventory management and many other business services provide far more value to members than the discounts they secure from brands because of their collective bargaining power. “The discounts are probably the least important reason why people join the CMJ these days, Willie says.
This enriching of member services also keeps CMJ relevant in a post-recession era where entrepreneurial business owners may be tempted to leave the sanctuary of the group. “Our members are always independent-minded, but they stick with us because we deliver genuine value to their companies,” Willie concludes.

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