Houlden’s Laing advocates change in retail

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The CEO of the one of the UK’s largest buying groups has advised his members to embrace change or risk becoming irrelevant.

Stuart Laing, of the Houlden Group, addressed 100 of the UK and Ireland’s top luxury jewellers at the group’s February Member’s Day in London, saying: “‘You can’t just do what you’ve always done, because it’s not going to work anymore. Be open to new ways of doing business. There’s been more change in the jewellery industry in the last 3 years than in 30 years.”

The theme of the day, the best attended Member’s Day in the group’s history, was ‘To Change is to Grow’ and a line-up of speakers put forward challenges and highlighted opportunities for members of this premium consortium.

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The Houlden Group unveiled change of its own with a new look logo and branding package giving the 40-year-old group an “updated, contemporary and cool” new look.

The event also posed questions to members ranging from whether sufficient investment was being made in staff training to exploring if the ranges they stock were appropriate.

Members were also introduced to two cost saving initiatives available from the group. The One Click Marketing Solution allows members access to a range of customisable marketing literature. Together with Houlden’s bank of lifestyle images, members can create unique and high quality catalogues, posters and postcards and avoid high artwork costs.

Amanda Lindsay, of human resources consultancy 2bhr, also launched an HR Advisory Service giving members support in the field of HR with the goal of creating an optimal work environment and dealing with issues before having to resort to expensive legal involvement.

Houlden’s next event will take place in June.

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