The Houlden Group, one of the UK’s leading buying groups, held it buyers’ meeting in Sussex last week, describing its members as “recession defying”, with its sales, new members and new supplier numbers up.
The group’s chief executive Stuart Laing opened the event. He said: “Despite the recession and economic downturn the Houlden Group has increased its sales by over £1 million in the last three months; membership continues to grow, we have a wider range of new suppliers and membership enquiries are at an all-time high.
“The industry is moving at a faster pace reflecting the continuing demand for fashion jewellery and watch brands and Houlden has placed itself in a strong position to offer its members more choice and flexibility.”
Houlden Group works to partner retail members with supplier members. It’s watch suppliers, who were at the show exhibiting their wares, included Bering, Bulova, Fossil with its licensed fashion watches, Argento Fine Products with Frederique Constant, ICG with Roamer and Tendence, Ice-Watch and Corum.
This year’s meeting was dubbed a “major transformation”, with around 90 suppliers exhibiting over two floors.
A new aspect was also launched called supplier “stadium” selling where invited suppliers were given the opportunity to pitch their product to members.
Watch brands that took part in the stadium selling sessions included Fossil, which showcased a portfolio of fashion watches and American brand Bulova, which is building strength in the UK market.