Winter – January 25-27, Houston, TX
Summer – July 18-20, St. Louis, MO
The Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) holds two buying shows every year, each strategically timed for members to get a sneak peek at new merchandise and to build inventory for their busiest seasons.
Though RJO calls them buying shows, their approach to the shows is much more comprehensive than offering members the latest merchandise. Camaraderie is at the core of RJO, so each show falls somewhere between a reunion, a vacation and a business trip. This comes as no surprise, since RJO was founded back in 1966 by a handful of noncompetitive central Iowa jewelers who were looking for a more economical way to buy merchandise. Now, a half century later, RJO has grown into a national jeweler support organization that serves more than 1,000 members while staying true to their original values of friendship and support.
In addition to pre-negotiated discounts, each show offers members many opportunities to learn and grow their businesses. One of the most popular offerings is each show’s line-up of free seminars conducted by industry leaders and field experts, covering a broad range of practical topics. A short list of recent presentations includes: “Transitioning Your Store to the Next Generation,” “Lab Grown Diamonds: Products, Perceptions and Reality,” “Effective Interview Strategies,” “Events and Promotions that Work,” and “How to Make More Money with Your Top 100 Customers”. Each seminar delves into important topics specifically tailored to the independent retail jeweler.
Buying shows also feature several meetings and receptions, including jewelry system updates, PR opportunities, nationally-known keynote speakers, and how to leverage RJO-sponsored foreign buying expeditions. There also are moderated sessions provided via the RJO Brain Gain Breakouts and Buzz Sessions, allowing members to share challenges and learnings with their peers, leading to new ways of thinking and important takeaways to implement at members’ stores.
All the products and services at each show are reviewed and approved by RJO’s member-run Merchandise Review Committee, and the prices are pre-negotiated to eliminate haggling and potential animosity between jewelers and vendors.
RJO’s vendors are among the most trusted manufacturers and suppliers in the jewelry industry, including internationally-known brands. The vendors carry merchandise in all styles, metals, stones and price ranges for every type of customer. The buying floor also has a diverse range of support service companies, including financial services, operational systems, web services, marketing services, insurance and assorted supplies from boxes to tools. RJO works to cover all retail jeweler needs through its vendors, thereby offering members opportunities to maximize their annual dividends.
Dividends? Yes, dividends. Unlike other jewelry retailer groups, RJO is a co-operative, with each member being an owner and shareholder. The board is selected among its membership by its membership. As a co-operative, members/owners receive annual dividends based on the amount of merchandise purchased throughout the year from RJO’s roster of vendors.
Members can use purchase vouchers at each show to reduce prices up to an additional 2.5 percent, based on their previous year’s vendor purchase total. Each show also offers contests and opportunities to win cash prizes. As an additional membership benefit, qualified members receive travel discounts to the shows and complimentary hotel nights during the event.
Ask about attending the exclusive, member-only RJO buying shows or apply for membership with full privileges by submitting the form found at RJOmembers.com or by calling the RJO corporate office at 800-247-1774.