(NEWTON, Iowa) – RJO jewelers and manufacturers from around the country attended the exclusive Fall 2011 Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) Buying Show in Indianapolis, IN. The RJO Buying Show, held semi-annually, provides successful independent jewelers the opportunity to browse current fashions, network with other industry leaders and purchase jewelry at negotiated discounts from world-renowned vendors.
This year, RJO celebrated 45 years in the industry. “What a great way to celebrate our 45th anniversary,” says RJO CEO Mary Peterson. “The RJO family continues its strong support of the industry and on building and maintaining healthy relationships between our manufacturers and retailers.
“We reported a nearly 20 percent increase in net sales compared to last year,” added Peterson. “This shows our members are making sound decisions for their businesses, adapting to the new retail climate and making the most of their individual markets.” These figures, shared with the membership at the business meeting, provided an especially uplifting backdrop for buying floor sales.
This year’s show, themed “Adrenaline”, encouraged collaboration by providing a number of events where the membership could gather, share ideas and rejuvenate for the holiday season ahead. The Sunday Evening Anniversary Celebration proved to be a big hit, with dueling pianos ensuring a lively and entertaining evening.
RJO was also honored to recognize two lifetime achievement winners at the event. Bernice Becker, and the late Milt Becker, Becker’s Jewelers, Mt. Pleasant, IA, were the retail recipients of the RJO Lifetime Achievement Award. Audrey Robbins, Marathon Company, was the vendor recipient. Both have been members of the organization since its inception in 1966.
Terry Dickens, RJO Board President and co-owner of Herteen & Stocker Jewelers, Iowa City, IA stated: “Our award winners represent the cornerstone of our industry. They view their business not just as a business, but as a responsibility in all their interactions. The opportunity to treat people fairly, with generosity and with integrity has been a pillar these recipients encapsulate.”
In continued support of relationship building, RJO also offered a joint retailer/manufacturer breakfast. This breakfast included a communication keynote and roundtable discussions, presented and facilitated by Mary Peterson. “The RJO show isn’t just about the jewelry; we bring together the best vendors and jewelers in the industry allowing them to network and discuss best business practices,” said Peterson. “We want all of our members to have the tools to be good business people in each of their communities.”
Along with the networking opportunities, receptions, and generous buying floor specials, the show provided members with relevant seminars and educational opportunities on several topics including manager and sales associate training, marketing effectively and implementing and/or maintaining a presence on social networking sites in today’s retail environment, among others.
In 1966, RJO was founded by a small group of independent jewelers who joined together to command better vendor prices by buying collectively. Since that time, RJO has added hundreds of members, essential support programs and marketing services while remaining owned by its jeweler members.
For more information about the Retail Jewelers Organization and/or membership in the organization, please contact the RJO office at 800-247-1774 or browse on-line at www.rjomembers.com.