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RJO Buying Show brings industry together

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Retail Jewelers Organization focuses on building relationships at this year’s event

(NEWTON, Iowa) – RJO jewelers and manufacturers from around the country attended the exclusive Fall 2010 Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) Buying Show in Kansas City, MO. 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.

“In planning for this year’s event we wanted to place a strong emphasis on building and maintaining healthy relationships between our manufacturers and our retailers,” said Mary Peterson, CEO of RJO. “We believe in supporting sound relationships between retailers and manufacturers by giving them the opportunity to create true partnerships. We believe this will not only build a stronger buying group, but a stronger industry as a whole.”

This year’s show, themed “Be Daring, Be Dazzled!” encouraged collaboration by providing a number of events where the membership could gather, share ideas and rejuvenate for the holiday season ahead. The RJO BBQ Round-Up, which proved to be a big hit, allowed both retailers and manufacturers the opportunity to mix and mingle while trying out a number of Country Western’s favorite pastimes.

 

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RJO member retailers visit the Abbott Jewelry Systems booth.

While enjoying a delicious menu straight from a backyard BBQ, members tested their bull-riding skills on a mechanical bull, joined line-dancing instructors in front of Kansas City’s premium country music band, got in costume to snap a few old-fashion photos, and put on their game face to try a few hands of Texas Hold ‘Em.

“You could feel the excitement of the event in the air,” stated Terry Dickens, RJO Board President and co-owner of Herteen & Stocker Jewelers, Iowa City, IA. “The exchange of friendly and helpful dialogue was visible all around the room, without the pressure to buy and/or sell.”

RJO CEO Mary Peterson states, “Providing a relaxed environment where our members were comfortable and able to unwind after a long business day was our goal.”

In continued support of relationship building, RJO also offered a joint retailer/manufacturer breakfast. The breakfast included a customer service keynote, presented by industry veteran Dave Richardson, and roundtable discussion sessions.

“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. We want all of our members to have the tools to be good business people in each of their communities,” said Peterson.

Along with the networking opportunities, the show provided members with seminars and continuing education 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.

The RJO team also brought in two trainers to help retail members build and maintain Facebook fan pages for their business. Many members took advantage of this complimentary service and were extremely excited to be able to leave the show with a Facebook page intact.

Christine Peterson, RJO trainer, stated, “To aid the retailers in building a page indicative of their business was extremely rewarding. I sensed a feeling of relief once the page was built and their store had joined the social networking scene.”

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, please contact the RJO Office at 800-247-1774 or www.rjomembers.com.

 
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