A statement from the Group explained that the criteria, including turnover and buying commitments, have been lowered in recognition of this, while retaining the organisation’s focus on accepting credible, quality operators and respecting the location of existing members.
“There is a wealth of talent in our industry and turnover is not necessarily a criteria of quality alone. Many of our members started small and grew to be the major retailers that they are today, partly by virtue of the benefits they have gained from their Houlden membership,” said Houlden Group’s chief executive Stuart Laing.
“We believe that a greater diversity of retailers, with similar aspirations to grow their business, will bring something more to Houlden. In return, these retailers will be able to take advantage of being part of our network – with attractive buying terms, interesting and exclusive suppliers and tremendous support in training and marketing. Most importantly though, networking with like-minded independent jewellers is a most rewarding experience.”