Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2022

Industry news Find out about all the latest from the fashion accessories industry in our regular news roundup BIRA LAUNCHES NEW TRADING PLATFORM NEARTOO TO HELP INDEPENDENTS RECOVER FROM PANDEMIC The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is calling on independent retailers to sign up to its new online trading site to help them recover from the pandemic. The website, launched in February 2022, provides independent retailers with a new, cost-effective way to sell online, helping them build their presence both locally and nationally. The UK-wide platform, called Neartoo, is open to all types of retail and will be owned by independents, exclusively for independents, operating at significantly lower sales commission than its competitors. Developed in the wake of the pandemic, which resulted in at least one in five independents closing for good, the nationally-advertised platform will be offering indies the chance to rebuild and grow their business on an easy to use platform designed for them. The platform will complement the physical store and help indies move to a ‘hybrid’ model of retailing. Neartoo also maximizes consumers’ growing thirst to shop locally and independently, guaranteeing that money spent within a community remains there. Every retailer will be sharing individual profiles, enabling the consumer to know who they are buying from. This will retain that personal relationship independents retailers and consumers value. Bira members can use the platform for free for 12 months, while non-Bira members can sign up and get five months free. Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “The pandemic has accelerated shopping behaviors, with more use of the internet and people also shopping more locally. “This platform, owned by independents, addresses both of those societal changes, and will allow these retailers to open up new ways of selling to customers, and more profitably. “This is a really exciting opportunity for indi’s throughout the UK to be able to start selling online or increase their own visibility. It will get their products out to a wider audience and the fact so many of our members have already signed up and have seen the potential, is fantastic. “Bira wants to help independent retailers achieve their ambitions. If there is another lockdown it will mean that stores can still sell through click and collect and not lose business to other multinational online trading stores such as Amazon. There is such a huge gap between indi’s not having an online presence and we believe they have been left behind for far too long with big tech companies taking over. This is the answer for thousands of indi stores across the UK to still maintain a bricks and mortar presence on the high street, while also allowing them to sell online but at a lower cost.” GEORG JENSEN BECOMES A CERTIFIED MEMBER OF THE RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY COUNCIL Georg Jensen becomes a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council. The achievement represents a significant milestone in the brand’s dedication to sustainable jewellery design. Danish design house Georg Jensen is proud to announce it is now a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, upholding its position as a leading jewellery brand with strong commitments in respecting the environment, its workforce and society. The accreditation by the RJC came after Georg Jensen’s business practices were subject to a series of external audits in accordance with the standards of the RJC Code of Practices. Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of RJC says: “I would like to congratulate Georg Jensen on their certification. We work in an industry of beauty and emotions - connecting hearts and minds. Consumers always expect trust when they buy a piece of jewellery to celebrate a significant moment in their lives. In this era of trust and resilience, now more than ever there is a need for more companies to take action and commit towards a journey of purpose, and continuous improvement. RJC supports its members in an integrated approach of best management practices to sustainability. We welcome their leadership and commitment towards responsible business practices.” Mehul Tank, CEO of Georg Jensen, says, “This is a significant milestone, and we are incredibly proud of this achievement. Celebrating over 100 years of creating stunning designs that are crafted to last a lifetime, the certification from the RJC is an awareness that our business practices are respectful towards the environment, our employees and the communities in which we operate. Additionally, it gives us the confidence to set even higher standards in the coming years.” To read more about Georg Jensen’s work in upholding and improving its business practices within both jewellery, homeware and silverware visit INDUSTRY NEWS 97