'Buyers came to do business!'
(Press Release) NORWALK, CT –– JCK, the jewelry industry’s largest North American trade event, wrapped its annual Las Vegas event in June bringing together over 30,500 of the world’s most influential industry professionals for business, inspiration, education and networking. This year’s weeklong event was shifted from its traditional day pattern to accommodate several hundred of JCK’s exhibitors who observed the Jewish Shavuot Holiday.
Buyers seeking the latest trends experienced JCK’s all-encompassing collections of jewelry, timepieces, services and gems from AGTA GemFair in addition to a few new neighborhoods on the show floor. The “Security Neighborhood,” in partnership with the Jewelers Security Alliance, featured a range of protection-based vendors such as anti-fraud software and the most-up-to-date camera technologies, while the new “Retail Experience” neighborhood featured companies like YELP to provide a complete business experience. LUXURY, JCK’s high-end event that opened by invitation only three days beforehand, also featured a design component, with its new “Design @ LUXURY” section.
All in all, LUXURY boasted 248 exhibiting brands and an increase in retailer attendance with 2,600 retailers attending its invitation days. JCK was home to over 2,178 exhibiting vendors and welcomed 19,200 retailers. Although attendance was slightly down over the previous year, initial research shows transactions were well ahead of the previous year.
“Buyers came to do business! We have seen and heard positive remarks on the increase in the amount of transactions that took place this year compared to previous. The first day of JCK was just as strong as previous opening days, matching the same attendance figures we are used to seeing. In a world where we are seeing retail stores closing at an alarming rate it is also refreshing to see over 1200 new stores attend JCK for the first time,” said Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president of JCK.
Amid the sea of impressive jewelry offerings the jewelry community had ample opportunities for networking and education. Rooms were filled for an impressive lineup of sessions at “JCK Talks,” which included Retailer Roundtables featuring peer to peer sharing of real life experiences, practical solutions and informal discussions about the current and future business of retail.
Celebratory networking events were plentiful and included the following highlights from the week:
The Design Center Editor’s Choice Awards honored designers who break the boundaries of innovation and originality, while combining new trends and classic ideas. The panel of judges included Paula Lee, accessories editor at Oprah Magazine; Catherine Davis, senior jewelry market editor at Hearst Design Group; Grace Fuller, jewelry editor for W Magazine; Sam Brokema, accessories director at Instyle; Rachel Garrahan, jewelry writer for The Jewellery Editor, Financial Times and International New York Times. Winners Included: Lillian Ismail (Kickstarter), Spencer Fine Jewelry (Rising Star), and Tresor (Resident). A full list of nominees can be found at: lasvegas.jckonline.com/DCAwards.
The Design Center Top 50 Retailer Awards honored retailers who exceed the standards of excellence in their promotion, merchandising and sales of designer jewelry. Top 10 honorees included (in order): Jewels That Dance, Asheville, NC; Greenwich Jewelers, New York, NY; ZFolio Gallery, Solvang, CA; Aaron Faber, New York, NY; Alara Jewelry, Bozeman, MT; Squash Blossom, Vail, CO; Higashi Pearls and Fine Jewelry, Lemoyne, PA; The Wooden Jewel, Sunriver, OR; Dandelion Jewelry, Philadelphia, PA and The Polished Edge, Kansas City, MO. The full list of Top 50 winners are available at: lasvegas.jckonline.com/DCAwards.
JCK Think Tank featured technology vendors who pitched their innovative product to an audience who voted live to determine the winner. This year’s finalist included: 3SI Security Systems, B9Creations, GemFind, White Pine Trading LLC and this year’s winner Joseph Asher Jewelry.
JCK Rocks the Bowl culminated a successful week in Las Vegas. The event, which replaced JCK Rocks the Beach as the industry’s Jewelry Week send-off party, took place Wednesday evening at new super-venue, Brooklyn Bowl. JCKers brought down the multi-level, multi-media space—bowling at the 30+ lanes, enjoying upscale comfort food by Blue Ribbon NYC, the JCK Sweet Shop, and grooving the night away to spins from DJ Cory and acclaimed cover band Grooveline.
Other industry events throughout the week included: Diamonds Do Good Awards Gala supporting the Diamond Empowerment Fund, Indian Diamond & Colorstone Association Gala & Awards Dinner, Plumb Club Gala, the JCK and Plumb Club Breakfast where the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) announced plans to promote diamonds with a $50M budget and featured an inspirational keynote by NY Times Bestselling Author, Charles Duhigg, Rapaport’s State of the Diamond Industry Breakfast, LeVian’s Red Carpet Revue, Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope Dinner and many more.
JCK will return to its previous day pattern in 2018, taking place Friday, June 1 through Monday, June 4, 2018, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. AGTA GemFair will be open from Thursday, May 31 through Monday, June 4, 2018. As previously announced, JCK will join forces in 2018 with the Palm Beach Show Group to debut the Las Vegas Estate Jewelry & Watch pavilion located on the JCK Las Vegas show floor. The Pavilion will present the finest jewelry and watch dealers from around the world, showcasing their one-of-a-kind pieces and offering a momentous shopping experience to the trade. For more information on the Las Vegas Estate Jewelry & Watch pavilion, view our recent announcement at: lasvegas.jckonline.com/Estate.