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Ritani Launches Groundbreaking ‘Virtual Shelf’ Technology

It is to give independent jewelers immediate digital access to over 250,000 diamonds and jewelry pieces.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK, NY — Ritani, the vertically-integrated, technology-minded jewelry company has announced the launch of Virtual Shelf, a groundbreaking, white-label application and sales vehicle for retailers that reimagines how jewelers sell and customers shop for engagement rings, diamonds, and jewelry. Virtual Shelf tackles some of the industry’s toughest challenges – such as limited physical inventory and the high costs of managing transactions and technological innovations – by providing a digital inventory of over 250,000 diamonds and jewelry items along with full-service sales processing.

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The new platform takes life in the form of a user-friendly, jeweler branded iPad app that is used over the counter during the sales consultation. Virtual Shelf is designed to complement each retailer’s existing inventory by making available a digital inventory of hundreds of thousands of diamonds and jewelry items available for immediate purchasing. Should the customer choose to purchase a diamond or jewelry item from the Virtual Shelf, the retailer sets their margin and Ritani handles the entire back-end transaction for the jeweler, including fulfillment, credit card processing, fraud risk, and returns. In turn, the retailer immediately sees the transaction on their books. The customer receives the item quickly and safely via insured shipping.

In addition to the incredible selection of diamonds and jewelry made available by Ritani with Virtual Shelf, the program can also be used as a platform for jewelers to list and sell their own inventory of certified diamonds and jewelry to other program partner retailers; diamond owners can set cost/list prices and margins to better manage their inventory flow.

“The development of Virtual Shelf builds on Ritani’s steadfast dedication to helping independent jewelers implement new technologies to accelerate business,” said Josh Marion, general manager of Virtual Shelf by Ritani. “This platform stems from years of working closely with independent retailers and seeking to solve for the critical issues affecting their businesses; we believe it will have a visible and transformative impact.”

“While the industry has often been slow to implement new technology, the introduction of Ritani’s Virtual Shelf platform is a game-changer for independent jewelers like Padis and for our customers.” said Alexis Padis, president of Padis Jewelry, one of five stores in North America currently testing the system in its stores. “This app dramatically improves the sales process for our team, removes the overhead and headaches of managing the transaction, and gives customers access to more diamonds and jewelry from a centralized, nationwide repository. Plus, we are empowered to better manage our owned inventory and offer it to other jewelers on the platform so we can collectively better serve shoppers around the country.”

Ritani research has found that nearly two-thirds of people who enter a jewelry store looking for a diamond leave without making a purchase, most often due to higher prices and a limited in-store selection. By providing these small businesses with turnkey, digital access to an immediate inventory of certified, conflict-free diamonds and jewelry, Virtual Shelf empowers trusted community jewelers to offer the vast selection, competitive pricing, and modern service that was previously only available through online companies. Further, the partnership reaffirms Ritani’s significant investment in helping community jewelers grow their business using highly-coveted technological and educational tools that are typically cost-prohibitive.

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Ritani will debut Virtual Shelf at the upcoming JCK Show in Las Vegas, interested retailers can learn more about the program and sign up for a one-on-one demonstration at www.virtualshelf.io.

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Bharat Diamond Bourse Welcomes Joint Diamond Trading Events

Each company that wins the right to display at the Bharat Diamond Week is entitled to one booth only.

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President of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) Lin Qiang will be the guest of honor at the 2019 Bharat Diamond Week.

(PRESS RELEASE) MUMBAI, INDIA – The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai has welcomed the announcement from the Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) that it will be holding a specially organized buyer-seller meeting at around the same time as the third edition of the Bharat Diamond Week (BDW) which takes place at the bourse from 14 to16 October.

The GJEPC will be holding its 3rd India Diamond Week Buyer-Seller Meet in Mumbai from October 15-17.

“I am delighted that the GJEPC event will be taking during the time of the Bharat Diamond Week,” said Bharat Diamond Bourse Vice-President Mehul Shah, who heads the BDW. “It is critical for the Indian diamond industry that we have these two special events taking place. The fact that they are taking place at more or less the same time creates a great deal of excitement and many business opportunities. We are delighted to welcome all visitors to the GJEPC event to take part in the Bharat Diamond Week where their entry will be smoothly organized.”

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BDB President Anoop Mehta is also upbeat about the two large events taking place in Mumbai. “The Bharat Diamond Bourse and the Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council are the two largest and most important organizations representing our trade in India and promoting it abroad. I am very happy that these two events will be taking place during the same week as it helps us create a critical mass of attendees. We welcome all visitors and buyers to the Bharat Diamond Bourse.”

Registration for the BDW opened at the end of last month, with scores of companies from India and across the world already registered. The 2019 BDW follows the first two such diamond fairs held last year, and will host delegations of buyers from China, Australia, and various Asian countries, which will greatly increase the number of visitors and buyers taking part, the organizers said.

The second edition of the Bharat Diamond Week last October hosted more than 1,000 visitors from India and across the world who did business with 150 Indian exhibitors of polished goods.

Mr Shah said: “We will be hosting delegations of foreign buyers as well as buyers from Israel, Dubai, some European countries and India. Our guest of honor will be the president of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) Lin Qiang who is also the vice president of WFDB. He will be leading a delegation of members from the SDE, and he will open the fair. I believe this is another step in broadening our links with the Shanghai Diamond Exchange which is an important part of the global diamond family.”

He added that, as with the two previous shows, the Bharat Diamond Bourse will provide selected buyers with complimentary hotel accommodation. “The Bharat Diamond Week provides members of the BDB with the opportunity to show the world the very large range of diamonds it can supply. We want to connect buyers and suppliers in a comfortable and relaxed environment in order to save them time and money. We will be allocating around 150 complementary hotel rooms for foreign buyers, so I would suggest that members of the diamond industry in India and worldwide register straight away. Priority will be given to visitors who are members of bourses affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), but all members of the diamond trade across the world are welcome to participate.”

Each Indian company that wins the right to display at the Bharat Diamond Week is entitled to one booth only. Trading of synthetic or lab-grown diamonds is banned in the BDB, so there will not be any such diamonds traded at the BDW.

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Press Releases

U.S. Buyers Increasingly Turn to Handcrafted Gem-Set Thai Jewelry, Showcased at JCK Las Vegas 2019

Handcrafted silver and custom cut gem-set jewelry were highlighted in the show.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LAS VEGAS — Thailand’s showcase at JCK Las Vegas highlighted handcrafted silver and custom cut gem-set jewelry that is becoming increasingly sought-after in the U.S. market.

Thailand, with the support of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), presented a pavilion at JCK Las Vegas, from May 31 to June 3, showing off the best of handcrafted Thai jewelry, notably custom cut gemstones.

Many of Thailand’s leading jewelry suppliers will exhibit at the 64th edition of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, which will take place from September 10-14, 2019, celebrating the theme “Thailand’s Magic Hands: The Spirit of Jewelry Making”.

Kwanapa Phivnil, executive director of Thai Trade Center, Los Angeles reveals that US market looks for jewelry that is outstanding both in quality and uniqueness and jewelry from Thailand can meet this expectation. “As we can see from the Thailand Pavilion at JCK Las Vegas this year, we have received high attention from the buyers, especially in the part of silver jewelry created by Thai craftsmen as well colored gemstone jewelry.”

“In addition, smart jewelry or jewelry that has technology combined are more interesting in US market. Thai craftsmen are already renowned for their sophistication and outstanding production skills. If they are able to combine beauty design with functionality into unique jewelry, it would make Thai jewelry brands more interesting and they could meet more needs of modern consumers,” she adds.

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Extreme Craftsmanship

The manufacturers exhibiting in the Thailand showcase at JCK Las Vegas all had their own handcrafted specialities.

“We cut mother-of-pearl piece by piece and we do intricate mosaic and inlay work,” said Katapon Lervisit, a director of Nida Factory, a Bangkok-based manufacturer of silver and pearl jewelry at JCK Las Vegas.

“For us craftsmanship is the most important thing: we do everything by hand. Our U.S. buyers look for great value and exceptional quality. Many types of buyers come to us, from department stores, shops and TV shopping channels.”

Silver jewelry from Thailand is a major U.S. import, accounting for $553 million by value in 2018, up 9.3 percent from the previous year.

Another Thai exhibitor at JCK Las Vegas was Formica (Th) Co, which supplies silver jewelry and a wide variety of synthetic stones.

“Because of Thailand’s reputation for craftsmanship, a lot of stones come to Thailand,” said Alexander Lee, Formica sales executive. We get a lot of interest from buyers who are jewelry manufacturers located across the Americas wishing to produce color variety.”

Bangkok-based Bella Jewelry Factory produces custom cut gemstones, crafted by around 15 artisans, set in gold and silver jewelry that is greatly in demand by U.S. jewelry designers.

“We work closely and very well with designers. We adapt to their requirements. Some 60 percent of Bella’s production is sold to the United States,” said Director Chaiyanan Suwanamas.

Key Gems, another JCK exhibitor, which prides itself on cutting gemstones by hand, is seeing buoyant U.S. demand for its 18-carat gold jewelry set with rubies and sapphires, said sales executive Sally Choksoontornlert.

Thailand is the number 1 source of polished rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other gemstones to the U.S. market, accounting for $303 million by value in 2018, up 24.57 percent from the previous year.

Vatana has consistently sold its contemporary fine custom cut gem-set jewelry to the U.S. market, having exhibited at JCK every year for the past two decades, said company owner Theeravat Kanokkul.

He said he can supply gold jewelry, depending on a customer’s requirements, in 18-, 14-, or 10-carat.

Plan your business and leisure time when you visit Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair during September 10-14, 2019 at bkkgems.com.

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Press Releases

Edge Retail Academy Announces First Winner of William (Wag) Wagner Award

Roman jewelers are honored for business excellence.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The Edge Retail Academy (ERA), the leading retail jewelry business advising company, announced that Sophie Shor and Lucy Zimmerman of Roman Jewelers have been awarded the first annual William (Wag) Wagner Business Excellence Award.

Roman Jewelers of Bridgewater Township, New Jersey is a family-owned retailer of more than 30 years with a passion for designing custom jewelry across 4 generations.

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Sherry Smith, ERA director of business development and business advisor, has worked with Roman Jewelers for 2 years. Sherry commented “Sophie and Lucy were very open-minded to implement industry best practices. They focused extensively on improving the margins of their sales team through a new compensation plan.”

Roman Jewelers found gross profit increased 16% in one year with the new plan.

Sophie Shor was excited to learn about winning the award. “My daughter Lucy and I never would have believed we were capable of accomplishing our margin goals without the guidance of Sherry and the Edge Retail Academy. They have made a measurable impact to our business.”

This is the first year that Edge Retail Academy has presented the William (Wag) Wagner Business Excellence Award. The award will be presented annually.

“The Award has two goals: (1) to acknowledge business excellence from independent retailers and (2) to honor the memory of long serving ERA Advisor William (Wag) Wagner whose service, loyalty and advice went well beyond the expectations of our clients, his work colleagues and our company,” said David Brown, President of ERA. “We honor Wag’s enormous integrity, sense of fair play and friendship.”

Wag passed away in September, 2018.

Edge Retail Academy presented Sophie and Lucy with the award and a check for $1000.

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