By Ann Arnold


So I just got back from 8 days in sin city, and WOW!  Like most everyone else that attended, my feet are sore, my back hurts and I am exhausted. But with all that said, I am actually energized!


The buzz was great, many of our BIG Network vendors had a great show and we met a lot of new people!  Ok, so yes, like any other show you can attend, some had a great week, others not so much. But that happens every year.


The traffic may have felt a little light, the new floorplan threw some people for a loop, but in general I got a positive feeling from the retailers we spoke to.



Here are some highlights from the show:



1. Make our Industry Great Again! One of the highlights of the show were the BIG hats that we were giving away.  Everyone that walked by wanted one, and word got out, and some people started coming to find us just to get a hat!  You can see from the picture below, we had fun!


But why is this so important? Because of the overall message – by retailers and suppliers working collaboratively we can make the industry as great as possible.


We’re asking retailers to open the dialog with your suppliers – to commit to supply real-time information and keep inventory turning.


We’re looking to suppliers to bring the best assortments based on your budget and work on taking back inventory that doesn’t perform well in your store.


More and retailer and suppliers are embracing The BIG Network to make this all possible!



2. Synthetic Diamonds – There were several talks about this topic during the week.


From the panel that was moderated by Rob Bates, the Martin Rapaport breakfast, to the round table “discussions” this was one hot topic.


Our very own Abe Sherman attended all of these talks and definitely made his voice heard. If you have not heard, there is quite a bit of controversy and discussion around the fact that manmade diamonds are in fact and should be called, according to GIA, synthetic.


Regardless of the name, there are some retailers that have embraced this new product category, and yet others that agree with Abe that this will be a disaster for our industry.


Some points made were the uncertain long term value for synthetic diamonds, as well as the confusion this may cause with the consumer, leading to possible legal issues in the long term.


No matter what your position on the subject may be, ultimately it will be the consumer that will dictate the market. It is up to us as an industry to be properly educated on the subject, make sure we are fully disclosing the products we decide to sell and train our sales teams to understand the market.



3. Innovative New Designs and Ideas – Innovation is not always so easy in the jewelry industry, so seeing some new ideas is always refreshing.


Here are some examples of the “coolest” things we saw:


  • A diamond eternity ring with an adjustable finger size.  The spring mechanism that it has on the inside allows for shared prongs and pave diamond eternity rings to adjust up to 1-1/2 sizes!
  • During the JCK Think Tank, the winning entry was a display for your store that is able to project a 3D image of your jewelry. 
  • Imagine putting this in your window display and attracting clients at any time of the day or night!
  • One of the new designers had a virtual reality app and mechanism that they could send to their clients to showcase their beautiful designs, through augmented reality.
These were just some of the amazing things happening in Las Vegas.  Each year we find more and more exciting things to look at and talk about. If you missed it, we hope to see you next year.  If you were there – go get a foot massage and relax, you deserve it!




Ann Arnold

CSO – The BIG Network

BIG – Buyers Intelligence Group