During the recent JA New York Show, CIRCA announced that it has formalized a Purchasing Agent program the company began last year. As part of this new initiative a select group of retail jewelers across the country will represent CIRCA in markets where the jewelry buying company has no branch office. The company's goal is to complete Purchasing Agent partnerships with 50-plus retail jewelers across the country by the end of this year or the first quarter of 2011.
CIRCA has been working with retailers since the company's inception in 2001. The new program will not change the company's current policy of buying jewelry from retailers of any size across the nation. However, as CIRCA continues to enter into larger US markets, Purchasing Agent partnerships in key cities will serve to expand the company's network of retail jewelers to source inventory and continue to build brand equity.
Established last year, the company's Retail Division is currently working to find retailers that are best suited to be Purchasing Agents. "It's not about being a multi-million dollar store," says CIRCA CEO Chris Del Gatto. "It's more about a corporate culture and business philosophy that's consistent with ours with an emphasis on customer service and a dedication to providing the best brands in the industry to their customers."
CIRCA's Retail Division is also reaching out to jewelers across the country to buy old, less desirable inventory along with jewelry purchased from the public. "We don't turn anything away," says Del Gatto. "Given our global distribution channels, we have demand all over the world for jewelry of all types."
The new division is working to achieve the company's goal of bringing on 50 or more new Purchasing Agents by year's end. CIRCA provides a set commission along with driving traffic into the store with its national campaign as strong incentive to partner. The company's 300-strong retailers that are already actively working with CIRCA will continue to benefit. The Barter Division allows CIRCA to not only offer cash, but ad credits as payment for old inventory.
Given CIRCA's aggressive ad campaign nationally, retailers can benefit from the company's brand awareness in high-end national fashion magazine's such as Town & Country as well as local luxury lifestyle magazines and television.
Jewelers can also tap into CIRCA's evaluation expertise when confronted with estate, antique or period piece customer taken-ins that store owners or their staff may not be able to accurately assess. An inaccurate appraisal on such jewelry may compromise a jeweler's relationship with top clients.
"I know of a jeweler who took in an antique French gold bracelet set with a buff top amethyst that bore a unique hallmark," says Del Gatto. "Not knowing the significance of this hallmark, the retailer offered a valued customer only $800 for the bracelet which was eventually purchased by CIRCA for $6,000. In this case, CIRCA's expert evaluation helped the retailer maintain the customer relationship."
This is one of many unique period pieces CIRCA has sourced in part based on its relationship with retail jewelers. Other rare finds include a Napoleon era tiara, a 50-plus carat cushion cut diamond, D-color flawless diamonds in sizes of 20-plus carats and an Art-Deco diamond necklace from Cartier.
"We're able to offer retailers not only our expertise in evaluating antique and period jewelry, but also give them a value on everyday items," says Del Gatto.
CIRCA has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, Palm Beach, Washington, D.C. with their headquarters in New York City. Two new US offices are tipped to open this year in Los Angeles and Dallas. Internationally, the company has an office in Hong Kong serving the Asian market, and is looking to open an office in Paris or Geneva, the top two choices for CIRCA's first European office.