LUXURY Privé Panama Concludes Sophomore Run

The second LUXURY Privé Panama, a three-day buying fair catering to the Latin American market, concluded on Wednesday at the Westin Playa Bonita on the outskirts of Panama City.

Organized by JCK Events, the show debuted in October 2012 as a first-of-its-kind event, designed to connect buyers and sellers eager to tap into Latin America’s nascent fine jewelry market.

“The intimate, relaxing environment provided numerous opportunities for leading Latin American and Caribbean retailers to explore business opportunities with top jewelry manufacturers,” said JCK Events group vice president Yancy Weinrich. “JCK remains committed to the Latin American market and looks forward to continuing relationships with the key retailers who’ve attended the Panama event for the past two years.”

For Michael Hujara, managing director of Breuning U.S., the show offered an unparalleled opportunity to do business with Latin American buyers in a setting that is secure and convenient. But he said vendors needed to understand regional buying preferences in order to succeed.

From Breuning’s new Corian collection

“The market in South America is different,” Hujara said. “It’s not about diamonds—it’s about lower price points with design.”

He singled out Breuning’s new Corian collection—a line of fashion-oriented styles featuring a lightweight resin made by DuPont—as a bestseller at LUXURY Privé Panama.

From Breuning’s new Corian collection

On the show floor, exhibitors echoed the notion that buyers from South America are looking for products that retail for less than $1,000.

Lloyd Berger, director of national sales for Honora, said he’s optimistic about prospects south of the border. “We rock at $500 and under,” he said.

Hujara compared the region’s potential to Russia’s in the 1990s, and the Far East’s in the early years of this century. “South America is on the rise—it’s the biggest market for our industry,” he said, tempering his enthusiasm with a few words of caution. “But it’s about making connections. It’s not going to happen in six months or a year.”

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