Supplier News: Week of Aug. 31

The Plumb Club Introduces Virtual Sales Meeting Platform

The Plumb Club recently announced the debut of a virtual sales platform designed to connect its members with their retail customers. The rollout is phase one of the Plumb Club’s three-part strategy, dubbed TPC-365 (or, The Plumb Club, 365 Days a Year), to capture the essence of the organization’s mission in a currently virtual world.

The new virtual sales platform strives to eliminate the need for travel, allowing members to schedule and conduct face-to-face video sales meetings with retailers, incorporating high-resolution product images, streaming media, and customer-specific product information. The immersive platform lets participants do and see things such as changing and reorganizing a virtual “tray” assortment, a practice common to wholesale jewelry sales. The platform is also mobile-friendly, making it possible to hold these meetings anywhere.

“Our board had identified the desire and need for virtual sales meetings in 2019,” said Lawrence Hess, executive director of the Plumb Club, in a statement. “We had done some research at the end of 2019, but no one really had it completely right. Most platforms were somewhat clunky. It became obvious in March, with the rise of the pandemic, that we needed to make this a priority project for our members, so we isolated the best company and worked to customize and perfect it.”

“Virtual is the future,” said Plumb Club president Michael Lerche, also in a statement. “Many industries have been successfully leveraging the virtual space for years. The jewelry industry has been lagging. However, now more than ever and continuing to the future, the virtual space is essential for sustained business growth. As a club, we are thrilled to introduce ‘TPC-365.’ When complete, it will house many other elements that help us achieve our mission to the industry to educate, innovate and connect while providing a much-needed sales tool to our membership at this critical time.”

The new sales platform was constructed in an exclusive agreement with Boss Logics, a leading provider of web-based business solutions. It will be available for general use in September.

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Rocket Opens New Midwest Factory

Rocket, a packaging and display manufacturer for the fine jewelry industry, opened a new 43,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Massillon, Ohio, in mid-June, adding a Midwest component to the company’s established East and West coast operations.

“Opening a facility in the Midwest is an optimal move for Rocket,” said company president Michael Kaplan, in a statement. “Our decision to build the state-of-the-art warehouse in Ohio was largely driven by the fact that a number of our largest U.S. clients in the jewelry industry are located in the Midwest. The addition of the Ohio facility to our East and West coast operations gives us a leading edge in servicing clients across the entire country in a highly efficient manner.”

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GCAL Testing Employees For COVID-19 Regularly

The Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL) has contracted with a doctor to administer COVID-19 nasal swab tests to all employees every two weeks.

“Nothing is more important than the health and welfare of our colleagues and, of course, their families,” said GCAL president Don Palmieri, in a press release. “All of us are required to take this test. It is our hope that by sharing this with the industry, other companies will consider doing the same.”

Every GCAL employee also has the option to take the antibody blood test.

“It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for every GCAL team member, just as it is our intention to do whatever we can to keep all our families safe as well,” said GCAL chief operating officer Angelo Palmieri in a statement. “Since we have employees commuting from all five boroughs, Long Island, and New Jersey, plus our preference to have all our employees tested frequently, we didn’t want to put anyone at unnecessary risk. Essentially, we’d be asking them to find a doctor’s office, urgent care facility, etc., then to potentially stand in line for hours alongside others waiting for a test, some of whom might be infected. We felt compelled to reduce our exposure, while minimizing the network of people our staff must interact with.”

GCAL has thus far reported a 100% negative test rate.

Manhattan-area companies or groups interested in coordinating with Dr. Michele Martinho, the medical professional administering the tests for GCAL, can call 212-420-6460 or visit

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