Only Connect!

A company in Israel called Erayo has an e-commerce Web site (www.erayo.com) that offers the work of pre-approved jewelry designers from around the world to independent retail jewelers. It’s backed by a centralized distribution network. “The intention is to connect successful designers and independent retailers,” says Raffi Topaz, Erayo.com’s chief executive officer. “It’s for smaller players interested in unique merchandise, quality products, and unique solutions for the logistics associated with finding the products abroad.”

“Independent retailers can source designer products from all over the world without traveling and having to have buyers,” adds Noga Edelstein, Erayo.com’s head of design affiliation. “It’s really convenient for [independent jewelers], and for the designer it’s a great way to expose their talent all over the world.”

Retailers can order direct-ly from the site, which, at present, showcases about 55 designers and approximately 1,000 products. The site has other accessories, but focuses on jewelry, Topazstresses. It has about 12,000 registered buyers, primarily from the United States.

Company personnel, led by Edelstein, attend worldwide trade shows and visit designers. “It’s very important that we choose the designers,” Edelstein says. “We check their quality and concept and design and uniqueness. We make sure the designers are qualified and the buyers won’t be disappointed with the merchandise.”

Retailers can order from a single designer or specify a mix of product from different designers and pay a single shipment cost. “It’s one package, one order, so they can build their own collection and not rely on a specific designer,” Topaz says.

“We don’t keep merchandise, but we provide delivery time and lead time, which is really crucial,” he adds. “One of our first things that we check is how quickly we can provide the merchandise. It takes about 10 business days to prepare the merchandise for shipment and three to five days to deliver the package—15 business days [total]. We think that this is a short enough cycle for retailers.”

Erayo maintains warehouses in Israel, the United States, and London and says it can provide wholesale pricing similar to that of larger chains. “That’s really important for small players, because they don’t have the buying power of what the chains could get,” says Topaz. “They should have pricing as if they work for chains and department stores, because at the end of the day, at the end of the month and the quarter, it’s a sizable amount. We allow the small players to benefit on the economy of scale of the big boxes.”

Since Erayo handles orders, there’s a single con-tact if retailers encounter a problem, Topaz says. “We’re responsible for customer service, logistics, support, and delivery.”

The Web site has an electronic magazine called The Edge with aggregate copy from major fashion and design publications and a blog that focuses on fashion, style, design, and entertainment news and advice. It also has a column by a stylist who chooses products from the Erayo Web site.

The company says it’s trying to create a more social and community-oriented Web site. “We allow our customers to browse through everything on the Web site about fashion, design, and style,” Edelstein says. “We see Erayo as a community of independent retailers, and we try to provide the right services that they need.”