From interactive displays to traditional boutiques, these stores show the range of ways to serve the bridal customer
Why should you create a special bridal area in your store? For one thing, it can help focus the attention of engagement-ring shoppers who may feel adrift in an unfamiliar jewelry store. It’s a good place to put them at ease, with comfortable seating, as you begin your education and presentation process. While large stores specializing in bridal may have space for elaborate enclaves with case after case of settings and stones, smaller stores, too, can create a special niche or corner, too. For Ellen Hertz of Max’s in St. Louis Park, MN, all it took was one designated corner case to create a bridal presence. “It’s a great “landing” place for the customer in terms of beginning the process of looking at rings,” she says. “It’s much easier to show them a variety of the styles we represent while standing at one case rather than having to move them from case to case. Of course, we often do move once we’ve looked at different things and begun to identity their style.” Some stores offer prototype displays, too, so that if a bride-to-be is browsing, she can easily and quickly try on sample rings. It’s smart, too, to include a design center nearby, if you offer custom options. As these examples illustrate, it’s possible to create a bridal-center concept to fit the style and personality of any jewelry store. — EILEEN McCLELLAND
This article originally appeared in the September 2015 edition of INSTORE.
Lafayette, LA➤ Owners Bryan and Angie Spallino created an 800-square-foot engagement studio, where ring shoppers are greeted with coffee or wine. In the private, glass-walled diamond room, shoppers are seated beneath a black and white photo of the Spallinos leaving their wedding reception nearly 30 years ago. Bryan has a passion for cypress woodwork that gives the store a handcrafted feel, and he designed a chandelier-like wooden art piece that hangs in the engagement studio.
Evansville, IN➤ Brinker’s appeals to a wide range of shoppers in its 13,000-square foot space that includes a jewelry store, a home decor store, and a cafe. The third-generation family store, owned by brothers Dean and Dirk Brinker, calls attention to its bridal offering with elegant cases, exquisite in-case lighting, and Duratrans signs pointing to its bridal brands.
Jack Lewis Jewelers
Bloomington, IL➤ Owner John Carter trademarked the term ,“Wedding Ring Playground.” During a 2011 remodeling project, Carter installed a custom-made, bar-height table to display bridal sample lines from many of the store’s favorite designers. The freestanding island, with a case of rings out in the open and an iPad attached to the table, encourages couples to try on rings. Brides-to-be can spend hours trying on more than 275 different ring styles and sharing photos of themselves with friends and family. It makes sense, since the majority of modern brides are involved in the engagement-ring purchase. When everything’s behind glass, Carter says, customers may be hesitant to try on as many styles as they’d like to.
St. Louis Park, MN➤ Owner Ellen Hertz gave it a good deal of thought before grouping bridal rings in one case. Because Max’s is focused on representing individual designers, Hertz wondered whether it made sense to pull some of an artist’s work away from the rest of their collection. She also had doubts about including non-traditional rings in the case — such as stacking rings — that would be considered a non-bridal selection for some customers. But it’s worked out well. “I finally decided we should try it and it’s been really, really helpful and important in sending the message to customers (especially those in the store for the first time) that we are serious about bridal,” Hertz says.
Crocker’s Fine Jewelry
Texarkana, TX➤ Crocker’s bridal center features 65 linear feet of engagement-ring cases arranged in a large circle, creating the feeling of a store within a store. The back walls are lined with 40 linear feet of prototypes. In the center of the bridal area is the custom design center, and in the back are two private showrooms with crystal chandeliers and shimmering wall coverings made of diamond dust, for VIP clients. “The whole room just glows,” owner Shane Woodruff says.
Topsham, ME➤ Day’s Jewelers, owned by Jeff, Kathy and Jim Corey, added new technology to its newest location, which opened this year. Brand signage and all visual graphics in the 2,800-square-foot showroom are achieved using a product called Visual Magnetics, in which thin, high-resolution graphics roll over the wall and adhere to magnetic paint. Sepcial lighting illuminates the wall images, and the entire store is fitted with high-efficiency LED lighting.
Bailey’s Fine Jewelry
Raleigh, NC➤ At Bailey’s, the largest jewelry store in North Carolina, the bridal boutique — with 60 linear feet of case space — was designed to feel grand both in scale and decor. Anchoring the boutique is the accredited gem lab and the only Tacori boutique in the state. There’s also a design center staffed with craftsmen and designers to create one-of-a-kind rings for discriminating Bailey brides. The bridal presence at Bailey’s is bolstered by a full-service bridal registry.
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