How Jewelers Are Embracing New Retail Models

jewelers retail

When it comes to jewelry, consumers want a store experience that matches the prestige of the piece. And, while the big jewelry brands with national presences do a fine job of that, it’s also important for local independent jewelers to embrace new and exciting retail experiences as well.

To help them do that, some retailers are looking to rethink their business models and reinvent how they offer jewelry. Some of the more innovative retailers include Catbird, a Brooklyn-based jewelry store that uses recycled gold and focuses on small diamonds and cute motifs; and Scosha, a Williamsburg storefront that combines metal smithing with textiles and other crafts to create modern heirlooms.

Other larger players are experimenting with store concepts that are geared toward unique shopping experiences. The Cadenzza concept from France, for instance, features a carefully curated selection of designer pieces in an open and airy environment that feels more like an art gallery than a traditional jewelry shop. The goal is to give shoppers a more personal experience, while still providing them with the best prices on high-end jewelry.

The M Jewelers brand of nameplate jewelry, which is popular among millennials and Gen Z buyers, recently opened its first storefront outside of New York City. Unlike most large chain jewelry stores, it offers customers a chance to schedule an appointment so that a single associate can spend the full time assisting them. This gives the associate time to truly understand a customer’s wishes, questions and concerns.

Another way in which some jewelry retailers are experimenting with their retail models is by partnering with celebrity names and other equities to launch exclusive collections. For example, Sterling Jewelers teamed up with actress Jane Seymour to produce a line of bridal rings. JCPenney has partnered with Modern Bride, and QVC has showcased celebrity costume and fine jewelry lines. This type of association provides a level of exclusivity that can be difficult for smaller boutique chains to compete with, but it can help to generate buzz and interest in a collection.

Despite the rise of online jewelry stores, many consumers prefer to purchase from a physical store. This is primarily due to the service and atmosphere that a local jeweler can provide. They can offer one-on-one consultations and personalized recommendations that are impossible to replicate in an online shopping experience. Additionally, a local jeweler can offer a variety of services and repairs that can be harder to find at a big box retailer.

Many local independent jewelers offer services such as appraisals and jewelry and watch repairs. They may also carry a selection of designer brands and have access to more rare gemstones than bigger chains can obtain. Lastly, independent jewelers can often give you a fair price for your current pieces when evaluating them for a trade-in or sale. The ability to do so enables them to build long-term relationships with customers and earn their loyalty. It’s an advantage that can be hard for larger chains to match, but it’s one that many consumers are willing to pay for.