Independent jewelers have gotten into the “home” vibe with their retail stores. Instead of a stuffy, sterile showroom, these jewelers have vibrant case boards and pillars adorned with pictures of love and family and credit. The customer can also request a complimentary drink. In contrast, chain stores tend to have high overhead and high staffing costs.
The history of Zales Jewelers can be traced back to 1924, when the company began to grow from a single location to a multinational conglomerate of jewelers with more than 700 stores worldwide. They have long been known for offering outstanding quality and value in fine jewelry. Their product lines range from everyday basics to the most dazzling diamond looks. In 2014, the company was acquired by Signet Jewelers Inc., a company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Now, the company is the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler.
The growth of online retail jewelers has been attributed to the emergence of millennials, who are more internet savvy than previous generations. These individuals prefer to shop at a retailer who can provide the best price. Prices are the largest factor in influencing their purchasing decisions. Today, nearly every big box retailer has an online presence. eBay and Amazon have become popular places for consumers to shop. As a result, 51 percent of all purchases were made online in 2016.
Independent family-owned businesses often have lower overhead than chains, and can therefore offer better quality products. While these retailers may still incur overhead costs, they will be able to pass those savings on to customers. In addition, these stores are more likely to have more personalized service and a more personal touch. So, if you’re looking for fine jewelry, consider buying your piece at a local jeweler’s shop.
The biggest challenge for retail jewelers is competition from mass merchants. While mass merchants were almost non-existent thirty years ago, today they account for 25 percent of the $40 billion fine jewelry market in the United States. Additionally, retailers are increasingly facing competition from online retailers, which can cause them to close their storefronts.
Independent jewelers often offer higher quality and unique jewelry than big box retailers. Big-box stores tend to stock the same pieces as every other retailer, whereas independent jewelers concentrate on customer relationships and maintaining a great reputation in the community. These independent jewelers know that delivering superior quality is vital to their success.
Jewelers can use digital media to communicate with consumers, shape their brand identity, and build customer relationships. Approximately two-thirds of luxury shoppers conduct online research before making purchases in a physical store. A large percentage of them also use social media to research different brands before making a decision. However, this doesn’t mean that online jewelry stores are the best option.
In order to stay relevant and stay competitive, jewelers should consider introducing affordable lines to reach the mass market. In this way, they can attract younger, less affluent consumers and create a unified brand image. Additionally, they can create a unique shopping experience through customer service, advertising, and in-store experiences. Harry Winston, for example, is very clear about its brand message. A lower priced Harry Winston would dilute the brand image.