Jewelry Industry News Trends Analysis | Jewelry Show and Exhibition http://www.instoremag.com Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:19:03 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Remembering Retail Designer Bruce Brigham http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1086-remembering-retail-designer-bruce-brigham.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1086-remembering-retail-designer-bruce-brigham.html

Acclaimed interior designer Bruce Brigham, whose projects included a makeover of Cartier stores worldwide, work on the storied Raffles Hotel in Singapore and a redesign of the Seattle Supersonics’ Courtside Club, died earlier this month. He was 63.

Brigham, who was a regular contributor to INSTORE and a two-time America’s Coolest Store judge, held a firm conviction in the importance of design. It was, he believed, a sign of a society’s refinement.

As was implied by the name of his design company, Retail Clarity Consulting, Brigham liked bold, simple designs that told a clear story.

"You can look at absolutely any successful retailer, and they're telling a story about themselves," he wrote once. "The way you can tell is if you took the label, the brand, the signs off that store and you walked into that store blindfolded then took off your blindfold, you would know right where you were. That goes for every well-branded, well-designed store, from Prada to Costco.”

The very best modern retail design, Brigham believed, was firmly rooted in the “experience economy.” It creates interesting, captivating experiences for its guests — controlling their mood, leading them through wonderful stories, explaining and educating and enticing and finally adding something actually meaningful to their lives by understanding and reflecting and their aspirations.

While Brigham did work for several huge companies including hotels, casinos and one of Asia’s largest jewelry chains (TSL), he also understood the constraints that small retailers faced. Many of the suggestions he made in INSTORE were intended to help small-store owners improve the way they engaged customers with only a minimal financial outlay. Here are two such articles he wrote for us.

Brigham left the world looking a little cooler whenever it came into contact with his talents. His family said memorial donations in Brigham's name could go to the American Society of Interior Designers Foundation.



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chris@smartworkmedia.com (Chris Burslem) Customer Service Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Fill in the Blank: Just Stop Asking http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1085-fill-in-the-blank-just-stop-asking.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1085-fill-in-the-blank-just-stop-asking.html

Welcome

to "Fill in the Blank," a weekly helping of nutritious thought for growing jewelry store owners.
     
FILL IN THE BLANK:
The question I wish customers would stop asking me is: ______________?
 

Welcome to "Fill in the Blank," a weekly helping of nutritious thought for growing jewelry store-owners.

Instructions: Fill in the blank with the first thing that comes into your mind. Think of these as a Rorschach test for jewelers. Oh, and for extra credit, you might explain in a separate paragraph why you think answered the way you did. Because that's always interesting, too — the so-called "method behind the madness." Thanks for participating! And check back every Friday for more blank-filling mayhem.

 

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bill.hutchinson47@gmail.com (William Irwin) Around the Web Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Hello, Ruby Bridal? http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1084-hello-ruby-bridal.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1084-hello-ruby-bridal.html

Whenever you hear of engagement rings with a non-diamond colored gem center, you (or I) typically think first of blue sapphire. It’s been that way at least since Charles gave Diana the now-iconic Garrard Jewelers ring, which William later gifted to Kate. Nonetheless, that was more than three decades ago—and I’m starting to think that ruby, the corundum’s red sister, is poised to topple blue sapphire’s reign.

Young brides-to-be are, more and more, considering ruby for their engagement and wedding rings, perhaps because they’ve been given “permission” by some high-profile people? Last month, when singer Ashlee Simpson got engaged, her vintage inspired Neil Lane platinum design featured rubies and diamonds. The ring caused nearly as much buzz as the ruby and diamond design that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, gave to Priscilla Chan, when popping the question.

Though Ms. Chan’s ring, too, was platinum, it’s the metal setting where I’m seeing a big difference between currently-trending ruby bridal and ongoing-trending blue sapphire bridal. While most brides-to-be continue to want white gold or platinum for their blue gem designs, just as many are choosing yellow gold mountings for their ruby rings. And to my eye, it looks particularly fresh. Perhaps that’s because, especially in recent months, I’ve noticed a return to yellow gold bridal in general.

Or, another thought I’ve had: Maybe it’s because, during Las Vegas jewelry week in late May, ruby somewhat surprisingly emerged as one of the top gems in fashion collections that premiered . . . and I saw just as many rubies in yellow gold as in varying shades of white metal. Whatever the reason for my reaction, ruby bridal is overall a welcome addition.

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ldepasque@optonline.net (Lorraine DePasque) Designers/Jewelry Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
INSTORE & INDESIGN Take Home 6 Awards http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1083-instore-indesign-take-home-6-awards.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1083-instore-indesign-take-home-6-awards.html

One of the best parts of my job is when I get to give our fantastic team of editors and designers a pat on the back for a job well done. I’m pleased to do that once again upon hearing Wednesday’s news that INSTORE and INDESIGN have been honored six times in an international competition for trade publications.

Our submissions were among 450 from magazines as far away as the U.K. and New Zealand entered in the Trade Association Business Publications International contest known as the Tabbies. This was the 11th annual competition, which is open to English-language B-to-B publications worldwide.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating our team as a whole, and in particular INSTORE Managing Editor Eileen McClelland, longtime contributor Josh Wimmer, Design Editor Victor Cantal and (now former) designer Karla Durangparang, all of whom were honored by name.

We’re additionally proud that the newest magazine in the SmartWork Media lineup — INVISION, The Magazine for American Eyecare Professionals, which launched in 2013 — received recognition in the Best Issue category. (If you like INSTORE and INDESIGN, make sure to share with your optician and eye doctor friends that they now have a similar business-boosting resource.)

Our most important judge will always be you, our readers, and we feel so special because of your participation in the magazines and the fact you continually keep us on our toes. But it’s also gratifying to know that our peers in magazine publishing give us reason to feel special as well.

Here’s a full list of our 2014 Tabbie honors:

Best Single Issue - Top 25
INDESIGN, May 2013

Feature Article - Top 25
INSTORE, February 2013, “Pay Day”
by Eileen McClelland

Focus/Profile - Honorable Mention
INSTORE, April 2013, “Fun on the Plains”
by Eileen McClelland

How-To Article - Honorable Mention
INSTORE, July 2013, “100 Things a Jewelry Salesperson Should Never Do”
by Josh Wimmer

Feature Design - Bronze
INSTORE, July 2013, “100 Things a Jewelry Salesperson Should Never Do”
by Karla Durangparang & Victor Cantal
(Judging comments: “Excellent illustrations incorporated throughout a great layout. Each page was full of life and visual interest.”)

Opening Page or Spread - Silver
INSTORE, November 2013, “Many Thanks”
by Victor Cantal
(Judging comments: “This opening spread is playful and really captures the essence of the story.”)

Best Single Issue - Top 25
INVISION, Sep/Oct 2013





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ralf@smartworkmedia.com (Ralf Kircher) Customer Service Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Event Planning Out of the Box http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1082-event-planning-out-of-the-box.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1082-event-planning-out-of-the-box.html

Do you offer discounts to bridal shoppers ?

Paul Haig, owner of Haig's of Rochester Fine Jewelry & Objects of Art, in Rochester, MI, likes to think out of the box when it comes to event planning. He also has artists on staff who help him to both brainstorm and execute these grand plans.

For the store's 41st anniversary event on July 9, Haig rolled out not the traditional red carpet, but the yellow brick road for his guests when he chose a "Wizard of Oz" theme to introduce a new line of jewelry -- themed Oz charms from Angelica. It also happens to be a big anniversary for "The Wizard of Oz" -- its 75th.

Decorations included a lighted, flying witch -- a full-size mannequin riding a bicycle and mounted on the front exterior wall of his store. A polycarbonate tornado added to the drama. Angelica loaned Haig posters and other marketing materials for the event.

Inside, guests could hear "the voice of Oz" -- behind a curtain, of course -- and a soprano soloist sang "Over the Rainbow" for entertainment.

A yellow brick road scene was displayed in a window and painted on the sidewalk out back.

Haig and his staff invited 250 loyal customers to the event; about 150 people attended, including some curious passersby, who were welcomed in.

Rochester has a strong feeling of community among its downtown merchants, cultivated by a strong Downtown Development Association, which plans sidewalk sales and other regular events, including a Christmas parade and light show. Haig takes part in that, too, by displaying a Santa and reindeer on the front of his three-story building.

So neighboring businesses pitched in by bringing refreshments, offering a wine tasting and donating goods and services to the silent auction, which raised money for Rochester Area Neighborhood House. Attendees also brought tennis shoes and flip-flops to donate to Flip Flops for Families. "We love downtown Rochester, our customers, fellow merchants and the Greater Rochester community. I wouldn't have my store anywhere else in the world," Haig says.

Sales during the 41st anniversary event more than covered Haig's expenses, while also making a splash with new lines of jewelry.

Planning an event of your own?

"Start well in advance with planning," Haig says. "Set a complete schedule and hold people accountable. Have regular meetings beginning three months in advance and make sure the team is following through. Make it exciting, make it different, promote it on Facebook." And don't forget to follow up invitations with personal phone calls.

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eileen@smartworkmedia.com (Eileen McClelland) Best Practices Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Beer Tasting Event Strikes Local Chord http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1081-beer-tasting-event-strikes-local-chord.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1081-beer-tasting-event-strikes-local-chord.html

What’s even better than beer at a jewelry event? A brand new, locally-brewed beer, introduced by the brewer herself. That was the hook for D&H Sustainable Jewelers’ event in their hometown of San Francisco. More than 50 people attended, and what I love about this event was that it was all about building community.

“We kept our regular inventory on display, but the focus was not on sales,” said Audra Smith, the store’s Internet and media manager. “A few clients discussed design ideas and made future design appointments, but the focus was more on the beer, the brewery, our sponsor (real estate agent Audrey Thompson), and socializing. A few of the jewelry artists we carry in the store regularly turned out that night, but again, it was to mix and mingle.”

By taking the focus off the jewelry, the store completely took the pressure off their clients, allowing for a really nice evening that they’ll be sure to remember when they need jewelry. “Our goal is to foster a feeling of community,” said Smith. “We want people to feel good about keeping their dollars local. Most of the jewelry artists we feature are local to the Northern California/Bay area.” The brewer, Julia Claggett, and her partner, Christene Banda, not only live in the nearby Mission district of the city, they named their new hefeweisen after the well-known Haight Street. And with a local real estate agent as sponsor, the whole thing feels more like a neighborhood get-together than a selling event.

I bet you could put together a similar event in your town (and it doesn’t have to be beer… it could be wine or baked goods or really anything that introduces a new, fun product from another local merchant). Add an event like this to your current lineup and see how you and your clients enjoy it.



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trace@smartworkmedia.com (Trace Shelton) Customer Service Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
“Size 0” Bracelets Every Woman Can Wear http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1080-size-0-bracelets-every-woman-can-wear.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1080-size-0-bracelets-every-woman-can-wear.html

You’ve noticed, right? As arm parties continue in vogue, the most popular bangles are stick-thin. And look, before everyone goes all PC and reminds me that “size 2 is the new size 0” and all of that, the Size Zeroes I’m talking about are super-slim stack bracelets. Diameter, of course, doesn’t factor in—instead, it’s about the waif-thin width of the bracelet.

Even if the non-flex designs are made with gems or swirling in Slinky-like spirals, most designers, amid this current thin-is-in thinking, seem to be trying extra-hard this season to offer customers collections packed with options. Ironically, although they’re anything-but-thick, each precious metal piece is, actually, strong. It’s about the jewelry’s fashion strength. Adding to that, too, is that they’re usually intentionally made to be stacked for big, dramatic effect.

Nonetheless, skinny-minny wrist favorites will, inevitably, widen. And, while watching the Resort 2015 runways and seeing strong Seventies inspirations, I’ve wondered if their “chubbying up” might, in fact, happen sooner rather than later. Because, even with bangles so popular in the 1970s, bracelets were wider as opposed to ultra-slender.

Ah, but who really wants to think about that now—especially when every woman, whatever her dress size, can wear some size Os? And, by the way, if you’re wondering if this is jewelry’s equivalent of vanity sizing? Well, I suppose it is . . . so, what of it?

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ldepasque@optonline.net (Lorraine DePasque) Designers/Jewelry Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Birth, Life and Death in Retail: The NRF’s Top 100 http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1079-birth-life-and-death-in-retail-the-nrf-s-top-100.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1079-birth-life-and-death-in-retail-the-nrf-s-top-100.html

The National Retail Federation published its annual list of America’s Top 100 Retailers in early July and once again, Wal-Mart reigned above all, much as it has every year for the past quarter of a century.

That stability at the top belies a volatility that has traditionally been a hallmark of the retail industry: Longevity is the exception rather than the rule. Take a quick look at the top 10 merchants this year compared with the NRF’s list from 20 years ago, and aside from Wal-Mart, only three names remain: Kroger, Safeway and Target, which in 1994 was a subsidiary of the Dayton Hudson group.

  2014     1994  
  1. Wal-Mart |   1. Wal-Mart  
2. Kroger |   2. Kmart (bought by Sears)
3. Costco |   3. Sears Merchandise Group
4. Target |   4. Kroger
5. The Home Depot |   5. Dayton Hudson (renamed as Target)
6. Walgreen |   6. J.C. Penney
7. CVS Caremark |   7. American Stores (acquired by Albertson's)
8. Lowe's |   8. Safeway Stores
9. Amazon.com |   9. May Department Stores (merged with Macy's)
10. Safeway |   10. Albertson's
  |    

(Note: In 2014, Signet was the top pure jewelry merchant at No. 99, based on 2013 sales, meaning pre-Zale Corp. takeover. There were no specialty jewelers in the Top 100 in 1994.)

While it is easy to get wistful about the passing of your favorite retailer from years gone by, the nostalgia usually doesn’t last long — the thought of today hanging out at the local Sears-anchored mall no longer sounds like such fun. And evolution -- birth, life, death, reinvention -- is fascinating to watch. Not just for what it says about retailing but society as a whole.

Nowhere is this more so than in the standout change in this year’s top 10 list – the arrival of Amazon.

“Amazon’s rise into the top 10 is symbolic of a shift in U.S. retail towards a genuinely multichannel future,” noted Bryan Gildenberg. chief knowledge officer of Kantar Retail, which carried out the survey with the NRF.

“Retailers that command the Top 100 in the future will have an in-depth knowledge of their shoppers across their physical and digital touchpoints, and they'll all have to fend off Amazon’s game-changing economic and operating model.”

To that, I’d add “up to a point.”

To be sure, what a made a good store in 1994 and what makes a good store in 2014 are different, and much of that has to do with technology.

But in parallel with constant change, the other fascinating thing about retail is that at its core, the basics remain surprisingly constant: it’s about selecting goods and displaying them in a fashion that makes people want to buy them.

To stave off premature death, you need to keep one eye on the future and one on the present, meaning keeping your current customers happy. A store gets in trouble when it gets tired and starts to lose contact with its client base. In such cases, technology won’t save it.



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chris@smartworkmedia.com (Chris Burslem) Customer Service Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Fill in the Blank: All-Time Hero http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1078-fill-in-the-blank-all-time-hero.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1078-fill-in-the-blank-all-time-hero.html

Welcome

to "Fill in the Blank," a weekly helping of nutritious thought for growing jewelry store owners.
     
FILL IN THE BLANK:
My favorite all-time jewelry designer? _______, of course.
 

Welcome to "Fill in the Blank," a weekly helping of nutritious thought for growing jewelry store-owners.

Instructions: Fill in the blank with the first thing that comes into your mind. Think of these as a Rorschach test for jewelers. Oh, and for extra credit, you might explain in a separate paragraph why you think answered the way you did. Because that's always interesting, too — the so-called "method behind the madness." Thanks for participating! And check back every Friday for more blank-filling mayhem.

 

For daily news, blogs and tips jewelers need, subscribe to our email bulletins here.

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bill.hutchinson47@gmail.com (William Irwin) Around the Web Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000
What’s Your Job in 5 Words? http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1077-what-s-your-job-in-5-words.html http://www.instoremag.com/homepage/shine-blogs/item/1077-what-s-your-job-in-5-words.html

In an interview with public radio’s Marketplace last week, President Obama was asked to describe his job in five words or less.

“My job is to keep the American people safe and to create a platform for hardworking people to succeed,” the president told host Kai Ryssdal.

That was actually 19 words, but if there’s one thing red and blue can agree on, the president does have a more complicated job than most.

Marketplace subsequently asked its listeners to send in their own five-word job descriptions.

What surprised me was the power of boiling down what we do to five little words. The responses ran from the poignant (“To help my family survive”) to the dreary (“Write emails, talk on phone”), from the impressive (“Ensure spacecraft life support”) to the ordinary (“Deliver pizza to grateful drunks”), from the obedient (“Cog in the wheel”) to the revolutionary (“Fight the powers that be!”), and from the mildly appetite-piquing (“Make the best nut butters”) to the where-was-this-guy-on Saturday-night-when-we-had-no-water-in-the-house (“Draw pipes, make them fit”).

Seeing these responses made me wonder whether I’m a “help my family survive” kind of guy, or a “write emails, talk on phone” cubicle dweller, because both are equally factual and descriptive of any given day.

But it’s about more than the facts or the description, isn’t it? It’s all about your outlook. So by the time I finished my commute while listening to this program and evaluating my own professional existence, I decided I’m more the “Help jewelers build their businesses” type because that’s how I choose to think of it.

Now, what are you? Let’s hear your job description in five words or less. We’d like to know if you’re a “Buy low, sell high” kind of jeweler or one who “Creates special moments for people.”





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ralf@smartworkmedia.com (Ralf Kircher) Customer Service Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000