The Millers, owners of MJ Christensen Diamonds in Las Vegas, applaud HOF’s commitment to the retailer in seeking out a partner for the concept boutique rather than going it alone.
Cliff Miller says the high visibility location on the Strip will astronomically boost consumer knowledge of the brand, which will benefit retailers around the country.
The futuristic design of the store has already made Miller re-evaluate his own local stores and consider what elements from the HOF store he can bring to his more traditional retail outlets.
In fact, before the store even opened, a couple from Oklahoma was window shopping, waiting for it to open, Miller says. Already Hearts on Fire owners, they were prepared to return to their local jewelry store, BC Clark of Oklahoma City to consider making a purchase, based on what they had seen in Las Vegas.
“It’s a natural progression for the brand,” Miller says. “This will complement what the retailers do.”
And then there’s the wow factor.
Hearts on Fire hired Eight Inc., the architectural firm that designed the Apple-store concept to design its own concept store.
“Everything is striking and elegant,” Miller says. “It’s the perfect combination of location and architectural design, bright but subtly elegant. The product is so well presented, and the lighting and fixtures just take your breath away.
In addition to employing futuristic design elements like a minimalist glass front and a veil of stainless steel pipes that create zones in the store, HOF is intent on redesigning customer behavior by re-training its staff and by shaking up traditional concepts of jewelry stores.
- Jewelry customers will be invited to sit at community tables and talk to one another about their impressions of the jewelry; in effect, HOF would like to enlist the help of strangers to sell each other diamonds.
- At the community tables, they can also view the “knowledge wall,” a video feature that Miller says has already transfixed his first visitors. “You can’t pull people away from it.” It displays jewelry as well as a celebrity fashion show featuring Hearts on Fire jewelry.
- Sales people carry tablets to ring up shoppers or create shopping carts.
- Jewelry in a “jewel-box” display case sits at eye level so shoppers don’t have to look down into cases.
- There’s no limit on trying on multiple pieces of jewelry, because HOF wants customers to “play” with jewelry like they would with shoes in a shoe store.
- Sales people are taught to be partners rather than “adversaries,” and to stand next to customers. “I like being able to interact with them as if they were guests in my home,” Miller says.
- When a salesperson swipes a card to unlock the “jewel box” display case, a drawer drops open and a mirror pops up as the lighting shifts to a glow more flattering to the skin.
- For Miller, the concept store is like a laboratory on how to make any 21st century, retail jewelry store sizzle.
- “What I look so forward to is interacting with so many people on the Strip. We’ll get so much traffic so quickly that I’ll be able to discern how different age groups react to the store. What I like about it is it maximizes the presentation while minimizing options. If I can integrate that into my own off-Strip stores, I can make a tremendous visual impact without having to have 400 rings to do it.”