Themes and Variations
Themed retailing is a world of space aliens, sport stars, tropical
rain forests and man-eating sharks. Can jewelers find a place t
Retail-tainment has become so pervasive that a store and this includes
your retail jewelry store that stands aloof is in danger of losing
its hard-earned identity, says Ed Rosenberg, president of VisionZ, a store
design and construction firm. Furthermore, he says, stores that join the
trend will end up with lower mall rents and better locations than those
that don't developers want retailers who help them to establish their
properties as attention-grabbing entertainment complexes.
Rosenberg has developed themes for everything from casinos to apparel
stores to restaurants to, yes, jewelry stores.
In 1989, he opened a jewelry and gift store called Zero Gravity, which
now has 10 units nationwide (his company owns two of them and eight are
licensed operations). The themes vary from location to location, but they
share the common thread of futuristic fantasy. The Orlando store, for instance,
features a model of a female time traveler (the life-size metallic model
looks like a distaff Robocop, Rosenberg says) who glimpses various civilizations
through "portals in time."
|A theme carried throughout your store can turn it into a must-see destination,
as in the Las Vegas outpost of Zero Gravity|
Sound a little far out for your store? Not to worry, Rosenberg says.
Themes don't have to be zany they can be as sophisticated and classy
as you want. How about a theme that evokes a past era or culture, say ancient
Rome or Egypt? If a section of your store features colored gems, think about
a Colombian rain forest theme.
Themes also can be fairly subtle, created with murals, typefaces or other
graphic elements, Rosenberg advises. You don't need salespeople dressed
as Nubian slaves or sound effects suggesting monkeys calling from treetops.
You may want to "trick out" just a small part of your store a
patch of just a few square feet so your theme won't overwhelm your
entire interior, and your customers.
Of course, not anything goes. One of Rosenberg's jewelry store clients
wanted an entrance shaped like a giant engagement ring. Rosenberg thought
better of it. "There was no way it could not look cheap," he says.
On the other hand, some stores are perfect settings for wacky ideas.
In a watch store planned to open in a Disney project in Orlando, FL, Rosenberg
came up with a drop-dead display: a model of a man-eating shark with a human
arm extending from its mouth. On the victim's wrist: a TAG Heuer diver watch.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.