March 1998



The customer rounds the corner and your store appears, emanating soft light, tingling, racing with contemporary color, showing off with sexy windows. As she enters, the store's warmth envelops her, inviting her to linger, to admire, to touch. Compelling displays draw her like a moth to a flame, nearer to your precious goods. And when she or her significant other buys, the package she receives is your store's final seductive moment. The hidden mystery yields up its ultimate surprise.

Though image is made up of a hundred different factors, many created by the relationships you form with customers through ads, promotions and impeccable service, there's no argument that in today's visually sophisticated world, your store's visual "package" is as important as your product.
Two trends stand above all others in jewelers' choices today. First, jewelers are embracing the idea that all visual components of image must coordinate into one unified look. "Jewelers are looking for the complete image - and that goes right down to the paper, bags and boxes they use," says Debbie Booth of Cutler Display + Packaging, Johnston, RI.
Second, jewelers are looking at customizing their look. "They want an image different from the jeweler down the street," says Andy Macauley, Chippenhook Packaging, Flower Mound, TX.
To look coordinated and unique is one thing, but jewelers still have to choose the products and understand the psychology behind what they choose. Psychology is involved, as an army of image providers and prognosticators will tell you. They spend their days predicting and recommending the products you should buy. Here are their latest calls.

Colors Blue and its cousin, purple, are the colors to watch, at last breaking the hold that green has had on American interior design since the 1990s began. Theories abound as to why blue and purple have returned, from a tiring of environmental concerns that ushered in greens and browns, to a bullish stock market, which seems to coincide with blue's popularity (our last infatuation with blue was in the mid-'80s). A premillennial yearning for spirituality, represented by purple, is another guess.
For jewelers, it may be time to break the hold white and its near-colorless cousins have had on jewelry stores in the past five years. If the elegant backdrop white provides is one you'd rather not give up, packaging experts such as Berj Alexanian of Alex Velvet, Los Angeles, recommend you ease slowly into more colorful choices through trims and accent pieces.

Shapes and Materials The square or rectangular look is beginning to yield to pyramids and elliptical shapes. Rounded, oval and asymmetrical shapes - in showcases, displays and packaging - also are coming on strong. Paper, plastic and leather-like materials are being highlighted and enhanced by wood, metal and glass.

Entertainment Windows, displays and packaging that tell a story are enticements to consider The yearning for retail "experiences" isn't going away; more customers expect to be entertained. Themed windows, promotions that thread through packaging and other colorful enticements take time, but increase traffic.

Avant-Garde Ideas Looking to the cutting edge? Try displays featuring rusted metals. It contrasts sharply with precious metals, creating an Italian high art look. Another trend, this one from Germany, features displays using unusual and highly surfaced paper, from colored corrugated cardboard to embossed, engraved and roughened surfaces.


Choosing the right image is a difficult task. Today's jewelry industry specialists are consultants who often have backgrounds in the jewelry industry. Here are a few:

  • GRID/3 International, New York City; (212) 391-1162, fax (212) 575-2391. President: Ruth Mellergaard. A retail design firm, GRID/3 (which stands for Graphics Retail Interior Design) has had experience helping jewelers throughout the U.S. and overseas for 17 years. The company says it understands the challenges jewelers face, especially concerning security issues and lighting concerns. Can create a total image package for jewelers.
  • Levine Design, New York City, (212) 995-0100, fax (212) 529-3801. President: Pam Levine. An expert on packaging and display, Levine offers direction to jewelers who want to coordinate packaging and display. Clients have included Only Diamonds retail stores, Frederick Goldman, Finlay Fine Jewelry and Fortunoff.
  • International Businss Partners, Boxford, MA; (508) 887-4195, fax (508) 887-4269. President: Jeffrey Taraschi. The company helps jewelers tailor their images through design services, marketing/brand management and other areas.
  • StyleQuest Communications, La Jolla, CA; (619) 427-6677, fax (619) 6199. President: Eln Albert. StyleQuest helps jewelers develop marketing, promotion and publicity ideas to help build an image and new customers.

- by Peggy Jo Donahue and Lorraine Suermann

Weighted gemstone display with adjustable wire holder for a dramatic showing of any size and shape stone.
Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 545-6566.

In-house design and craftspeople created metal boxes that enhance anticipation.
Gem Case, Cranston, RI;(800) 345-4989, fax (401) 461-0651.

Full line of sizes in black or white Leatherette packaging made in the USA. Suggested retail, from $1.25 each.
Princess Tanya, Downey, CA; (800) 537-2031 or (310) 869-8809, fax (310) 862-5478.

This classical look is from European Displays and Boxes.
European Displays and Boxes, Fairview, NJ; (201) 313-1388, fax (201) 313-9408.

The Priszantine Series features the new blues predicted to make a splash leading up to the millennium.
Chippenhook, Flower Mound, TX; (800) 527-5866 or (972) 539-1672, fax (972) 539-1475,

 A blue-on-blue window system featuring the new blue shades, plus trend-catching triangular shapes.
Alex Velvet Inc., Los Angeles, CA; (213) 255-6900, fax (213) 255-6934.

Men's collection by Alex Velvet is created in a chess theme and is available in any size and color combination (pad and chess buttons not included). Suggested retail, $350.
Alex Velvet Inc., Los Angeles, CA; (213) 255-6900, fax (213) 255-6934.

Slant-front hex pedestal features thinline anodized aluminum trim, two bottom hinged glass doors with locks, 12-in. high glass display area, 22-in. high standard HPL finish base, clear glass sides and top, and a melamine interior deck available with custom finishes.
Spartan Showcase Inc., Union, MO; (800) 325-0775, fax (314) 583-4067

The Lumisphere 3215 is designed to achieve a consistent lighting environment and position for high-resolution images for magazine, catalogs and other applications for items up to 250mm X 250mm and larger, depending on the camera lens combination. Training sessions available. Suggested retail including training, $8,995.
GemVision Corp., Bettendort, IA; (800) 357-6272, (319) 359-7923, fax (319) 355-8181, e-mail

DISCONTINUED - Lighted ring boxes illuminate when the box is opened.
Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 545-6566.

Eyecatchers allow a diamond ring to turn 24 hours a day for a year on one AA battery. The display comes in white or black and the ringholder accommodates various ring sizes.
National Box & Display, Spencer, IA; (800) 251-6008 or (712) 262-1455.

The Double Weave Chain Ramp is the patent pending design of Spirit International. This ramp holds up to 18 gold chains, has a hidden front cavity to store excess chain length and offers a pull-out drawer in back of the ramp to hold back stock. Introductory price, $75.
Spirit International Inc. Dallas, TX; (972) 444-8400, fax (972) 444-8424.

Adjustable tunnel-riser system by Fieldstone guarantees this system will fit into any showcase. Once installed, it can be modified or moved to another showcase of a different size. Fixtures are wrapped in an oat-colored nova suede.
Fieldstone Ltd., Brooklyn, NY; (718) 649-3300, fax (718) 272-6615.

 Highlight sets by Bates are available in a variety of materials and colors. Shown here is a blue-green shade that color forecasters predict will be hot.
Bates, Corona, CA; (800) 824-3114, fax (909) 371-5567.

Counter books feature inside pads in the new purples.
Cutler Display + Packaging, Johnston, RI; (800) 223-0582, fax (401) 944-0088.

The bag as emissary: Give one to every customer at the point of sale. The company can coordinate a logo across a variety of other materials, such as ribbons, boxes, wrapping paper and other packaging materials.
Image Packaging, Horseheads, NY; (800) 793-2095 or (607) 739-3667, fax (607) 739-3457.

Modular island displays by Tecno are shown in Italian pearwood laminate. All models are dust-resistant and have halogen lights and tempered glass. Flexible mini-halogen side lights can be added to highlight products from various angles and positions. Other laminate finishes are black, walnut, brushed gold and silver. Models come preassembled with free freight.
Tecno, Brisbane, CA; (800) 255-3536, (415) 468-6766 or fax (415) 468-2554.

The Kassoy Clarity Master is a self-contained light box with zoom and focus lens system for easy stone viewing. Show your customers the details and intricacies of loose and mounted stones when it is enlarged on a TV/video monitor.
Kassoy, Hicksville, NY; (800) 4-KASSOY, (516) 942-0560, fax (516) 942-0402, e-mail,


Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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