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August 1999


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Jewelry displays use video and graphics to draw traffic

'Multimedia" is the use of more than one medium – combining text, sound and video, for example – to enliven a presentation. But it's usually associated more with the art world or your office computer than your sales floor.

Steven Kaufman wanted to change that. The president of Displays for Jewelry Inc. in Jacksonville, FL, has a background incorporating information technology into retail merchandising, so he was surprised when he first encountered the field of jewelry display. "The jewelry industry tends to be conservative when it comes to display – a new idea has always just meant a new color!" Kaufman says. "Many jewelers think of fixturing and marketing as a complete expense item. They don't put the same thought and effort into display as they do into jewelry design."

So Kaufman invented and patented jewelry display systems with small LCD screens set into them to play full-motion video or to post text messages alongside jewelry. The GFX Graphics System for video is hooked up to a VCR that fits under the counter, while the PPS Price Point System for messaging can be maintained from a central computer to make changes in multiple units simultaneously. Kaufman says he can customize the displays according to how a store wants to use them – by adding headphones or speakers so customers can listen to an educational video, for instance.

The displays have gotten the most attention so far from stores in high-traffic locations such as malls. "These displays have the ability to draw attention and pull traffic, particularly if [the jewelry store] is not the destination," he says. Manufacturers, especially watch companies, have been interested in installing the displays in retailers' stores with promotional videos, while retailers say they'd like to use them to educate consumers on such topics as branded diamond cuts, the value of Gemological Institute of America certificates or platinum.

The displays also complement live salespeople, Kaufman says. "A study in Advertising Age confirmed the further you get away from somebody making a purchasing decision, the harder it is to influence them," he says. "The biggest influence is at the counter." He hopes the displays will generate interest and excitement about products and educate customers about their benefits.

  • Displays for Jewelry Inc., Jacksonville, FL; (904) 632-1331.

– by Stacey King

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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