Professional Jeweler Archive: Second Store's New Attitude

October 2000


Second Store's New Attitude

More female customers and fewer business suits direct new store's atmosphere

With 11,000 square feet, Reis-Nichols Jewelers in North Indianapolis, IN, has room for everyone.
The store, the company’s second one, opened a year ago with a main showroom, a children’s room, a so-called gentlemen’s room (a lounge with TV), a self-serve cappuccino bar and a diamond room.

What you won’t find is a fancy chandelier or a stuffy atmosphere. The intent is to provide creature comforts that encourage browsing and a hassle-free shopping experience. Parking is ample and free. “Our intent is to make this big store feel like a little store, yet still offer a wide variety of merchandise for this area’s customer,” says President B.J. Nichols.

Meeting Customer Needs

The older Reis-Nichols store is 3,000 square feet on the second floor of a business office in downtown Indianapolis. The new store is on the bustling northside and caters to a different buyer.

“Downtown we weren’t getting as much fashion-oriented business because primarily it’s a business crowd,” says Nichols.

The new store reaches more female shoppers who don’t go downtown. “This meant a different atmosphere that’s more comfortable,” he explains. To create that atmosphere, Architect Randy Veatch of Roland & Associates in Indianapolis designed a series of major brand boutiques placed around two larger hubs of activity: the jewelry area and the watch area.

Watches Draw Traffic

The watch department has grown significantly in the past two years. Only eight years ago, Reis-Nichols sold no watches. Now watches account for 20% of the showcase space and 25% of the new store’s sales. Watch division director (and Professional Jeweler columnist) Paul White says that brand-name watches increase traffic.

Upon entering, the watch department is first, with top brands such as Rolex, Cartier Jaeger-LeCoultre, TAG Heuer, Patek Philippe and seven others. Also clearly visible are the two watchmakers, Ray Murray and Dan Wesenberg, who occupy a glass-doored workshop next to the watch boutiques.

The jewelry section hosts several custom-designed boutiques, including those for John Hardy, Mikimoto, David Yurman and Seidengang designs.

The larger selection, greater comfort and close-to-home location have paid dividends: Business has more than doubled since the new store opened last fall.

– by Michael Thompson

Reis-Nichols’ watch department includes a two-person repair center visible from the selling floor
Paul White, director of the watch division at Reis Nichols, stands behind the Rolex boutique near the repair center.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications