Professional Jeweler Archive: Image Boost

July 2001


Image Boost

Here are the colors, surfaces, shapes and ideas affecting store design this year

Jewelry retailers have the privilege of hosting customers for a premier shopping experience. Because the merchandise is so special, your store should reflect an image that fits the merchandise. Whether it’s a fitting place to greet guests or to help them celebrate the purchase of something unique, you have a chance to create an enjoyable experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Take a look at what’s new in image-building products to help make your store a desirable destination. Trends are noted by category.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

Light Woods

The use of lighter, paler wood in showcases and flooring continues. The clear grains of maple, light oak, pine or beech contrast well with the cream and white found in so many jewelers’ showcases. “Touchstone words for retailers: comfortable and welcoming,” says Ruth Mellergaard, a principal of Grid 3 International, New York City. The warm glow of lighter wood conveys these attitudes to customers.

Measuring 26 by 26 by 75.5 inches, easy-to-assemble towers from Techno Display feature four tempered glass shelves with 24 square feet of useful show space, black aluminum framing and two 50 watt halogen top lights. Framing is black; also made in a maple wood or brushed silver. Optional sidetrack halogen lighting is available. In black, white, gray, maple and light cherry, $585. In brushed gold, brushed silver or Italian pearwood, $725.

Tecno Display Inc., Brisbane, CA; (800) 255-3536 or (415) 468-6766,

Custom-fabricated showcases provide the shopping experience worthy of any brand or image.

American Display Products, Victorville, CA; (800) 733-3409 or (760) 241-4431, fax (760) 241-5819,

This perimeter ensemble features graphic and laminated panels with quick-clip shelf attachments and custom shelves. Each model is designed for quick, clean and inexpensive installation. Additional wall systems, modular service counters, temporary retail fixtures, slatwall partition walls and furniture vignettes are available.

Walls + Forms Inc., Dallas, TX; (972) 980-7320, fax (972) 980-8424,, or

As designers look to new materials for lightness, strength, flexibility and functionality, Formica responds with durable, affordable laminate for interior surfaces. This wood grain collection is just a sampling of what’s offered.

Formica, Cincinnati, OH; (800) FORMICA,

Supple Curves

The continued use of curves and wavy edges provides dynamic visual interest. Elliptical shapes that are rounded, oval and asymmetrical in showcases, displays and packaging are becoming trendy. “It’s a reaction against 15 years of angles. Curves offer a softness that moves the customer with the merchandise comfortably,” says Ruth Mellergaard of Grid 3 International. The curvy trend also follows fashion’s dots and circular patterns. Soft curves are shown in all kinds of advertising. Once-boxy Volvo cars now exhibit the subtle softness of curves. Even De Beers’ advertising features the sexy curves of oval diamonds and line bracelets. “When people are bombarded with the visual stimulation of advertising, the transition to change from straight lines to curves is easy,” says Debbie Booth, sales and marketing coordinator at Cutler Display & Packaging, Johnston, RI.

The Splash window display is perfect for an ensemble of jewelry that deserves attention. The design flows and the colors are vibrant shades of blue suede over wood substrate and metal. Base and sign lock together for easy set-up.

Pacific Northern Inc., Carrollton, TX; (972) 416-6000, fax (972) 416-4848.

Reel Woods from Ovadia Corp. marries the richness of wood with the elegance of Leatherette. In a proprietary method that integrates wood into a molding process, this system is available in a variety of colors and finishes. Custom features include multiple top pad arrangements affixed with Velcro™ into the display bases, making them removable and interchangeable. Custom signs can be silk-screened onto the surfaces or molded in 3D for a raised look. Signs also can be developed as etched or silk-screened glass shapes that can be incorporated into the display unit or sit on top. Matching gift boxes are available.

Ovadia Corp., Little Falls, NY; (800) 776-8234 or (973) 256-9200, fax (973)256-7346.

Chain display features pockets covered in white simulated leather and measures 12 by 17 by 43/4 inches. Suggested retail, $32.50.

Gerald Fried Display Co. Inc., Tonawanda, NY; (800) 828-7701 or (716) 692-2705, fax (716) 692-5458.

Color My World

Color is back in retail interior design. The use of one color that winds its way through every aspect of the store is particularly popular with branding-conscious retailers. Cream, blue, moss, natural pastels, taupe, green, gold, champagne, peanut, light marigold, wheat yellow, pistachio green, sienna, deep chocolate brown, silver, pink cranberry, sage, cappuccino and Vizcaya palm are the hottest colors, say our experts.

“These friendly colors tie into fashion and remind customers of the environments they live in,” says Pam Levine, president of Levine Design Group LLC, New York City. The use of wallpaper, trompe l’oeil, faux painting and plaster finishes complement traditional or modern decor. Embossed fabrics add a touch of elegance, as does mixing a light and dark shade of the same color.

Create eye-catching window displays by experimenting with color. This is the crucial exhibit space. Merchandising of the product should entice the viewer to enter the store. Successful window cases make a viewer want to know more about the jewelry inside. “Use the simple principles of symmetry and color to create interest – change things around. Change your window displays every few weeks – consumers need a change to stay interested,” says Remy Rotiner, director of design at Kabana, Albuquerque, NM.

This window display for Krieger watches is made of white Quinel Leatherette, lacquered wood trim, adjustable acrylic metal watch cuffs and an embossed Mylar logo.

Mila Displays Inc., Hewlett, NY; (516) 791-2643.

Hinged-box packaging series features Leatherette cover and velvet interior. Prices start at 54 cents for ring and earring boxes. The Rio boxes come in seven styles in gray or red with white sleeve containers.

Gunther Mele Packaging, Buffalo, NY; (800) 516-0108, fax (716) 821-1480.

Jewelry display montage by R.S.K. Designs Inc.

R.S.K. Designs Inc., Clifton, NJ; (973) 614-1911, fax (973) 614-1915.

Die-cut gift packaging is covered with deep indigo paper and accented with cream-colored corrugated paper butterfly cutouts. These hinged plastic boxes accommodate a ring, a pair of earrings or a pendant. The necklace box includes a removable easel for additional display capability. The easel folds flat for storage and transport. Cream-colored inserts are die-cut cardboard covered with grosgrain ribbon; satin lid liners and covered hinges finish the presentation. All boxes are delivered in white cardboard sleeves. Your store name or logo can be hot-stamped on the outer sleeve or satin lining. Boxes are sold individually; quantity price breaks are available.

Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 545-6566 or (505) 839-3011, fax (800) 965-2329,

The Cube showcase features a satin finish in silver, gold or black anodized aluminum frame, quarter-inch tempered glass and locking door. The Cube is 20 inches square mounted on an 11-sq.-in.- column. Total unit height is 62 inches; the column is covered in shadow suede. Suggested retail, $795.

Princess Tanya, Downey, CA; (800) 537-2031 or (562) 869-8809, fax (562) 862-5478.

An earthy mix of fiber material with industrial-strength laminate creates Parqcolor Fiber flooring products. The textured surface is made up of thousands of randomly placed fibers derived from recycled coffee bean bags. Fiber floor offers a high density and water-resistant fiberboard core for maximum resistance to foot traffic, spills and indentations. Designed to be applied over a sheet of foam, the tongue-and-groove floating floor is easy to install. Plank sizes are 47.2 by 7.5 inches. Available in beige, brown, blue, gray, soft green and dark green. Suggested retail, $6.65 per square foot.

Abet Laminati, Englewood, NJ; (800) 228-2238 or (201) 541-0700, fax (201) 541-0701.

Cream Rises to the Top

White, the ultimate neutral, is beginning to wane as the trend moves toward off-white, pearl and cream. Interesting touches of metallic color here and there draw the eye. These tones are soft and functional: The light reflection allows more brightness in the case and allows luxury retailers to differentiate themselves from high-volume stores.

Low-voltage lighting with different shades of brightness and metal halide lights remain popular also.

Accent with striking color to create focal points when using these neutral shades.

Wood displays with Leatherette covering sell for $25.95-$69.95.

Cutler Display & Packaging, Johnston, RI; (800) 223-5710 or (800) 223-0582, fax (401) 944-0088.

Ultima boxes capture the quintessential essence of romance and elegance. This white-on-white presentation has the look and feel of real leather. Allow two weeks for delivery.

Jewel Case Corp., Providence, RI; (401) 943-1400,

Three-piece risers are accented with nautical flags and sell for $165.

Alex Velvet Inc., Los Angeles, CA; (323) 255-6900, fax (323) 255-6934.

From the Concord collection, this flexible concept features a fluted motif with two-tone coloration. Matching accessories are available in an array of colors and textures in stock and custom fabrics. Suggested retail, $400-$600.

Chippenhook, Flower Mound, TX; (800) 527-5866, fax (972) 539-1475,

That’s Entertainment

Displays now can inform customers who are browsing unassisted. Such displays are meant to teach as well as mirror the desired image of a store and invoke a need for the consumer to learn more about it. “This area is important because of all the information we receive,” says Pam Levine of Levine Design Group. “The display should not be overpowering, but done with taste to attract attention to draw in and encourage purchasing.”

Communication, information and education all attract a younger customer base that is tech-savvy. Here are some trends. Displays that create movement without the use of a video are becoming trendy. Molded plastic tags are an upscale alternative to paper. Branding messages such as store names or industry affiliations are prominent and show quality. Point-of-purchase signs show jewelry in giant proportions. LED signs provide messages that move. The use of natural light, plus more cooler temperature lamps emulate daylight. Fiberoptic lighting showcases the brilliance of fine gemstones while protecting and preserving their value. Themed windows or promotions that thread through packaging and other colorful enticements take time but help to increase traffic.

110/220 volt countertop diamond grading light measures 12 by 8 by 8 inches and retails for $495.

A&A Jewelry Tools & Findings, Los Angeles, CA; (213) 627-8004, fax (213) 627-1653.

Prestige pricing system is available in gold or platinum color.

Presentation Box & Display, Pawtucket, RI; (800) 556-7390 or (401) 725-9430, fax (800) 628-7274 or (401) 724-7035,

Jewelry boxes, bags and signs are by Kwiat Inc.

Kwiat Inc., New York City; (212) 223-1111, fax (212) 223-2796.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications