Professional Insider/Trend Spotting
Playing Your Game
It seems like everyone down at the mall is branding or selling jewelry. Does it matter?
Stroll through any mall or amble down any city shopping street and look in the windows of apparel retailers. Theyve got mannequins clad in the latest styles. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Look a little closer and youll see that many of the mannequins such as those in the windows at Nine West, Ann Taylor or Guess are also wearing jewelry.
Showcasing the Brand
Walk in to these stores, and others like them, and youll find stand-alone showcases with sterling silver and 14k gold necklaces, bracelets and earrings styled to complement the retailers clothes and the customers style. Nine West, a shoe retailer, recently branched out to offer some apparel and trendy jewelry perhaps reasoning that shoes and handbags are accessories, so why not add jewelry? Ann Taylors jewelry selections are well-matched to its classic mid-priced careerwear, while edgier Guess adds such items as belly chains to its more standard jewelry offerings.
Department Stores Invaded
Its not just the specialty retailers apparel makers such as Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and DKNY also offer branded jewelry that echoes the styles of their clothing lines. The jewelry can be found in department store jewelry cases, in brand-specific areas within the department stores and in stand-alone shops devoted to the design line.
Its Not Fine
Because this development doesnt take away from your fine jewelry sales, you might think it doesnt matter. But many of the women choosing to buy fashion jewelry may never cross your threshold those in Generations X and Y have learned to buy jewelry from lifestyle retailers and are often intimidated when venturing into a jewelry store. Plus, its quicker and easier to pick up some jewelry when youre already buying a suit or pair of jeans.
To lure these shoppers, stock some lower-priced fashion items, like this seasons hot ID bracelet or lariat necklace, and dont be afraid to display them in your windows. When these younger women do come in, make a special effort to welcome them, but dont make it a big deal if theyre shopping quickly, help them out. Get them into the jewelry store habit now, before its too late
by Liz Smutko