Professional Jeweler Archive: The Golden Hook

June 2002

Feature


The Golden Hook

Sell luxury jewelry and timepieces to the affluent


Wealthy and middle-class folks alike may want the same things when they browse your store. But you need a somewhat different approach to convince the wealthy to part with a portion of their wealth. Here are some tips.

Personnel Pampering

Work with nice people in nice surroundings. It may sound too simple, but it’s true. Working for and with nice people in elegant surroundings creates a pleasant atmosphere that will carry your affluent clientele away from the daily grind.

Court this customer by creating a buying environment of understated elegance. Create small, private selling spaces where you work with your client discretely. The rule of thumb is treat others as you would like to be treated. Do that and word-of-mouth will bring more of these sought-after clients to your door.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Creating up-to-date wish lists and tracking special occasions is an effective and traditional form of upscale promotion to make wishes come true. A polite telephone call to clients reminding them of an upcoming special occasion could mean a big sale. There are few busy people who would object to a friendly reminder of an upcoming important birthday or anniversary.

When that client gratefully enters your establishment, make sure your merchandise selection is appropriate. Know what the intended recipients like in terms of style and quality beforehand. This will help the client make the right buying decision.

Merchandising

If people don’t know you exist, you won’t. To attract the new, younger affluent market, remember they have a blend of classic and fashion-forward styles. They want avant-garde, not trendy, fresh but not faddish. Also stay involved with your community. Support local charities with jewelry donations. Hold receptions and trunk shows to introduce new designers and bring new clients to your store.

Create a newsletter informing clients and potential clients what’s new. Keep your name in front of them by advertising in the local newspaper or on a local radio station.

Windows Wizards

Carefully designed windows can lure the affluent into your store also. Display a single piece of jewelry that is unusual or unique. Use an interesting layout and unexpected materials to create a style all your own. Look to Tiffany & Co. as an example. It creates signature designs for windows using unusual props and often a single jewel.

Brand Recognition

Carrying recognizable names such as Chopard, Bulgari, Cartier and Mikimoto tells affluent customers your store is an extraordinary place to shop. Because there is a broad range of wealthy clientele, you should stock a variety of jewelry to meet varied tastes.

High-end watch brands also work well to attract affluent clients. Use the name recognition of the heavily promoted watch category to draw customers. The latest luxury timepieces displayed on these pages will give you some timely ideas.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P., and Michael Thompson

From the Sakura collection of Montblanc pens, this special-edition is one of only 333 and features the cherry blossom. The pen is a tribute to Japanese culture and pays homage to the Japanese Crown Prince and Princess. The cherry blossom, the Japanese national symbol, signifies a new start in spring. Suggested retail, $20,000.

Montblanc Inc., Murray Hill, NJ; (908) 508-2300, fax (908) 464-3722.

Platinum ring features a 2.44-ct. fancy yellow radiant-cut diamond and two trapezoid diamonds totaling .90 carat. Suggested retail, $36,000.

Kimberley Diamond Co., New York City; (800) 223-4104, fax (212) 791-7731.

18k white and yellow gold necklace is inlaid with 112 carats of Australian opal, 4.08 carats of round tanzanite, 13.23 carats of oval tanzanite and 2.19 carats of round diamonds. Suggested retail, $112,000.

Nagalle Designs, Wilsonville, OR; (503) 685-5044, fax (503) 685-9743.

Platinum ring is set with a 1.51-ct. H/VS2 diamond and has 0.85 carat of G-H/VS diamond accents on the shank. Suggested retail, $27,000.

Claude Thibaudeau Montreal, Montreal, Canada; (877) 397-9411, fax (800) 644-5077.

Limited-edition platinum necklace features a 34.62-ct. tanzanite and 8.90-ct. of VS diamond pavé. Suggested retail, $117,000.

Kabana, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 521-5986 or (505) 843-9330.

Platinum necklace cradles 23.60 carats of marquise diamonds and a pear center. Suggested retail, $100,000. Matching earrings are available.

Eugene Biro Corp., New York City; (212) 997-0146, fax (212) 764-4506.

TAG Heuer’s Alter Ego features a river of diamonds totaling 4.28 carats. Suggested retail, $13,995.

TAG Heuer, Springfield, NJ; (973) 467-1890, www.tagheuer.com.

Corum offers Farfalla, which has an 18k white gold case set with 56 diamonds and a mother-of-pearl dial set with 50 diamonds. The folding clasp also is diamond-set.

Corum, Irvine, CA; (949) 458-4220, www.corum.ch.

Chopard’s new Mini Happy Sport Chocolate Diamonds uses a case set with 56 black diamonds and 32 “chocolate” diamonds. The attachments and case are set with five briolette diamonds.

Chopard, New York, NY; (212) 218-7218, www.chopard.com.

Parmigiani Forma in yellow gold comes on a brown leather strap.

Parmigiani Fleurier, Greenwich, CT; (203) 531-3276, www.parmigiani.com.

Harry Winston’s Golden Aurora in 18k gold features white and golden diamonds, mother-of-pearl dial and a satin strap with gold folding clasp.

Harry Winston, New York City; (212) 245-2000.

Breguet’s new Classique 5237 features a complicated hand-wound mechanical chronograph with a column-wheel device, all cased in 18k yellow, pink or white gold with a display sapphire caseback.

Breguet, Weehawken, NJ; (800) 331-1577, www.breguet.com.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications