Professional Jeweler Archive: The Changing Face of the Jewelry Store

February 2003

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The Changing Face of the Jewelry Store

Huge facades featuring big windows are the draw now


The traditional jewelry store exterior with enclosed display windows that block the view inside is giving way to a warm facade often sheathed with soaring windows. The new architectural style allows light in and gives drive-by traffic more opportunity to peer into a formerly hidden world.

Jewelers in destination locations are in the vanguard of this change. Two stores that relocated last year – Curt Parker Jewelers and Alson – have chosen the new approach, making the world their oyster.

Alson’s New Home

After serving the Cleveland area for 71 years from a downtown location, Alson moved to suburban Woodmere last year. The Schreibman family, the owners, launched the new location with a month of special events, including a Swiss Watch Fair. The 7,000-sq.-ft. store is three times larger than the old one and allows for more fine jewelry, Swiss timepiece displays and gift/home accessories, as well as a state-of-the-art jewelry design and repair studio, full-service watch repair center, private viewing room, children’s play area, coffee bar and computerized gift registry. A baby grand player piano provides music.

The Schreibmans designed their store to have “a residential, homey kind of feeling,” says Chad Schreibman, a member of the executive team that runs the store. Tall, narrow windows with multiple panes are set in a beige and brown stone exterior. The windows are accented by aubergine awnings that could easily frame a residence.

Just like in a home, says Schreibman, there’s an interior window ledge on which the store places some gifts and home accessories for people to see as they leave their cars and walk inside. A central foyer features a 5-ft.-by-5.ft. chandelier, and the store incorporates 30,000 watts of lighting to accent the jewelry. The panes of glass have wood frames and wood molding. Intimate overhead lighting fixtures and furniture-like stand-alone displays complement traditional showcases and wall displays. The interior also picks up the store’s new signature aubergine color.

Curt Parker’s Jewel Box

Late last year, Curt and Elizabeth Parker moved their 25-year-old St. Louis, MO-area business to a freestanding building in the affluent suburb of Ladue, closer to the center of their customer base. The couple chose a strong interior color – bright blush – along with distinctive lighting to make the store glow from the street, says Curt Parker.

Floor-to-ceiling divided-light windows invite drivers passing by to check out the interior of the store, which also features freestanding displays made of warm oiled cherry wood, anthracite sit-down sales tables, apricot-colored marble floors and rose carpeting. A stainless steel vault door is in full view, adding a high-tech modern touch to the 1,800-sq.-ft. space.

The Parkers’ store announces another change, from being private jewelers to upscale jewelry retailers, they say. The store’s location along a busy road and its wide-open views make the announcement real every day.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Alson’s aubergine awnings and multipaned windows give the store a “homey” feel.
The Schreibman family, which runs Alson, shows off the interior of their new store, which features warm lighting, wood molding around windows and furniture-like displays.
Curt Parker Jewelers “glows” from the street, thanks to a bright interior color and a careful lighting scheme.
Daylight combined with several other kinds of lighting fill Curt Parker Jewelers with an airy feel.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications