Professional Jeweler Archive: Image: The Best and Brightest

July 2004


Image: The Best and Brightest

Wood is still strong in jewelry store dˇcor, along with residential design touches and theatrical displays

Store design and display are evolving, and the best jewelers stay current to keep their images looking fresh. A good rule of thumb for remodeling is to think about refreshing your store decor with new colors and materials every five to seven years, with a full redesign every 20 years, says Ruth Mellergaard, principal at GRID 3 International, New York City, a design firm specializing in jewelry store remodeling. Mellergaard, along with Larry Johnson, vice president of Presentation Box & Display, spoke at the AGS Conclave in Atlanta, GA, about store remodeling, display and packaging issues. Here’s their take on what’s new and what’s enduring.

The Big Picture

Wood remains extremely popular in store design, says Mellergaard, with maple and cherry stains the key looks. “Both are reasonably priced and both are American woods,” she says.

The warmth of wood also reflects a conversion of stores to a more residential feel, with wall cases that look like armoires illuminated by lamps suitable for a living room, she says.

But don’t forget that showing jewelry also means putting on a show. Mellergaard says a growing trend is to use theatrical design touches such as murals for dramatic flair. You can achieve mural-like looks easily with on-site painting or wallpaper.

Adding to the drama, showcases are getting taller. “At 43 inches, they’re now a full three inches higher than just a few years ago,” she says.

Walk-up wallcases are more popular also, adding a democratic, less formal touch to selling jewelry. “They allow a sales associate to get out from behind the counter and sell side-by-side with the customer,” says Mellergaard. “The only addition needed is a pull-out on which to show the customer the jewelry.”
Museum-like showcases that look like art gallery vitrines are popular as well.

Getting Cozy

Intimate touches are now common ingredients in creating an atmosphere that encourages buying. “Presentation rooms are back,” says Mellergaard. These quiet, private spaces for showing important jewelry should nonetheless be lined with glass so buyers can look out into the store, she says. Closed-in spaces are intimidating, especially to younger people who then feel pressured to buy.

Accommodating young children is also key to a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Play areas should be viewable while still enclosed so children can’t run off. Don’t forget seating for spouses too, preferably with a lounge area where food and drinks are available.

Viewable bench areas remain popular, says Mellergaard, with some jewelers dividing their bench areas into “dirty rooms” for casting and polishing and a “clean room” for viewing. Some jewelers opt for a video camera so customers on the show floor can see what’s going on in the shop.

Mellergaard and Johnson stress jewelers should give careful thought to projecting principally their own names. Mellergaard advises being careful with vendor shops within the store, incorporating other names in clear second billing to the store’s own name. Johnson says packaging and display should allow branding of your store’s name at every opportunity. “People must see your name a lot to remember it,” he says.

What’s New in Display

Among the display trends Johnson cites:

Multiuse neckforms. These include a top part called a “cookie” that’s changeable to accommodate rings, earrings or even a sign.

Displays and packaging to accommodate certificates. These pieces include a space in which you can insert a diamond certificate.

Security displays. These include a locking device to deter thieves. Presentation Box & Display’s PresLock system is used more widely, says Johnson, to help deter the rashes of sneak thefts that have cropped up around the country.

Backstock panels. These are incorporated into the backs of displays so sales associates have immediate access to extra stock.

Magnifying displays. To show jewelers have nothing to hide, these displays feature magnifiers on goosenecks so customers can get a closer look at the gem or jewel they’re considering.

Mirror displays (example on this month’s cover). Mimicking the three-mirror viewers common in clothing stores, these displays allow a customer to see how a ring looks on her finger from various angles, including someone who’s viewing her hand.

Video displays. Incorporating videos that show extra products or lifestyle messages adds drama.

Magnetic floors. These help anchor displays so associates don’t knock something over when reaching in.

Movement. Spinning ear displays and turntables help bring live action to the jewelry case and show off today’s movable jewelry.

Hot colors. Chocolate and deep browns, creams and ecrus remain popular, though 75% of displays still feature white Leatherette. When changing colors, keep in mind trendier colors will have to be changed in two or three years.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Two-toned multilevel window display features complementary pieces floating around the center neckform.

Pacific Northern, Carrollton, TX; (888) 888-5868 or (972) 512-9000, fax (972) 512-9002.

Capri collection features high-polish natural wood and almond Vienna Leatherette.

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

Neck display is crafted in rich suede.

Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 545-6566, fax (800) 965-2329.

Custom displays are made in the U.S. with hundreds of fabric choices.

Presentation Box & Display, Pawtucket, RI; (800) 556-7390, fax (800) 628-7274.

Mahogany gemstone displays have removable white Leatherette covers and slotted inserts for gemstone presentations. Cover has Velcro straps.

Stuller, Lafayette, LA; (800) 877-7777, fax (800) 444-4741,

Merchandising system features platforms that enable you to merchandise jewelry by major classification, creating a visual impact that tells a story. The Euro is available in an array of designer and stock colors. The designs and platform sizes adapt to all sizes of showcases and windows.

Chippenhook, Lewisville, TX; (800) 527-5866,

Handcrafted boxes have a beechwood top and bottom caps, black Leatherette sides, white velvet interior and push-button lock.

Stuller, Lafayette, LA; (800) 877-7777, fax (800) 444-4741,

Creative designs and materials in packaging go into these beach box jewelry boxes.

Pacific Northern, Carrollton, TX; (888) 888-5868 or (972) 512-9000, fax (972) 512-9002.

Kassoy, Hicksville, NY; (800) 4-KASSOY.

Kassoy teams up with Dazor to bring The Diamond Light LED Collection to the jewelry industry. Light-emitting diodes reproduce most of the exceptional qualities of natural sunlight, intensifying the fire in diamonds. The collection is available with the Classic Dazor Floating Arm with desk bases or clamp mounts in a variety of channel lengths and numbers of LEDs. A model with a flexible arm is available.
Wood jewelry boxes can be used for display or as an add-on sale.

Mele, Utica, NY; (800) 635-6353, fax (315) 733-3183.

Crystal nameplate is custom-engraved with store name and jewelry/watch brand. It’s available in various sizes, thicknesses and shapes, all with faceted edges. A full catalog on brand identity signs is available.
Mila Displays Inc., Hewlett, NY; (800) 295-6452 or (516) 791-2643, fax (516) 791-2431,
New Athena line of jewelry ring trays and display tables comes in high gloss white lacquered wood with white Vienna simulated leather pads and inserts.

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

Jewelry boxes are made of colorful silk.

Mimi at ViewPoint Showrooms, New York City; (212) 696-1870, fax (212) 213-5494.

Examples of a wide variety of jewelry boxes available from Rocket Redbox.

Rocket Redbox, Bronx, NY; (800) 762-5521, fax (877) 273-3269.

Preassembled curved quarter vision corner jewelry showcase features tempered glass, halogen light strip, locked hinged glass or mirrored doors and lockable storage. The case is 42 inches tall, 44.5 inches wide and 24 inches deep and is available in various wood finishes. Prices range from $1,650 to $2,050.

Tecno Display, Brisbane, CA; (800) 255-3536,

Natural cherry finish easel display can be engraved with your store name.

Faster-Form Corp., New Hartford, NY; (315) 792 9000, fax (315) 792 9543.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications