June 5, 2006
IJO Launches E-Commerce Site
With the intention of fighting back against e-commerce diamond and jewelry Web sites, the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) Norwalk, Ct., has launched an e-commerce Web site designed to promote consumers' reliance on bricks-and-mortar independent jewelers.
At IJODiamonds.com, according to an article in The New York Times, shoppers can order loose diamonds and have them delivered to their local jewelry store so they can see and touch them before they pay for them. Diamond wholesalers list their diamonds on the site and ship a diamond to the store when a consumer orders it.
The site is a way for the 850 stores that belong to IJO to fight back against online jewelers such as BlueNile.com, which have been responsible for a roughly 4% decline in independent jewelers' sales over the past several years.
IJODiamonds.com will ship diamonds directly to consumers but discourages buyers from buying a stone without seeing it first.
While analysts told the Times the site gives independent jewelers a chance to compete, they warn that the site will require a great deal of promotion to compete with sites such as Blue Nile, Amazon.com and Diamond.com.