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Ideas for Jewelry & Accessory Businesses
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TIFFANY HAS OPENED a new “concept” store in Glendale, California, that is a radical departure from the firm’s usual buttoned-down selling.  The new store is smaller than former Tiffany emporiums, more casual, more comfortable.  Price points are lower, too, running from $80 to $42,000, with an average of $200 to $5000.  What’s this got to do with you?   A lot, if you retail costume or fashion jewelry. 

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The idea, Beth O. Canavan, Tiffany executive vice president says, “is to zero in on the contemporary fashion collections and showcase them in a more artful and accessible way.  We said, ‘Forget about the rules.  Let’s think about how women shop.’ ”


                                            The Thrill of Adventure


CANAVAN SAYS IT TOOK two years to develop the concept plan, during which time the company learned that women are looking for a sense of adventure when they shop. To appeal to this desire, Tiffany has changed its entire showcasing of merchandise, showing jewelry for the first time by style and category. Tiffany has traditionally shown jewelry by metal.


Large collections of bangle bracelets and stackable rings are openly displayed. There is also a charm bar. Some jewelry is in drawers that customers are invited to open. Wow!  Is this Tiffany?  Canavan calls it “an evolution of the jewelry box.”  We call it radical!


  • COPY THE DISPLAYS AND FOCUS ON THE MERCHANDISE. You can get the Tiffany effect with bracelets customers can try on, and charms they can touch and admire.  Consider 13 mm ampersand (&) rhinestone charms – fun to use, fun to give anyone involved with words. Or, choose a pack of 8mm rhinestone letter charms.  You can spell out a favorite name or statement, from William to Love, to Peace.  Great!


                                               Jewelry Stylists


The store walls have also been put to work, with displays of top jewelry designers’ works and demonstrations of how jewelry can be mixed and matched.  Employees, too, have been upgraded and trained for a new sales category as jewelry stylists.  


The interior design is aimed at creating an atmosphere of “hushed elegance.”  Colors are basically neutral: browns, creams, and whites.  Rosewood, glass and white oak are important interior elements, along with ceramic stone flooring, tan carpeting, and a gold leaf ceiling.  The firm’s well known signature blue is present on digital screens with soothing imagery.


  • THINK ABOUT THAT “SIGNATURE BLUE” COLOR: Consider developing a special color for your store.  You can maximize the color impact by always keeping a collection of accessories in that color on display.  Soft wholesale prom bags come in a variety of colors – blue, purple, peach, and hot pink – and make a great centerpiece for color display.  The bags are made of soft satin, and feature zipper tops and horizontal pleats. 




                               Expanding the Customer Base


CANAVAN ADMITS THE STORE may attract customers looking for lower priced items than Tiffany usually carries. But, that’s no disadvantage!  The new customers are expected to be in addition to Tiffany’s faithful followers. 


In appealing to both a new and existing customer base, Canavan says, Tiffany will be very careful and considerate about where and how it places the new concept boutiques.  So far, Tiffany has tentatively targeted 70 new locations for the stores, and plans to open 2 or 3 annually.  Two are expected to open this year, with an additional four in 2010. 


A Fashion Industry observer liked the idea the minute he saw it.  “For the first time, they have broken down barriers so you can touch and try on,” he said.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Friday, January 9th, 2009

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