Jewelry stores are reinventing the game for brick and mortar retail. INSTORE Magazine recently announced their winners for the 19th Annual America’s Coolest Stores Contest. This contest evaluates jewelry stores on their interior, exterior, back story, online presence and most importantly: individuality. The winners have proven that crafting unique in-store experiences for their customers is important and necessary.
The jewelry store winners prove that brick-and-mortar retail thrives and always will. There’s something special about the jewelry store business and creating a beautiful experience for customers to buy diamonds for their loved ones. The passion a store exudes from its team members and overall design is what truly makes it stand out.
INSTORE Magazine highlighted jewelry stores that take the next step into uncharted territories and experiential retail:
Best 1st Place: De Boulle, Dallas, TX
De Boulle has created a VIP experience for their shoppers, with a twist. The owners reinvented their 20-year-old flagship store to give a brighter and more modern feel. To add a personal touch, the store unveiled a 1959 vintage car from a winning race at Le Mans in France. The car commemorated the Boulle’s family interest in cars as well as their son Nick who is a professional driver.
“Over the years, we have found that many of the people who collect cars also collect jewelry and watches. Plus, the branding and marketing side has been very helpful in making de Boulle more than just a jewelry store. It is an extension of the de Boulle lifestyle,” said Denis Boulle, store owner.
Besides encompassing the family’s interest in cars, the store serves a luxurious atmosphere with impeccable service.
“We always try to make our clients feel at home while shopping with us,” said Karen Boulle.
Small Cool 1st Place: Hugo Kohl Jewelry, Harrisonburg, VA
Hugo Kohl has built a business centered around the Industrial Age, offering unique 20th century jewelry designs.
“The jewelry industry and Industrial Revolution start in the same place. They were innovating constantly,” Kohl said.
Kohl opened Hugo Kohl Jewelry in Harrisonburg, VA in 2015. He combined a manufacturing facility and jewelry store into one by letting customers see the jewelry-making process being made. He believes this has made people want to own the pieces being made in front of them, causing a significant increase in sales.
”What I try to put out there are things that I understand to be beautiful, meaning that all humans find certain kinds of attributes to be beautiful. It has to be beautiful in the objective sense, and it has to be tough and durable. I like to make things that I can sell to you and you can pass on to someone else,” Kohl said.
Big Cool 2nd Place: Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, Thornton, CO
Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry have set the bar high for jewelers all over – literally. In 2019, the jewelry store renovated their showroom to incorporate multiple bar areas, such as a bridal bar, jewelry casting bar, custom jewelry design bar, a jewelry repair bar and even a social bar stocked with spirits and brews.
Owners Joy and Troy Thollot have found that Colorado couples are not interested in traditional, high-end jewelry store experiences. In order to encompass a more welcoming space, they decided to use distilleries, breweries, museums, and 19th century gold mines as inspiration for their store design and experience.
“We designed it after the places we liked to have that same feel of a Friday night out. When you walk in, we have a definite Colorado chill vibe, which is super warm and super comfortable. It disarms them immediately. It happens right at the front door and you can see it happening. They relax, they sigh,” Joy Thollot said.
Among these winners there were plenty more honorable mentions that provided a unique buying experience for shoppers. Each of these jewelry stores prove that an online site doesn’t compare to the infinite possibilities and personalization of in-store offerings. E-commerce and its known shortcomings could never top what these stores bring to brick-and-mortar retail.
Jewelry buying is an exciting and special experience that can evolve with changing times and retail models. Enhancing the jewelry-buying experience by creating one-of-a-kind experiences for customers is something that needs to be done to keep reinventing brick and mortar.
Source: 19th Annual America’s Coolest Stores Contest – INSTORE Magazine, Best 1st Place – De Boulle, Small Cool 1st Place – Hugo Kohl Jewelry, Big Cool 2nd Place – Thollot Diamonds & Fine Jewelry
Photo Credit: Best 1st Place – De Boulle