Turgeon-Raine Jewellers, Fifth Avenue Seattle, WA
OWNER: Norman Turgeon and Jerry Raine; ADDRESS: 1407 Fifth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104; LOCATION TYPE: Downtown; PHONE: (206) 447-9488; FAX: (206) 447-1762; OPENED: 2001; LAST MAJOR RENOVATION: March 2002; STORE SLOGAN: N/A; EST. PROPERTY VALUE: N/A; STORE AREA: 8,000 sq. ft; STAFF: 12; SALES IN 2003: $10 million-plus
NORMAN TURGEON AND JERRY RAINE are anything but conventional — Raine being an avid windsurfer and kite sailor and Turgeon a globetrotter and blues-band harmonica player. So it only follows that the business partners of 22 years abandoned the conventions of interior design to create a store that is completely geared towards selling their high-end, modern jewelry designs.
So much so that stringent display case requirements was one of their leading and most demanding conditions when working with SKB, a young and successful design firm contracted by Turgeon and Raine. Presentation is always important in jewelry sales, but itʼs even more critical when your clients are Seattleʼs newly-enrichened computer- and software-industry workers.
Those in the high-tech business can appreciate the storeʼs modern features and minimalist styling. The moment customers enter Turgeon-Raine Jewellers, they are drawn in by a dramatic, sweeping wall artistically textured in plaster by a French artist known for his unusual plaster creations in retail stores. A commanding focal point for the store, the wall also meshes perfectly with an interior design scheme that gently guides customers through the store.
The wall and display cases are positioned to help control traffic through the store. Turgeon and Raine are store owners who have adapted the trend of using wall and display cases to present jewelry in the style of fine art. The glass surface of the floor display cases, a combination of light and dark exotic woods, are 42 inches from the floor and only 8 inches deep — which allows customers to examine jewelry without hunching over. The 22 shadow-box wall cases, which display goods by category, are accessible to customers from walkways between the display cases on the sales floor and the wall. “Everything is about showcasing our collection of superfine gems and jewelry and making the clientʼs visual experience exciting,” says Turgeon.
In addition to its contemporary look Turgeon-Raine Jewellers had to include modern conveniences as well. With Microsoftʼs headquarters in Seattle, many of Turgeon-Raine Jewellersʼ clients are in the computer business. Sit-down selling areas are equipped with computers and high-speed Internet connections. Emails tend to get a more favorable response compared to phone calls in the high-tech capital of the world. Computers are also used to show customers custom-jewelry designs created with CAD software, and also to track down diamonds and jewelry that arenʼt available in the store.
- Jerry Rain: The store owner on his cool store: “Every morning when I walk in to the store I say to myself, ʻwow, this is such a cool storeʼ. We shop a lot of stores throughout the country and some stores have a similar feel, but our store has such a unique feeling. Itʼs that feeling you get when you see pieces of beautiful art, furniture or architecture — it just hits you. Ours is a sophisticated, serene, calming feeling that evokes quality and sophistication.”
- KAREN KARCH: “Entrance is grand. It looks like you are entering a concert hall, but may be a little intimidating because of its scale. Sweeping wall has a nice texture and movement. Adds momentum to entry. Shows nicely what a big budget can buy.”
- DEBORAH YONICK: “Sleek, ultra-mod — this jewelry store reflects attitude inside and out.”
Greg Gorman: “Excellent exterior storefront design. The exterior perfectly complements the interior. Very well done contemporary store design and the detailing and surface changes with the cases is well put together. The curved wall intersects the space eliminating the long tunnel effect that could have existed and divides the space well. Nice lines and well thought out ceiling treatments. The use of the textures and tone on tone complement the total experience. A definite TEN! Display cases have interesting and unique lines and shapes, surfaces that work very well together. Very well done.”
- LINDA CAHAN: “There is an excellent balance of light and dark, textures and light in this store. The curves draw the customer into the store. The traditional boundary of wall, salesperson, case-line and customer are broken by the placement of the cases away from the wall so customers can peruse the perimeter and walls of the store. Curved lines are excellent for engaging subliminal responses. They are more organic and appealing to humans. I especially like the blocked case-line mixed with the flowing architectural statement. Itʼs an interesting visual mix. I wish I could have seen more of the case display. The one I saw looked stimulating and excellent.”
- MARK & MONIKA CLODIUS: “Design, design, design, this store epitomizes a design concept fully applied. The lack of color however makes a somewhat boring look, magnificent, but not my taste. I would like to see some more color — perhaps even different shades of neutral colors can give a dramatic contrast.”
PHOTO GALLERY (7 Images)