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ACS 2004: Second Place, Turgeon Raine Jewellers



Turgeon-Raine JewelLers

Ultra-modern approach makes this store flawless in Seattle

Address: 1407 Fifth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104  |  Phone: (206) 447-9488 | Opened: 2001  |  Last major renovation: March 2002 | Est, property value: N/A  | Staff: 12  |  Store area: 8,000 sq. ft. | Location type: Downtown  |  Store slogan: N/A  | 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 it’s even more critical when your clients are Seattle’s newly-enrichened computer- and software-industry workers.

Those in the high-tech business can appreciate the store’s 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 client’s visual experience exciting,” says Turgeon.

In addition to its contemporary look Turgeon-Raine Jewellers had to include modern conveniences as well. With Microsoft’s headquarters in Seattle, many of Turgeon-Raine Jewellers’ 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 aren’t available in the store.


The store owner on his cool store: “Every morning when I walk in to the store I say to myself, ‘wow, this is such a cool store’. We shop a lot of stores throughout the country and some stores have a similar feel, but our store has such a unique feeling. It’s 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.” —Jerry Raine

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. It’s 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.”


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This story is from the August 2004 edition of INSTORE



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When Liquidation Is the Best Option, This Legendary Jeweler Chose Wilkerson

George Koueiter & Sons Jewelers, a 65-year old jewelry institution in Grosse Pointe, MI, had always been a mainstay in this suburban Detroit community. But when owners George and Paul Koueiter were ready to retire, they made the decision to close rather than sell. “We decided our best option to do the liquidation sale was Wilkerson,” says Paul Koueiter. The results, says George Koueiter, exceeded expectations and the process was easy. “Wilkerson just kept us in mind,” says George. “They never did anything without asking and whatever they asked us to do was just spot on.”

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