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Building the Store, Part 11: Grogan Jewelers: Soft Opening Points to Big Things Ahead For the New Grogan’s

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Building the Store: Soft Opening Points to Big Things Ahead for the New Grogan’s

BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND | Published in the July 2013 issue

PART 11 OF A SERIES that will cover the construction of the new Grogan Jewelers store in Florence, AL, from initial plans to a projected spring 2013 completion.

Weeks after the early May “soft opening” of Grogan Jewelers’ new location near the Florence mall, Jay Klos was feeling good about his new store. He predicted he’d soon be feeling great, after the landscaping was complete and those lingering items on his final punch list were checked off.

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“My list is getting down to little nitpicky stuff now,” he says. “The finishing touches will put me over the top.” There was a problem with the thermostat, for example.

Most important, though, a safety hazard that no one had anticipated prior to the opening needed to be addressed. “Today, we were putting in railings because we have two steps down into our engagement center and we had someone actually fall down,” Klos says. “The lady was so nice. She banged up her knee but she’s fine.”

COLORADO STYLE

R. Cherri Pitts, architect and interior designer, says that in the beginning Klos referred to his vision of the store’s exterior as “Colorado style.” Pitts was pretty sure, though, he didn’t want a slope-roofed ski lodge motif.

“He wanted something that was chic, while using natural materials. So we used limestone, wood slabs, a rain screen and metal awnings. It’s got the vibe that Jay was going for and it suits him to a T. We captured a relaxed chicness that you associate with a vacation in Colorado.”

It must have worked because people have been telling Klos the store doesn’t look at all like it belongs in Florence, AL, which he takes as high praise.

INTERIOR DESIGN

The interior reflects that elegant but casual vibe as well.

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Pitts is happy with the way it all turned out, especially a steel, beaded curtain shroud that hangs 6 feet down from the ceiling and calls attention to the ring table in the center of the sunken engagement room. “It’s really dramatic and beautiful and pulls you into the room,” Pitts says. It will be finished with floor-to-ceiling curtains to create a dazzling backdrop.

“I also love the stone fireplace in the sitting area,” she says. “There’s a rawhide rug in front of it with white leather chairs. It’s elegant and fun at the same time.”

There’s a fireplace on the second floor as well in the conference room. Floor to ceiling windows on both sides of the fireplace offer a view of the sales floor from above.

PLANNING FOR A BIG MONTH

In May, Klos was looking forward to his first tenant, a yogurt shop, expected to open by June 1. He was also planning a month of opening events in June, including a VIP party on June 6.

He’ll be giving away prizes once a week for the month, too, including gift certificates to the store, weekends at the local Marriott and car and motorcycle leases.

A PROMISING START

“We didn’t advertise it heavily yet, but the business that we’ve had has been good,” Klos says. “We’re seeing people that we would never have seen in our downtown location. We are working on one of the biggest sales in the history of the company.” He also sold three TAG Heuer watches in a week to customers he says would not have visited his previous location. One client had been on his way to the mall to buy a watch, when he noticed Grogan Jewelers and decided to drop in there instead.

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“I have a feeling we’re going to do some big business here.”

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