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Editor's Note

Cool Stores Prove That Brick-and-Mortar Jewelry Retailing Can Always Thrive

No online experience can compare to what these stores offer clients.

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WHEN YOU READ our America’s Coolest Stores issue, what is your takeaway?

This year, mine is that brick-and-mortar jewelry retailing can still thrive and always will. When I look at these stores and read about everything they do to make the shopping experience special for their clients, I wish I could see each one in person. I want to experience the passion that their team has for what they do. And I realize that no e-commerce site, no matter how many bells and whistles, could possibly top walking into one of these stores and enjoying what they have to offer.

Each is unique. Hugo Kohl is a craftsman with a passion for Industrial Age jewelry-making techniques. The Boulle family from de Boulle display their love of racing inside a modern, sparkling showroom. Debbie Klein of Art + Soul shows her enthusiasm for designer jewelry and the designers themselves in everything from marketing to events. Troy and Joy Thollot have created the ultimate bar-hopping experience inside a very “Colorado” jewelry store. Anne Holman and Jen Townsend of The Smithery hold Wedding Band Workshops to help clients create their own wedding bands. And Rob Samuels and partners make dreams come true in their “Dream Factory” at Provident Jewelry.

It doesn’t take a fortune to build a Cool Store (although it certainly doesn’t hurt). But it does require true passion, focus, and a willingness to take the jewelry shopping experience into uncharted territory.

We hope you enjoy this year’s edition of America’s Coolest Stores, and that they give you permission to dream big!

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Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  1. Create a “social wall” on your website where clients can upload pics wearing your product. (The Big Story, p. 76)
  2. Cross-promote an earring event with a local salon and photograph clients wearing jewelry after a makeover. (The Big Story, p. 70)
  3. Designate “areas of pride” in your store and assign a new associate to merchandise, promote and clean that area each month. (The Big Story, p. 64)
  4. Procure jewelry sketches from designers prior to in-store trunk shows to help promote the event. (The Big Story, p. 58)
  5. Offer tours of the shop in order to engage clients more closely with the art of jewelry-making. (The Big Story, p. 44)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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