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Does Your Store Really Feel Like a Home? It Should.

There’s no place like home, unless it’s your local jewelry store.

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JEWELRY STORE OWNERS OFTEN say they welcome customers into their store as if they are welcoming them into their home. If you want shoppers to truly feel at home, it’s time to make your store look and feel more like it is a home.

The jewelry store marketplace is changing, and the interior design world is responding to these dynamics. The work, live, and play communities designed for today’s mobile, multitasking lifestyles are driving this change, making sterile, commercial environments look and feel out of touch.

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We are blurring the lines between our working, social and private selves—and interior design is evolving to meet this changing concept of what retail should be.

We all want to shop in a store that is more warm and welcoming than stuffy and cold. Coffee shops, casual restaurants, hotels and other retail locations are being designed with a residential touch. Jewelry stores are no exception.

In recent years, jewelry-store designers have been incorporating residential elements more than ever, to create a more homelike environment in which to shop, something customers have said they crave. For example, chairs and sofas should be a beautiful leather or a soft but durable material. When seated, customers should feel as comfortable and relaxed as they do in their favorite chair at home.

A residential touch — including offering food and drink — reduces stress and anxiety among harried or nervous shoppers. Drink areas, food service and full bars are increasingly popular, for good reason. Crocker’s Jewelers in Texarkana, TX, for example, makes chocolate chip cookies every day to appeal to the sense of smell and set a homey mood.

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To update your own store, consider adding warmer colors, brighter fabrics with a soft touch, wooden floors and porcelain tiles that look like stone or natural elements. Let in some natural light, too, and consider adding chandeliers. Whether they are classic or contemporary, chandeliers can become the focal point of the entire space.

Sometimes all you need is an accent wall of color to create interest in an otherwise bland area. The exciting part about painting an area is that you can change it out in three years and have a new look to your store with very little investment.

Jewelry stores draw inspiration not only from actual residential design, but also from other businesses that have a comfortable, residential feel. I had a client a few years ago ask me to design a “Starbucks” looking jewelry store, which became an INSTORE editors’ choice for interior design.

The new design concept led to sale increases well beyond the owners’ dreams.

Leslie McGwire, ASID Allied is an interior designer for jewelry stores. Learn more at lesliemcgwire.com

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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