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Outside The Box: Chic at the Shore

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Outside The Box: Chic at the Shore

Published in the September/October 2012 issue

Fourteen years ago, Bernie Robbins launched the summer-long event
series at its flagship Somers Point location that would later become known
as “Chic at the Shore.” In 2012, the jeweler celebrated its 50th anniversary
with exceptional events each weekend from July 6-Aug. 24 featuring more
than 20 designers, as well as a “Sip, Sample & Shop” catered happy hour
each Friday.

 

INTERVIEW WITH HARVEY ROVINSKY, OWNER

How was the concept for “Chic at the
Shore” developed?

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It began as a grand opening celebration for
our new flagship store in Somers Point. We
served food and drinks and it was a festive
celebration of summer and something fun to
do after the beach or on rainy days. It became
a tradition and we have been working to outdo
ourselves every summer since.

How was this year’s “Chic at the Shore”
promoted?

The 2012 theme, “The Golden Summer,” is a
tribute to our 50th anniversary. The catalog
brochure tells the story of the past 50 years
with a focus on the relationship between
my wife Maddy and I. People want to hear
the details — things they may not know
about Bernie Robbins — rather than just dates
and store openings. We launched our 50th
anniversary in June at a party for 500 of our
closest friends, family and clients. Then the
catalog hit homes, followed by billboards,
weekly TV and radio spots, and social media.

How are the concepts for each weekend
developed?

<pThe planning begins almost as soon as the
previous summer ends; we like to debrief
what worked and what could have been
improved while it’s fresh in our minds. We
begin pitching creative concepts in March
or April, which is when we decide on our theme and the product we wish to feature.
The catalog is designed first and all other
media dovetails from that piece of collateral.
As crazy as it sounds, we finalize the catalog
the week after we return from the Couture and
Luxury shows and hustle it off to the printer
so that it hits homes before the first weekend
in July. It’s always a crunch, but we feel it is
important to leave space on our calendar for
new brands and ideas that come out of Vegas.

What has been the most successful Chic
at the Shore weekend event this year?

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One of the most successful events so far
has been our “Slice of Life” weekend with
Penny Preville. We hosted an off-site cocktail
party with Penny — ladies only. Because of
the small group, intimate setting and Penny
as her charming self, all of our guests had
a blast spending one-on-one time with the
designer and trying on jewelry. We sold
several pieces that night and saw residual
sales throughout the weekend. Then we held
an in-store personal appearance the next day,
which drew a terrific crowd. Our Year of the
Dragon event was also quite successful. We
teamed up with John Hardy for an in-store
trunk show and Master Chef Joseph Poon, a
dynamic celebrity chef, to provide cooking
demonstrations and sampling. Each guest
received a fortune cookie upon arrival that
contained a special offer ($25 off, $50 off,
etc.). Almost everyone made multiple John
Hardy purchases and guests had so much fun!

How difficult is it to coordinate with all
of the featured designers?

Coordinating the designers is the most
challenging aspect of Chic at the Shore — it’s
like fitting pieces into a puzzle. Since each
weekend also has a sub-theme, the designer
needs to fit with that theme, yet we are bound
by the designer’s availability. It’s crucial that
we start planning early, keep a spreadsheet to
stay organized, and remain flexible.</p

>What does it add to the experience to
have these designers in the store?

Whether it’s a personal appearance or simply
a trunk show, the added value comes down
to product. We are showcasing jewelry that
is not available in other stores until the fall
or holiday seasons. Our customers know they
are going to see the hottest and newest pieces.

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