Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Are We Copy-cats?

A recent Article in National Jeweller focuses on a pretty amazing store in Sarasota, Florida.  The owners are quite proud of the fact that they’ve built something that is original.  Amir Chokr, one of the two sons involved in designing this $2Million, 7,000 square foot masterpiece says, “a company such as Tiffany comes out with a ring and, a few months later, retailers everywhere are selling a similar design. “It’s definitely an industry of copying.”

“Ouch.”  Is that what we are?  An industry of copying?  In many ways it is.  In significant ways however, it’s not.  Amir’s brother, actually flew to New York to look at Tiffany, DeBeers and Harry Winston stores to see what those stores had done to “stand-out.”  Whether or not they copied any of the specific architectural elements of those stores, they needed influences both positive and negative in order to create their own unique combination of design characteristics.

When someone comes in with a picture of a ring they like, they’re most often saying, “this is the genre of ring I like.”  Don’t get all disappointed that you don’t have that exact ring in your showcase.  If she could try it on, she likely wouldn’t buy it anyway, due to price or the actual look on her finger.  She came to you to see if you have that ring, but they usually want uniqueness.  The ring in the picture is a starting-point.  In a connected society, your store isn’t open 24 hours a day, but the internet is.  The web’s also available everywhere, so when that young lady is thinking about a diamond ring in a coffee shop at 10:00 at night, she can immediately log-on and get the ideas flowing.

They want original, but they start-out by showing you common.  I don’t know if it’s hardwired into the brain or if someone out there is telling ladies to say the words, “I want something different.”  THEY’RE USUALLY LYING.  How many times have you had someone say they want something different and then fall in love with the most repeated fast-seller you have?

You’ve selected you inventory in response to what you know about the local market.  You don’t have to appeal to the mass market in all of Canada or all of North America.  Take pride in your designers and don’t be apologetic that you don’t have that ridiculously fragile ring in the magazine with the 3 carat diamond that they can’t afford anyway.

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