Retailer of the Week: Radcliffe Jewelers

Retail jewelers should never underestimate the power of
following jewelry trends in fashion magazines and studying how jewelry is
covered in the media. That’s why this week’s Retailer of the Week honor goes to
Radcliffe Jewelers. While the Maryland-based jeweler, with two stores located
in Baltimore and Towson, relies largely on Facebook to get the word out to its
customers—including the nearly 1,300 people who “like” the company online—the folks
at Radcliffe get extra points for monitoring trends and jewelry in the news on
two fronts.

First, Radcliffe quotes fashion news from varied sources
such as People, Departures, Hamptons Magazine,
Michigan Avenue Magazine, and Brides, giving their jewelry trends
information a strong regional, if not national, feel. Equally important is a
focus on local sources including the Baltimore
Sun
, and local high-end lifestyle magazines. Quoting local sources serves
to establish Radcliffe’s place in the Baltimore community: a jeweler that
values the city’s reputation as a thriving metropolis.

Second, the store carries a huge number of name brand
jewelry designers, watch lines, bridal lines, and giftware items. The store
highlights many of the designers and name brands in a number of ways on
Facebook. When valued vendors are spotted in the news, in music videos, in TV
commercials, on the catwalk, or on the red carpet, Radcliffe makes its
customers aware that the designers they have in the store, such as H. Stern, Penny Preville or David Yurman, are part of the fashion news cycle or are
portrayed in the media.

Some recent examples that Radcliffe highlighted
include singer Rihanna wearing a ring from H. Stern’s collaboration with the
legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer in her new “So Kodak” commercial. For
those who haven’t seen the commercial on TV, Radcliffe provides a link to the
30-second spot on Rap-Up.com.

Actress Halle Berry was spotted earlier this month wearing
diamond hoop earrings from Penny Preville
while on a promotional tour to promote her new fragrance in Warsaw, Poland. Radcliffe shared a lovely image of the actress with the white gold
earrings nicely silhouetted by a dark-colored background.

Radcliffe not only positions the store as a fashion-forward
destination by paying close attention to what jewelry is making trend and
fashion headlines, they participate in fashion events as well. In early October,
the jeweler provided the jewelry worn by celebrity models at the Urban Chic’s
Runway to Happiness, an event to benefit Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum.

The retailer has also uploaded a huge number of “as seen on”
celebrity images. The most recent is actress and singer-songwriter Emmy Rossum spotted
wearing a gold pavé Thoroughbred Watch from David Yurman. Madonna was also
spotted wearing one of Yurman’s Empire link handmade bracelet and hammered stackable
bangles to the recent launch of her daughter’s “Material Girl” fashion line.
Such celebrity “endorsements” help to start or advance trends, as retailers
know. 

The benefits of uploading such content are many. First,
Radcliffe is positioning its store as a fashion-forward destination. As female
self-purchases of fashion jewelry are becoming a more lucrative product
category for retailers, leveraging this strength in a store owner’s product
offerings is vitally important. And, it will become increasingly so given the
projected purchasing power of women.

Sharing this fashion news content is also a great way to
support vendors. Jewelry designers, manufacturers, and watchmakers love to see
their retail partners promoting their brands to stimulate interest and, most
importantly, sales.

And finally, it’s this type of content that helps make customers
aware of jewelry, jewelry trends, and celebrity trends without the sales pitch.
That’s the Facebook way.

Radcliffe is doing retail right in a number
of ways, from having an e-commerce enabled website to producing an online
catalog using the latest technology from BlueToad, an online
digital publication company. The electronic catalog has many cool and
convenient mouse-over features in addition to lovely images of product shots
and models, as well as celebs (namely brand ambassadors) wearing jewelry and
watches.