JCK Show: Elba unveils new Internet initiative

Elba Jewelry of San Dimas, Calif., unveiled a new Internet venture during a Friday press conference at The JCK Show. The venture, www.whitediamonds.com, is designed to help jewelers decrease inventory costs and make e-commerce easy.

The home page asks online shoppers for area codes to help them find a local jeweler. If consumers make a purchase online, Elba products are made and mailed by the manufacturer. While Elba is billing the jeweler for the product purchased, the consumer is mailing payment to the retailer.

According to Bernard Bachoura, vice president, the venture is a natural extension of his jewelry manufacturing business. “The site will be unique among competitors, including www.bluenile.com and www.diamonds.com, because Elba won’t restrict jewelers from linking their www.whitediamonds.com sites to other manufacturers,” he said. “The program enables jewelers to feature a wide array of jewelry, and not just Elba lines. We don’t restrict jewelers’ site content.”

And unlike some now-defunct pure-play dot-coms such as www.mondera.com, Elba is approaching its new campaign by making initially modest investments in advertising. “The Internet is still a relatively new business,” said Larry Roseman, regional sales manager. “We’re not trying to conquer the world right now, because we’ve seen the mistakes made by other dot-coms.”

As partners in the www.whitediamonds.com program, retailers are granted a territory of 150,000 consumers, outlined by zip code data, and consumer exposure through two ads in Bride’s Magazine, some regional mailings, and registration and ads with major search engines such as Yahoo. Elba currently has 110 retail jewelry partners, and it aims to increase that number to 1,800 within three years.