Retail Roundup: Week of July 16

News and noise from the retail jewelry front.

Bailey Banks & Biddle Debuts Digital Design Studio

One of the U.S.’ oldest jewelry companies has launched a digital tool for modern shoppers. Bailey Banks & Biddle, which debuted in Philadelphia in 1832, recently introduced its Design Studio: an online and in-store tool that allows users to customize virtual pieces of jewelry using real-life components. Users can choose from more than 20,000 unique diamonds, broken down by shape, color, cut, color, clarity, quality rating, and price, along with hundreds of mountings and design samples.

The program is an obvious acknowledgement, on the company’s part, of e-commerce’s increasing dominance over brick-and-mortar shopping. “Today’s affluent shopper is savvy enough to know that the best values are found online, but they don’t want to completely sacrifice the romance of their jewelry shopping experience,” says chief operating officer Steve Lang. “We’re finally able to offer fine jewelry consumers the best of both worlds. The ability for customers to customize jewelry represents a new level of innovation for a cross-channel jewelry store.”

A screenshot of Bailey Banks & Biddle’s new Design Studio (courtesy of Bailey Banks & Biddle)

The Ring Factory in Lake Havasu Closes Its Doors

Wimbledon Goldsmiths in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., has been one of the area’s most trusted jewelers for 25 years. But its founder, Marvin Goldberg, unexpected passed away in January, leaving his wife, Beverly, and a small staff of loyal employees to run the fine jewelry and repair shop. Beverly has decided to shutter the store in the coming months, and is currently hosting an 80-percent-off sale to liquidate its (now scant) inventory. “We always want to give people prompt and courteous service and I guess that’s why we are still here after all these years,” Beverly told HavasuNews.com. “Our reputation of being an honest jeweler was paramount. Marvin just loved the business.”

Colorado’s Rydquist Fine Jewelry Relocates

Mark Rydquist, owner of Rydquist Fine Jewelry in Loveland, Colo., has moved his shop to a less central—but more bustling—part of town. The retailer and goldsmith, a 30-year industry veteran, sold the building he owned downtown last year, and after renting a storefront for a brief spell, has finally found a new space to call home on Eisenhower Avenue, “near an intersection that 10,000 people cross through every day,” he says. It took six months to build out the new store, which Rydquist calls a “really nice freestanding location.”

FR Hueb Jewelry Opens First-Ever Store in Dubai

Brazilian diamond jewelry brand FR Hueb has opened it first-ever jewelry store outside of its native country: in Dubai. Located in Souq al Bahar, next to the high-end Dubai Mall, the shop will carry the brand’s signature collection of statement-making, pavé-heavy jewelry, with an emphasis on colored gemstones and custom-designed styles. Business-wise, the brand will be heavily focused on the Middle Eastern market in the coming years, according to a company statement.

Rings from FR Hueb (courtesy of FR Hueb)