Retail Roundup: Week of July 2

Scott Gauthier to Open a Store in Santa Barbara

Jewelry designer and retailer Scott Gauthier is expanding his Scottsdale, Ariz.–based retail business to Santa Barbara, Calif., this August. The jeweler currently operates two stores in Scottsdale, and has reportedly has been hunting for a space in the tony California beachside community for years.

The Gauthier look is unapologetically decadent—think black pearl stud earrings encased in a matrix of round-cut diamonds—a look that should jibe well with Santa Barbara’s upper crust, which includes Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. Gauthier designs every piece of jewelry in each of his stores, crafting three to five pieces a day and roughly 1,800 pieces annually.

Earrings by Scott Gauthier (photo courtesy of Scott Gaultier)

Appelblom Jewelry Co. Opens in San Mateo

Local jewelry hounds who lamented the closing of 22-year-old R&R Jewelers in San Mateo, Calif., last year now have a new jewelry outpost to patronize. Appleblom Jewelry Co. recently opened its first retail location in R&R’s former storefront downtown.

Owned by jewelry veteran Paul Appelblom, who grew up in the nearby towns of Menlo Park and San Carlos, the store carries a robust selection of freshwater, golden, and Tahitian pearls, along with affordable sterling silver looks, diamond engagement rings, and fashion pieces boasting colored gems such as topaz and amethyst.

Louis Vuitton Opens Jewelry Store in Paris

Louis Vuitton is getting serious about jewelry. The luxury brand opened a Louis Vuitton jewelry store on Paris’ high-traffic Place Vendôme this week, hoping to up its presence in the fine jewelry marketplace. According to Reuters, the new store will sell accessible fashion pieces in the $800 range, along with pricey pieces including diamond-and-sapphire necklaces and rings that could range into the millions in price. In an artisanal turn, the company will design jewelry on the premises, both in a series of collections and as made-to-measure pieces.

Louis Vuitton brooch (photo courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Burglars Foiled in Florida

Jewelry store burglaries have been all too frequent this summer, so it’s nice to hear of a break-in story with a happy ending.

Two burglars broke into a North Florida jewelry store last month in the dead of night, only to be foiled by police after the store’s Sonitrol audio security system detected their rooftop entry. An operator monitoring Sonitrol’s Tallahassee station heard movement inside the store and immediately called the police (after hitting “record” on the criminals’ conversation). Police arrived in—get this—three minutes, apprehending the burglars as they tried to make a hasty exit out the back door. The recording of their conversation shows that they were considering barricading the front door or slipping out through the roof to evade law enforcers.

“The ability to verify an alarm in real time through audio or video detection technology gives police the advantage in speed, certainty and the element of surprise,” says Doug Smith, president of Sonitrol Northwest Florida. “Knowing that they’re responding to a real incident, rather than a false alarm, they respond faster.” And, in this case, not a moment too soon.

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