Self-Purchasing Customers Down on Traditional Jewelry Stores

The self-purchasing customer is a big fan of jewelry, but has mixed feelings about standard jewelry stores, according to new research released by MVI Marketing.

The online survey queried 1,056 female customers who bought jewelry in the last 12 months.

Over 67 percent said wearing fine jewelry makes them feel special. Even more gratifying, buyers like being bitten by the jewelry bug: 91 percent said they wanted to purchase more. Most didn’t need any reason for their purchase: 59 percent said they bought jewelry “just because.”

“Self-purchase is a strong market,” says MVI president Liz Chatelain. “But we aren’t taking advantage of it the way we should.”

Many respondents were less enthused about traditional jewelry stores. Asked why they avoided traditional jewelers, respondents frequently answered, “Too many men.”

“You go into a jewelry store, and you see six employees, and four are men,” says Chatelain. “They don’t just want women, they want hipper women.”

Some also disdained the look of traditional stores, complaining they “can’t try on anything comfortably,” “every store looks the same,” “they’re not talking to me,” and “it’s all so white, I need color to accessorize.”

“We have always had this problem,” says Chatelain. “The reality is that women like color, they like fashion. They like a place that is more messy, not sterile. And that is what jewelry stores are, they are kind of sterile. They are almost too staged. Even a department store can get kind of messy sometimes.

“Women are drawn to touch and feel. Jewelry stores are designed by men, for men, to educate men about diamonds, and I think it’s hampered us. Every store is white on white, white diamonds and white backgrounds. And it all looks alike. Take a look at people who are doing really with jewelry, like Kendra Scott. They lay out all their items, but there is color and a difference to it.”

(Top: Getty Images)

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JCK News Director