Though it doesn’t have to, the company is charging online sales tax
Tacori is now selling its fashion jewelry direct to consumers online on Tacori.com.
Company senior vice president for marketing and public relations Michelle Chila says the move is simply a response to the changes in consumer buying habits.
“We have been tracking our Web numbers for the past several years and have seen a shift in how consumers shop,” she explains. “It’s the rise of mobile, the rise of Instagram. We couldn’t service consumers in the way that they were asking.”
“We don’t think that many consumers want to purchase at this price point for fashion, but they expect to be able to,” she adds. “We are not expecting great sales, but we hope to change expectations on the part of consumers and expand the brand.”
She noted items the site is selling are the same as those jewelers offer.
When Tacori talked with jewelers about this, they “wanted to make sure that Tacori wasn’t going to sell special things that they couldn’t have,” she says.
Like other brands, Tacori is giving jewelers a portion of the sale’s proceeds, although it is not requiring them to service pieces. Even though Tacori is not legally required to, it is charging sales tax.
“We are doing that as a best practice,” Chila says, noting that sorting out all the different tax codes took a month and a half.
The company specifies that its engagement rings and wedding bands will not be available for purchase through the website but only through its retail partners.
“As far as we are concerned, that is not in the plans,” she says. “We are taking a really respectful and cautious approach. We want to be good partners in the industry, but we also want to service the demands of customers who expect to purchase in this way. We love the jewelry industry, we don’t want to see anything happen to it except for it to get better.”
At least one retailer, Sean Dunn, vice president of Lighthouse Point, Fla.–based J.R. Dunn Jewelers, says he doesn’t have a problem with the plans.
“A lot of times jewelers flip out when designers open up stores online,” he says. “It’s the only logical choice that designers have. It’s just a natural progression of what is happening in this day and age. You can’t be upset. Hopefully, it will give them more exposure and help build the brand.”
But asked if he would object if the company sold bridal online, he says, “That’s a good question. I’m not sure. They say they are not doing that. That would really make the independents flip their lids.”