Brides of Boston
At Freedman Jewelers, March Madness has nothing to do with NCAA basketball. It’s when the 67-year-old Boston jeweler (pictured) hosts its three-day wedding band and engagement ring trunk show, an annual event that accounts for an astonishing 25 percent of band and 10 percent of engagement ring yearly sales. This March, the 10th edition, shoppers saw as many as 60 additional pieces of inventory from each of seven different lines—Novell Design Studio, Lieberfarb, Coast Diamond, Jolie Designs, Endless Designs, Frederick Goldman, and Gabriel & Co.
White tungsten band with matte center and polished edges; $339; Triton, New York City; 800-221-3232; tritonjewelry.com
“Typically, we have anywhere from 10 to 40 pieces from each company in-store,” says chief marketing officer Josh Freedman, who sets up four different stations of five cases, making room for extra bridal by temporarily displacing some fashion stock. The temporary interior redesign and all-bridal focus lets the store talk up one of its specialties. “It allows us to introduce our abilities for custom design, something we do well,” says Freedman.
This year, 150 guests attended the Thursday through Saturday event. Staff sold 20 SKUs, including two special orders totaling $18,000: his and her 10 mm–wide 14k white gold Novell bands set with three rows—at nearly 2 cts. t.w. each—of diamonds. The best sellers for men: Triton tungsten carbide bands and 14k white gold bands, also by Novell, with brushed finishes and matte edges. Women, meanwhile, flocked to 0.50 ct. t.w. shared-prong diamond bands in 14k white gold from Coast Diamond. “We sold 12 for $1,750 apiece,” says Freedman.
Band in 14k white gold with brushed finish and matte edges; $900; Novell Design Studio, Rahway, N.J.; 888-668-3551; novelldesignstudio.com
In addition to a half-page print ad in the Improper Bostonian, Freedman invested in pay-per-click AdWords on Google for searches like “engagement rings Boston,” and on Facebook for users within 20 miles of Boston with an “in a relationship” or “engaged” status. To lure more potential customers, staff phoned clients who had purchased an engagement ring in the past year. And from March 15 to 28, buyers received $100 off a $500-or-more wedding band; 70 shoppers capitalized on that.
“The spring is a good time to do this—it’s wedding season,” Freedman says. But wedding-weekend-minded retailers still need to select dates wisely. As a native Bostonian, Freedman knows never to host an event on or too close to March 17: “People are not in a frame of mind to shop for jewelry on St. Patrick’s Day.”