Department Store Is Better at Romancing Jewels Than Jewelers

Brendan Hoffman, president and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus Direct, recently told the press there was “something for everyone” in the retailer’s annual array of fantasy gifts—including his and hers cars—available in its holiday catalog. Jewelry lovers have eight selections to choose from.

This year the Dallas-based luxury retailer offers a treasure chest of vintage jewels to mavens with money to spend. Eight carefully selected pieces are included in the pricey—$1.2 million—package, all with provenance cards. Among the items are a Gothic Revival bangle bracelet, circa 1880, made by Lucien Falize of the French firm Falize Frères, and La Menagerie Magnetique Bakelite and diamond zebra pin, by Daniel Brush, 2004.

Considering that NM has been offering the fantasy gifts section for 55 years of the catalog’s 79-year life, duplicating the retailer’s creativity and passion could be worthwhile. Here are some holiday gift ideas jewelers might consider.

  • Develop unique jewel-themed packages that can’t be found elsewhere, such as Art Deco Delights or Treasures from Tucson.

  • Add an innovative marketing spin to existing products, such as a jewel-of-the-month club, where individuals buy three-, six-, or even 12-month packages of jewelry—that you mail—for their significant others.

  • Sell gift baskets with themes, such as “purple passion,” and include purple gold jewelry, a loose amethyst gemstone, iolite earrings, lavender pearls, and gifts such as frames and keepsake boxes.

  • Market a designer jewelry collectors’ club, where customers pay a set annual fee to receive a monthly newsletter; attend field trips and private sales; meet with designers and other members; and, of course, receive special pieces of designer jewelry every month or every other month to build their own designer jewelry collections.