Gabriel & Co. talks recession fear, partnerships, and the power of the ampersand.
We’ve enjoyed an economic expansion for a decade now and, to many, it appears as if the economy is humming along. So why do 75 percent of economists believe the U.S. economy is heading for a recession by 2021? It was the survey issued in February that nobody wanted to hear about: The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) noted that three-fourths of the NABE Policy Survey panelists believe there will be a downturn, with 10 percent expecting a recession in 2019, 42 percent noting it will occur in 2020, and 25 percent predicting it will happen by 2021. And then there are these pesky articles (Washington Post) reporting consumers worldwide are spending less on everything, even alcohol. Most economists are worried about a budget deficit, inflation, and interest rate hikes. We may be embarking on the hardest time in recent memory for retailers.
Enter Gabriel & Co., the fine jewelry brand run by brothers Jack and Dominick Gabriel, that for all intents and purposes, the biggest cheerleader of their nationwide retail partner stores. Highly passionate about what could happen with the economy and the ramifications for retail, Gabriel & Co. has dedicated itself to anticipating the new retail format—hint: It’s a smaller footprint—and how best to service that concept.
“We are lowering the value of entry for jewelers to go into retail,” says Dominick, saying the company provides virtual inventory to a retailer—in other words, the ability to provide product quickly without having to buy or stock it—and the ability to customize any piece of jewelry a customer asks for.
Gabriel & Co. painstakingly studies millennials and Gen Z, understands that experience is the number one priority of customers, and does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing and education. The company’s website includes much to entertain customers, including a blog and podcast by one of the biggest names in fashion magazines, Hal Rubenstein (one of InStyle’s founding editors), as well as numerous interviews with designers.
“We’re essentially providing retailers with every single benefit as if they bought into a franchise,” notes Scott Sedlacek, Retail Operations Director at the company. “We happen to be a marketing company that happens to be in the jewelry business.”
The company can also provide valuable information on traffic and margins and maintains that retailers that work with Gabriel & Co. see a difference in their bottom lines within one month. Gabriel & Co. has developed several tools for retailers. The Bridal Designer Sample Program helps retailers lessen the financial burden of stocking engagement ring lines. All samples are finished with the same craftsmanship and quality as their fine jewelry, plus retailers can showcase 250+ rings. With their View-in-Store (VIS) Program within Gabriel & Co.’s eShopNShop website embed, consumers can locate retailers and go into stores to see the ring firsthand. Of course, if there’s a piece needed, Gabriel & Co. will ship it to the store within a day. Gabriel & Co.’s robust social programs along with the Gabriel Magic App with augmented reality and Gabriel Personal Shopper (GPS), seamlessly merges online and in-store customer facing with the Gabriel & Co. brand, thereby creating a complete retail customer and consumer experience.
Gabriel & Co. prides itself on the unifying message it sends both retailers and consumers. “We treat our retailers as true partners,” says Jack. “This is your office, your company. Retailers understand that we believe that we’re stronger together. We will never betray the trust of our partners.”
When the company unveils its new website in May, it will include Gabriel & Co’s new manifesto: the power of the ampersand. “We were born Gabriel and have become Gabriel & Co. We have always trusted the power of the “&”. That is what brought us from the humble beginnings of Jack & Dominick to what we are today. Our driver is customer & consumer satisfaction. We work hard & do good. We value the past, respond to the present & build the future.” . . . and the future of Gabriel & Co and its retail partners looks very bright despite the recession talks.