Show and Sell Color

Retailers in today’s highly competitive market cannot afford to consider merchandising as simply the arrangement of products on the shelf. How you present your merchandise is in integral part of your brand image and overall marketing strategy. Jewelers with a penchant for color hail gems as a key element in creating a unique and exciting jewelry shopping experience.

When displaying gems, make sure they look their best, says color consultant Leslie J. Harrington, principal of LH. Color of Old Greenwich. “Colors are interdependent. You never see an aquamarine alone, it’s always against something — clothing, skin, a background in an ad, or material in a showcase.”

Harrington suggests jewelers use basic color techniques when displaying gem jewelry, noting that complementary colors—opposites on the color wheel—enhance each other. “Did you ever notice that when you go apple picking the fruit always looks riper on the tree than in your hand? Part of the reason is that red and green are complementary. Look to Mother Nature for examples. If you’re showing many colors together, consider a mid-tone gray background to avoid color interference.”

Props can help set a scene and draw attention to certain products. But they must add to the mood, not distract from the merchandise. Eve Alfillé of Eve Alfillé Design Gallery, Evanston, Illinois enjoys creating themed displays to promote color. “One time we incorporated purses — interesting, colorful handbags borrowed and found in a resale shop. They accessorized the displays wonderfully, each case a different palette so every customer could find her favorite color.”

Look to create displays that are unexpected and ever changing, engaging customers to play with the jewelry. “We layer, mix, and have fun with our jewelry,” owner Joanne Teichman describes of her store, Ylang23. The Dallas jeweler carries over 50 known artists. “We put a lot in our cases, and it’s not preciously laid out in sets or suites. It really encourages customers to dive in.”

Consultant Melanie McIntosh of Inspire Retail Solutions, Vancouver, British Columbia advocates arranging pieces in vignettes that help customers visualize what they can do with the jewelry. Scene set with the latest fashions, as well as nature props like branches, antlers, stone, and shell. She recommends strong colors in deeper solids to display gemmy jewels, but not a lot of colors at once, and no competing prints.

A great source of information, consider your reps in jewelry display and packaging as merchandising stylists for advice in color schemes, building your brand identity in color, and effective ways to display a colorful inventory.

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