STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 45

I understand that you've made
a lot of money.

Let's just say our sales have tripled over
the past three years, from about $100
million to close to $300 million.
How big can you get? Will you do
to mall jewelry stores what Uber
did to taxis?

We predict that we will keep growing
at a very fast pace, though we can't triple
our size every three years. I think we'll
continue to grow mainly because there is
no good reason to buy a piece of jewelry
anywhere else.
Do you market to customers who
have been to your site?
Since you have so few locations
and employees, just how much less
expensive are your rings than the exact
same ring I might buy at the mall?

The cost of our average ring is $6,000.
If you purchase the same ring at a
standalone jewelry store, it will cost you
about $8,000. If you buy the same ring at
a mall location, you'll pay $9,000.
What makes your salespeople tick?

I don't call them salespeople. I call
them consumer psychologists. They have
been through the process many times.
They are real consultants who don't
work on commissions. Their advice is
real and genuine. If someone calls on
the phone, we'll answer from the heart.
They have no incentive but to make the
customer happy.
I understand the training process is
quite extensive.

Many of them are moms in second
careers. They must have very calm
voices over the phone. We give them
a several hundred-page book about
diamonds. They must take and pass
a test about jewelry and diamonds.
Then they go on a three- to six-month
training course that's mostly about
listening to others. Their average pay
is higher than at just about any other
service center.
STORES.ORG

Many folks would still never buy a
wedding ring online. What would you
never buy online?

I don't think that pets should be bought
online. You need to look in the eyes of the
pet and see the affection.
What's the biggest drawback to
buying something online?

The biggest drawback for online
purchases of all types is that you can't
feel or touch the thing you're buying.
I still haven't found a perfect solution
for letting people feel our jewelry. But
we allow for this via our free return
policy. And we recently opened a New
York showroom.
Sounds like you're trying to have it
both ways.

Some people will only buy things that
they've seen with their own eyes. But even
when they come to the showroom, they
ultimately go online and make the orders
on a screen. Then there's the confidence
factor. People sometimes feel if you have a
store, you're a more legitimate business.
Are you legitimate?

Well, we are thinking of opening more
stores - probably in the states where we
already operate. Our headquarters is in
New York and our customer service office
is in Maryland.

We do. But we've learned to do it less
than some other retailers because many of
our customers are guys who are shopping
secretly for rings. You don't want your
fiancée to know if or when you're going
to propose.
If you suddenly show a lot of banner
ads about engagement rings on someone's
screen, the ultimate receiver of the ring
will probably see it too, and the surprise
will be ruined. We found this out the hard
way and scaled way back on doing this.
How did your buy your wife's
engagement ring?

Since I was in the trade, I went to a
friend in the industry and had it specially
made. That was 15 years ago. But every
day I remind myself, I would only sell
something on JamesAllen.com that I
would buy for my wife.
How techy can ring buying get?

Very. We specialize in visualization. We
spend a lot on research and development
to create visualization. We think the
next thing will be virtual reality, where
you can try on any piece of jewelry with
virtual reality.
Bruce Horovitz, a freelance writer, is a former
USA Today marketing reporter and Los Angeles
Times marketing columnist. He can be reached at
brucehorovitz@gmail.com.
STORES August 2017 45


http://www.JamesAllen.com http://www.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine -August 2017

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
Trends
Retail People
Hot 100 Retailers
Forward Thinkers
Personalized Pricing
C2W
Q&A
Store Operations
Omnichannel
Marketing
Online
Finance
Business Operations
Startup Spotlight
Security
Fraud
STORES at 100
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - intro
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover1
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover2
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 4
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 5
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 7
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 9
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF News
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Trends
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 13
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 14
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 15
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Retail People
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 17
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 18
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Hot 100 Retailers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 20
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 21
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 22
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 23
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 24
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 25
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 26
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 27
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 28
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 29
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 30
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 31
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 32
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 33
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 34
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 35
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Forward Thinkers
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 37
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 38
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 39
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Personalized Pricing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 41
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 42
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - C2W
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Q&A
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 45
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Store Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 47
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Omnichannel
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 49
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Marketing
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 51
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Online
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 53
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Finance
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 55
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Business Operations
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Startup Spotlight
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 58
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Security
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 60
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - Fraud
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 62
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - 63
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - STORES at 100
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - NRF Communities Update
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - End Cap
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover3
STORES Magazine -August 2017 - cover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nrfe/STORES0414
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