Making Sales a Sure Thing
Selling Jewelry at Boutique Shop

Jewelry is a popular accessory at clothing boutique shops, and while favorites vary, strong display and in-store placement, as well as social media, are all important elements of making jewelry sales into a real store “gem.”

At Tumbleweed in Portland, Ore., Manager Sonja Geisler said that the store’s best-seller is the Austin-based Claire Sommers Buck brand of jewelry. “She’s very globally influenced, and I believe the reason this line is so popular for us is because it is very unique. She also carries many beautiful, special, and unusually designed stud earrings, and there is a real trend right now of little stud earrings being extremely popular.” For Geisler, selling more jewelry in associated with placement of these items within the store. “We have all our jewelry by the check-out desk, and we handwrite our receipts, which is a personal touch that we do, but it also takes a little longer to make a purchase. While that process is happening, people tend to drift through and browse the jewelry items and notice things they might want to add to their purchase.” She added, “We also post some of our jewelry on Instagram, too, although because we are primarily a clothing store, apparel items get more focus on social media.”

Mary Rose Boutique model CC highlights a bracelet. The store favors vendors who employ eco-friendly, sustainable and fair trade practices.

At the cutting-edge, independent-label boutique, Geisler’s top display tip is to make displays easy to see. “We put necklaces on our mannequins so customers can see them. But keeping the jewelry near the register is what really works for us. That placement is important, because everyone is going to see it and be able to spend a little time browsing it as well at that location.”
In Seal Beach, Calif., Shara Sales Associate Joselyn Escobar, speaking for owner Meghan Boyce, said that big sterling silver stone rings are trending as a must-buy at the shop. One of six locations for clothing, accessories, and jewelry, the store is known for its fun T-shirts and trendy necklaces. But for now, rings are king. “They sell a lot,” Escobar related. “Everyone seems to be getting into the idea of wearing rings, particularly the bigger, chunkier ones.” According to Escobar, “It’s the fashion trend in jewelry right now. We also do a lot with zodiac necklaces and initial necklaces, and small birth-stone stud earrings. The stud earrings are also a trend.”
To sell more jewelry, Escobar said in-store display and social media are both important. “We do try to promote jewelry items on Instagram, particularly whatever new items are coming in. In the store, display is centered around keeping the jewelry separate from our clothing; and we have mannequins in the window as well as a display case that shows our jewelry.” And when it comes to display, grouping jewelry items by type is a good idea, Escobar stressed. “For example, we have a cabinet with all our sterling silver items in it. We can easily recommend that jewelry to people with more sensitive skin, because sterling can be best for that. Elsewhere in the store we keep our earrings or our necklaces, and within those categories we separate them by the type of jewelry we have.”

Ash, a store model for Mary Rose Boutique, shows necklaces to their best advantage. Earrings are top sellers for the store.

At the 1,000-square-foot Treehaus in the Atwater neighborhood of Los Angeles, Calif., Co-Owner Michelle Pedersen said, “We sell a lot of jewelry, both locally made and small batch makers that are located in a variety of places. One of our best-sellers is Jenny Bird. That’s not a local brand, but the construction and design are both really good,” she reported. “The design is just spot-on; it’s modern minimal and very high quality. I think this specific jewelry brand does so well because it goes well with many of our different apparel items.” Promoting jewelry items is based on both in-store displays and also accomplished through posts on both Instagram and Facebook, Pedersen related. “But to be honest, our jewelry kind of sells itself for us. People come into the shop looking for jewelry because they know we have a really good selection.”
Her display technique is as unique as the jewelry items the store offers. In-store displays are highlighted throughout the shop and describe the jewelry in detail. “We have different markers with little biographies about the jewelry all around the store. Those careful descriptions help shoppers to explore all our different makers.” In short, she said that the variety the store offers and its personal touch are both very appealing to Treehaus shoppers.

A store model named CC wearing a necklace in a photoshoot for Mary Rose Boutique. The owner said personal interaction is the best way to sell more jewelry.

Her top jewelry display tip, however, is to “keep things flat. That does best for us. Having a flat display makes it easier for customers to really view each item, and we use a white background so the jewelry will pop more.” The shop does hang some necklaces, but primarily flat is the focus, she says, because it makes the jewelry standout.
In Long Beach, Calif., at Prism Boutique, Owner Dayna Mance reported that her fashionable Bohemian clothing and jewelry store finds both necklaces and earrings to be strong sellers. “Gold continues to be the strongest seller,” she noted. She gold jewelry items simply appeals to all her customers. But whatever precious metal is used in a piece, to sell more jewelry, Mance often features her jewelry on social media. The promotion can, she said, “help drive sales.” When it comes to display in the store, she makes sure the jewelry can shine, believing that positioning jewelry well in terms of lighting to be among the most appealing display tip. Also important: “Keep everything clean and organized. Keep everything simple.”
At the size-inclusive, body-positive Mary Rose Boutique in Oregon City, Ore., Owner Julie Allen said that “Our earrings have been our top sellers.” She has high hopes for new jewelry just arrived from the vendor Mata Traders. Ethical, handmade jewelry such as Mata have the strongest appeal for boutique customers.

“We steam all clothes after they are tried on. This is an operation we are planning on continuing.” – Julie Allen, Mary Rose Boutique, Oregon City, Ore.

Allen said she informs her customers about the products and vendors directly in her 1,800-square-foot store. She described that kind of personal customer interaction as the best way to sell more jewelry. “We also give suggestions and tips for jewelry to fit well with [our customers] outfits.” Additionally, she said her store sells more jewelry by providing pieces that come from “vendors who are eco-friendly, sustainable, and have fair trade practices.” Her top display tip? “Accessorize jewelry with outfit options. We utilize our mannequins to showcase how to wear pieces,” she explained.
Overall, jewelry remains a strong seller at boutique shops; and while the type of jewelry that is most popular at any given store and display techniques may differ, jewelry remains a sparkling sales star among boutique accessories.

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