When Rogers Ltd. asked Design Forum (Dayton, Ohio) to create a new prototype for its mall-based jewelry stores – Rogers Jewelers and Andrews Jewelers – it requested a design that would make customers feel more comfortable and relaxed while shopping.
Design Forum began the project by conducting consumer research. "Rogers asked us to discover what the ideal customer experience was and wrap a design around it," says Scott Jeffrey, senior vp of design and creative innovation.
One major finding from Design Forum's research was that customers did not want to browse over single-height counters throughout the entire space. "Consumers told us that it was hard to find what they were looking for when everything was on the same flat plane and there wasn't any emphasis on one category," says Jeffrey. "They also said they found it uncomfortable to always be looking down into same-height counters, so we came up with a concept that incorporates varying levels."
The long, uniform counters were replaced with islands and fixtures of varying heights and styles, allowing the sales associate to create a more personal selling experience.
To further create a unique shopping atmosphere, designers moved away from the familiar jewelry store racetrack pattern and organized the store into three sections. The front area, which features gold and silver jewelry, was designed to look like a luxurious dressing room with drapery accents and fixturing that resembles a dresser, complete with drawers. The middle section of the store focuses on gemstones, its fixtures mimicking a jewelry box with trays. Merchandise is presented vertically on walls, adding variation to the height of the displays. Deep gray walls and drapery create a dramatic diamond showcase in the rear third of the store.
"Shoppers tend to consider jewelry a high-stress purchase," says Jeffrey. "They carry a lot of emotion into the store and want to select just the right item for whatever the occasion. So we wanted to make them as comfortable as possible."
Client: Rogers Ltd., Middletown, Ohio
Jeffrey Lazarow, president, Rogers Jewelers
Design and Architecture: Design Forum, Dayton, Ohio
Scott Jeffrey, senior vp, design and planning
Brady Harding, vp, project architecture
General Contractor: Fickel Construction Co., Columbus, Ohio
Flooring: Amtico Intl., Atlanta
Ceramic Tile: Casa Dolce Casa, Alpharetta, Ga.
Pantheon by American Olean, Dallas
Fixtures: JMJ Inc., Hastings, Mich.
Avonite, Florence, Ky.
Corian, Wilmington, Del.
Paint Finishes: Benjamin Moore, Montvale, N.J.
Plastic Laminates: Lamin-Art, Schaumburg, Ill.
Advanced Technology Inc, Greensboro, N.C.
Pionite, Auburn, Maine
Fabric Finishes: Maharam, New York
Unika Vaev, Scarborough, Ont.
Fifield, Hingham, Mass.
Accent Draperies, Columbus, Ohio
Garrett Leather, Buffalo, N.Y.
Photography: Jamie Padgett, Padgett & Co., Chicago