Retailer trialling horseshoe-shaped bar in Lakeside store.
UK high street retailer Fraser Hart is continuing its drive to become the go-to retailer for diamond jewellery with the introduction of its Diamond Bar concept to three of its stores.
The decision to add a new element to its retail spaces has been described as a step away from traditional methods of retailing by the company’s regional manager Jason Fitzgerald.
"Traditionally we have had our diamond jewellery in the window with consultation tables inside, so if people see something in the window that they like they can come in and ask to see it," Fitzgerald told Professional Jeweller.
"We realised that unlike stores in the US and Europe, British jewellery stores aren’t always very browseable, so we looked at how our industry worked and came up with the idea of the Diamond Bar where we can offer customers a glass of Champagne, tea or coffee while they browse our diamond collections."
Fraser Hart launched a prototype horseshoe-shaped bar in the centre of its Lakeside shopping centre store last Wednesday, with a number of consultation tables positioned around it.
Customers can sit on stools at the bar, which has been made using black frosted glass for what Fitzgerald has called "a touch theatre, dare I say razmatazz".
The bar can also be seen from outside due to its position in the centre of the store. It is lit with a special lighting system called DiaLumen, designed specifically for lighting jewellery cases.
The DiaLumen system allows retailers to showcase jewellery in different warmths of white light and also features oscillating light fittings, creating a look of continual sparkle from the diamonds by replicating the movement of a diamond on the finger, wrist or neck that can be seen from 20ft away.
"We are currently trialling three differeent bars with two main options. The first is the all singing all dancing Diamond Bar as we have in Lakeside. Then we have two shorter versions in our Swansea store and our recently opened Newbury store," said Fitzgerald.
The company will be trialling the concepts in the coming weeks to see which style works best, but will also bear in mind local shopping habits, the stock sold in the stores and the size of the stores.