IJL REPORT: Experiential retail shuns cheese and wine nights

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While many jewellery retailers are struggling to keep their heads above water amid the torrid financial climate, members of the visual merchandising industry and jewellery trade are urging them to invest in experiential retail. 

As the first day of International Jewellery London (IJL) got underway Professional Jeweller attended the ‘Is Experiential Retailing the Future for Jewellers’ debate.

The panel, comprising Rachael Taylor, Dominic Gomersall, LLoyd Blakey, Dinny Hall and Jonathan Pressley, aim to increase high-end spending and the customers’ experience by improving the in-store experience. Experiential retail looks to boost revenue through design aspects, such as logical layouts and seating options, as well as hosting events and appropriate social media.

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Gomersall, managing director of Lumbers, explained that experiential retailing is about more than a cheese and wine night.

For Gomersall, who previously turned £300,000 from an event that cost £20,000, the expense of providing an experience has always resulted in financial benefits.

Lloyd Blakey, founder and creative director of visual merchandising company Innovare Design, believes that social media and “instagramable moments” are key to creating an experience.

Whilst social media is integral to Innovare’s plan of action Lumbers prefers opts to maintain some more traditional approaches. Gomersall stated that all experiential events had been a success bar one. The event that flopped, which had been solely promoted on social media with no personal invites, had two guests turn up.

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