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Lessons in Creating a Retail Experience from David Yurman
President Carol Pennelli weighs in as the brand unveils its new Manhattan flagship.
New York—David Yurman has moved its Manhattan flagship to a ritzy new block off Fifth Avenue, just in time for holiday shopping.
Earlier this month, the store opened its doors at 5 E. 57th St., where it neighbors the likes of Saint Laurent, Burberry and Miu Miu, and sits across the street from Tiffany & Co.’s currently under-construction flagship.
It’s roughly six New York City blocks south of its prior Madison Avenue location, but a world away in retail clout.
The former Manhattan flagship is near the beleaguered Barneys New York and its bright red going-out-of business signs, while the new David Yurman store is a stone’s throw from Bergdorf Goodman and ancillary to the iconic Fifth Avenue tourist shopping mecca that begins at the southeast corner of Central Park.
“[The flagship] is situated among some of the most important global flagships in the world,” remarked President Carol Pennelli in an e-mail to National Jeweler, “and our new space allows us to take advantage of the local tourist and global consumer who gravitates to this area.”
The company invited press to view the new tri-level space the day of its opening. Construction whirled on the main floor with only hours to go before the evening’s grand opening, which attracted beautiful people like Nicky Hilton and Amber Valetta.
More alluring than the celebrities was the store’s design, overseen by Chief Creative Officer Evan Yurman.
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Entering through the store’s rose-gold-colored 57th Street façade, one enters the open, light-filled main gallery, crafted in Bardiglio Rambisserra marble and Pietra Cardosa limestone, which houses David Yurman’s core women’s collections (and the bustling construction crew on opening day).
Ascending the flame-textured Serizzio Formazza granite tread staircase with sculpted French oak handrails and beveled-edge crystal glass guardrails leads shoppers to the second and third floors, which provide uninterrupted views of the ground floor salon courtesy of more glass balustrades.
Constructed with wide heart oak plank floors, the second floor features David Yurman wedding and high jewelry styles, including a video wall displaying Sybil Yurman’s artwork, and the very first cable bracelet iteration.
“This store is an extension of a piece of jewelry that we might create. Something both familiar and modern," - David Yurman President Carol Pennelli
Designed by Evan, the floor showcases a series of one-of-a-kind men’s jewels alongside classic and fashion-relevant signet rings and medallions, all against a Japanese woodblock background.
The interior design culminates with the custom white oak-paneled ceiling.
“This store is an extension of a piece of jewelry that we might create. Something both familiar and modern,” Pennelli explained.
“The details and the color palette of the store are very open, they're very inviting. They allow you to dream, and to imagine, and make space for yourself and their relationship with you and the jewelry.
Throughout the new space are luxurious yet comfortable sitting areas, outfitted in vintage furniture Evan specifically selected. Here, clients can meet with the on-site jeweler for engagement ring appointments, custom consultations and even repairs and re-sizing—a David Yurman first.
The sitting areas lend the feel of a lovingly and expertly decorated New York City townhouse, and that’s on purpose; it’s how David Yurman is making its retail footprint more experiential.
“You don't go to a store to buy something necessarily anymore; you go there with the intention to experience,” said Pennelli.
“When we started out on this journey and building this store, it was really about an experience—how can we give the customer experience that they don't already have?”
The answer is combining old and new ideas of customer service: white glove same-day delivery service for New York City residents and mobile points of sale throughout the store in lieu of registers. Car service for VIP customers, as well as wireless charging stations for powering up mobile phones while shopping.
It’s high-touch service delivered across every channel.
With the new flagship serving as the “billboard for the brand,” no detail is too small, particularly since brick-and-mortar is still Yurman’s bread-and-butter.
“The majority of our customers are still transacting in our stores,” Pennelli explained. “While our ecommerce sales are growing, what we know is that people still want to come in to a physical space and touch and feel the product, interact with our sales associates and experience the brand in a physical environment.”
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