Is the Demise of Traditional Retail Overrated?

Jeff Gordon
May 15, 2019

There is an almost ubiquitous belief in our jewelry industry that brick and mortar stores are a liability and that the growth of e-tailing is killing traditional retail. While online searching, shopping, and pricing has certainly impacted some areas of mainstream retail, the death of it is highly overrated.

What is certain, however, is that e-tailers have shined a light on poorly orchestrated, traditional retailing, and this should be enough to get every jeweler’s immediate attention. Tired and boring brick and mortar stores are not attractive to Millennials, Gen Xers, or even Baby Boomers today. Stores that look old, feel old, and lack innovation in both design and product are going to struggle. Am I preaching to the choir here?

I visit a lot of retail jewelers in my work and in my travels. I see very few stores that are exciting, inviting, and truly appeal to the senses. After all, we are social beings who crave physical beauty in both nature and man-made structures. It’s why we still go out to great restaurants, luxury movie theatres, hip concerts, and attractive sports venues. We want to soak up the experiences that have become almost the norm today.

So this begs the question, “What should we do with our jewelry stores?” We don’t have to spend a fortune to make them look nice, smell good, display product well, and appeal to customer senses to own and wear fine jewelry. Your staff is also a big part of that attractiveness. Some luxury experiences online are actually better than what many experience in a store because of the variables that exist and the inconsistency of salespeople.

Your store says a lot about you as an owner. Take a look around and see if you would buy in your own store, and see if there is any jewelry you would want to own and wear. Better yet, hire someone to come in and critique your store, lest you become one of those who are in business today, but out of business tomorrow.

At The Gordon Company, we are in business to help you stay in business. Give us a call or drop us a line if you are in need of help.


Jeff Gordon, CEO