NEW YORK--Bloomingdale's is taking a serious step in the direction of accelerating its fine jewelry business with the unveiling of a relocated, expanded salon in its flagship store. The new department, opened last Thursday, is on the store's balcony level--an area that previously housed various services and smaller departments such as stationery. It has 200 linear feet of display and is 50 percent larger than the former fine jewelry salon. The space where the salon was, located on the ground floor next to the 59th Street and Lexington Avenue entrance, will be turned into a Louis Vuitton in-store boutique. The space, completely redecorated in blond wood paneling, houses about 15 designer fine jewelry lines, including Chanel, Mikimoto, Giulio Manfredi, Stephen Lagos, J.J. Marco, Simon Sobie, Aya Azrielant and Penny Preville. One corner is devoted to designer David Yurman's jewelry and watch lines, and designer Philippe Charriol's merchandise, which includes leather goods as well as jewelry and watches, is housed in an in-store boutique within the salon. Watches, including the Movado, Seiko, Gucci, Tag Heuer and Raymond Weil lines, are also included. The remainder of the selection consists of private label lines. "Not only does the new space enable us to give more 'breathing room' to the designers we already feature, but it will also allow us to experiment with even more new names and lines," said Richard Rudolph, president of Jay B. Rudolph, the firm that leases and manages Bloomingdale's fine jewelry departments. According to Terry Sisco, vice president and director of sales promotion for Jay B. Rudolph, management will spend the next three months experimenting with the set-up and staffing the salon before holding an official grand opening party in early September.
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