By  on March 10, 2005

DALLAS — Amazon.com has boosted the fashion quotient of its jewelry inventory with a new storefront by the Ylang-Ylang boutique offering such trendy collections as Me & Ro and Ten Thousand Things.

The deal brings hip new styles to the Web’s largest retailer and provides Ylang-Ylang, based here at the Dallas Galleria mall, with a second e-commerce outlet.

Jewelry and watches are the fastest-growing category of goods sold online, swelling 56 percent last year to $1.3 billion, according to ComScore Networks, a research firm in Chicago.

Ylang-Ylang, located in a sleek 560-square-foot shop next to Cartier at the Galleria, rang up more than $4 million in sales last year, including $800,000 from its own Web site, ylang-ylang.com.

“Amazon wanted hot designer lines, so over a year ago, they started looking on the Web to see who was carrying them and the roads led to us,” explained Joanne Teichman, who owns and operates Ylang-Ylang with her husband, Charles. “They came to us and asked us to have a store.”

“One of our key interests is having a selection that suits every taste, and Ylang-Ylang provides a wonderful selection,” commented Gianna Curran, merchandise product manager at Amazon.

Ylang-Ylang has posted more than 1,000 styles from more than a dozen collections in its Amazon store, featuring sterling, gold, semiprecious and diamond jewelry. Prices span from a $55 Me & Ro sterling pendant with a Sanskrit inscription to a $26,000 private label Ascher-cut diamond tennis bracelet. The Amazon inventory is nearly identical to Ylang-Ylang’s Galleria store and Web site, with the notable exception of Cathy Waterman’s collection.

“We withheld Waterman in the first phase,” Teichman explained. “We talked about it; she doesn’t need the business and her things are very expensive.”

Teichman said she couldn’t predict sales via the Amazon store, which has gotten the strongest response to Me & Ro, Mizuki, Ten Thousand Things and Dana Kellin since it opened in late January.

But she expects it to follow a similar trajectory to Ylang-Ylang’s own two-year-old transactional Web site.

“We were not selling hugely expensive things at first on the Web until there was a confidence level,” she said. “It is just a matter of building that business.”

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