Nordstrom is expanding its reach in fine jewelry. This week, the retailer launched a new fine jewelry experience both online and in select stores that shows customers a variety of jewelry options that fall within a wide range of price points.
The idea is to no longer separate diamond or higher-end jewelry in cases separate from demi-fine or lower-priced options. Instead, these categories will sit side-by-side, allowing shoppers to choose from a full assortment of jewelry in one place — giving them certain ownership over the way they style jewelry and playing to the general casualness and daily wear of fine jewelry today. This change in strategy is coupled with the addition of new jewelry labels available at Nordstrom including David Webb, Vhernier, Manluu and Never Not — representing brands at both ends of the pricing spectrum.
“For the past few years, our fine jewelry business has had a lot of strength. Based on customer feedback we decided to widen our offering and bring in storytelling to help them understand how to buy and wear jewelry based on individual preference. Jewelry makes them happy and adds newness to their wardrobe, and over the past year-and-a-half they’ve spent so much time on a screen, it’s a way to bring optimism to their life,” said Denise Junell, Nordstrom’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager for accessories, handbags and jewelry.
This “Zoom jewelry” phenomenon has helped catapult pieces like pendants, earrings and rings to the top of shoppers’ investment purchase wish lists. It also heralded a new moment in jewelry shopping — bringing the category fully into the e-commerce realm, whereas prior to the pandemic, consumers had been somewhat reluctant to buy high-ticket jewelry items online.
Junell thinks the trend for on-screen jewelry will outlast the pandemic. “I think Zoom jewelry will remain part of our customer’s wardrobe. They have an ability to have some sort of work-from-home flexibility or to connect with friends and family. We have this new comfortability in front of the camera and jewelry, even if you are wearing leggings, still makes you feel ready to roll,” she said.
“We’ve seen all segments of the business, even trend-oriented jewelry, grow. I think fine jewelry is now a daily part of dressing for our customer. I would say our customer started incorporating fine jewelry a few years ago, especially with the growth of demi-fine, they seemed excited to bring precious metals into their wardrobe. Now we’ve seen a casualization of diamonds and those elements be mixed and matched with [lower-priced items]. It’s all about seeing how to make your investment go further,” Junell said.
Layered necklaces, with pendants and varying styles of chains have proven lucrative for Nordstrom, Junell said, and allow shoppers to incrementally invest in jewelry while creating a custom look. The fine jewelry landing page on Nordstrom’s site will feature editorial imagery and videos to help customers assemble their own stylized jewelry box. “They can shop not only 14 karat, but also a really expanded diamond assortment and be able to look at all of it and put it together depending on their taste,” she said.
While Junell declined to reveal sales projections for the fine jewelry category, she said: “We have seen a very strong fine jewelry business over the last few years so there is a lot of upside [to these changes].”