BULGARI BOUTIQUE BOWS AT LONDON JEWELERS
Byline: Wendy Hessen
MANHASSET, N.Y. — In a locale known for its voracious appetite for fashion, more than 300 clients of London Jewelers as well as local community leaders turned out for the June 18 opening of the first Bulgari in-store boutique on the East Coast.
Between spurts of shopping for Bulgari merchandise, the crowd spilled outside the jeweler’s shop in the Americana Shopping Center here into a tent, where they indulged in Godiva chocolate martinis and nibbled on Italian antipasto.
Shopping and charity were both prime motivations for many visitors, according to Candy Udell, who owns London Jewelers with her husband, Mark. The company raised $6,000 for Little Flower Children’s Services, an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of orphaned children, garnered from 10 percent of the evening’s proceeds and the sale of raffle tickets for a week prior to the event. The raffle prize was a weekend in Manhattan, including a stay at the Stanhope Hotel, dinner and tickets to a show of the winner’s choice.
Upon entering the store, each person received a key that could open one of four display boxes holding a Bulgari prize. The keys were lucky for four patrons who, depending on which boxes their keys opened, won a silk scarf, a leather agenda, a Solotempo watch or an XL oversized ring.
The 300-square-foot boutique is the only Bulgari location on Long Island, and carries a full complement of Bulgari jewelry, watches and accessories, including leathergoods, sunglasses, scarves, ties and fragrances.
The space previously had been occupied by a Tiffany boutique. Earlier this month, Tiffany opened a freestanding store in the Americana.
“Bulgari is very fashion-forward and hip,” said Udell. “We felt it was important to use this space for something upscale and more fashion-oriented. Tiffany was great, but I think many of our customers think of it for gifts, whereas Bulgari is for themselves.”
Sande Finkel, London’s vice president of marketing, said every classification of Bulgari merchandise sold at the party.
“We did very well with handbags and sunglasses, and sold out of the new Aluminium watches, not to mention a ton of fragrance,” said Finkel. “They were still shopping an hour after the party was supposed to end.”
If the early strong response continues, Udell said, she would consider opening Bulgari boutiques in more of the company’s stores. London Jewelers has three more Long Island locations, in Easthampton, Glen Cove and Wheatley Plaza in Greenvale.