NEW YORK — It’s rare when a David Yurman store opens, and the program for expansion remains conservative.
But last Thursday’s ribbon-cutting at the Americana Manhasset luxury shopping center in Long Island, N.Y., marked a pickup in the jewelry and watch designer’s retail program this year, with upcoming openings set for Bal Harbour Shops in Florida in August and, in the early fall, Atlanta’s Lenox Mall and the Houston Galleria. Previously, the company cited a potential to open 10 to 12 stores in the U.S. over the next several years, with the bulk of Yurman’s business remaining wholesaling to higher-priced department and specialty stores.
Currently, Yurman has two other shops operating, on Madison Avenue and 64th Street here and in the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, Calif. Those locations, as well as those opening later this year, are owned by Yurman. However, the 900-square-foot shop in the Americana is owned by London Jewelers, the fine jewelry chain on Long Island owned by Candy and Mark Udell, which has a store in the Americana and other stores in Greenvale, Glen Cove, Southampton and East Hampton.
“We are very happy with this arrangement, but we are not looking to this kind of partnership per se,” said David Yurman, owner and designer for Yurman Design Inc. “It is just a measure of a new opportunity. We can totally control and assort the merchandise and we totally controlled the build out.”
Yurman did say that he works with the Udells on assorting the store and that London Jewelers for years has sold Yurman’s merchandise. During the “soft opening” period of about a week and a half, 18 watches were sold, Yurman said. “The response has been so much beyond our expectations. When you take a brand out of the mix and stand it alone in its own architecture and lighting, the presentation is so much more powerful and productive.”
He’s projecting $2.5 million to $3 million in first-year sales, and ultimately $3 million to $4 million a year at the Americana outpost.
Yurman, who considers his signatures to be cable jewelry and “relaxed luxury,” offers a wide range. Prices start at $250 for a sterling silver stack ring, to a $250,000 15.5-millimeter South Sea Pearl necklace with a diamond clasp. Watches range from $1,800, for the Thoroughbred stainless steel and sterling silver model with an alligator strap, to $16,000 for the Thoroughbred 18-karat gold model.
“There’s something for everyone,” said Candy Udell, who is also growing her retail space. Through partnerships similar to the one with Yurman, London Jewelers recently opened boutiques for Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels that straddle its store in the Americana. In addition, the retailer plans to open a 500-square-foot watch salon next to the Americana unit in June.