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Building A Brand: THE DE BEERS STORE CASE STUDY


What did you think of the jewelry merchandise?

DeGarmo: I did not get a strong sense of design. I assume that will evolve over time. It was hard to see anything as a must-have item. The strongest pieces have a slightly moderne quality to them.

Jacullo: The merchandise is beautifully designed and different from the traditional jewelry store. Compared to the assortment I saw in the first De Beers store in London, this jewelry is more wearable and appealing. The merchandise I saw at the London store was too edgy.

McCormick: The De Beers collection should not only reflect important trends in jewelry design but should also fulfill a need for innovative design and the human connection in a way that only diamonds can. The merchandise appears to have been designed by committee rather than by a single creative vision. The different collections, such as "Radiance," "Wildflowers," "Rain," and "Cocktail Fizz," although interesting and pretty, aren't cutting-edge. I was impressed with some of the unexpected combinations of shapes and colors. As De Beers, they are held to the highest standard and must be the leader in the category for all diamond jewelry and in some of the collections, they have definitely achieved this.

Peterson: The arrangement of the engagement rings by price point makes perfect organizational sense, but it creates visual monotony. It is a very democratic way of segmenting the customer by budget and may undermine the opportunity to sell up. Excitement and variance is definitely missing from the cases. The "Radiance" collection designed by Raphaele Canot looks like a series of kites colliding in outer space. The design sensibility is distinct, but I would not call it chic. Frankly, I just can't imagine either an elegant European or American woman wearing it.

De Beers LV CEO Guy Leymarie has said the plan is to open 150 stores, half of them in the U.S. The next store to open is Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Where do you think other stores should be located?

DeGarmo: The likely spots are the ones with a certain glamour: Bal Harbour, Dallas, Michigan Avenue. It might be interesting to pioneer in a place like Georgetown or SoHo.

Jacullo: Boca Raton, Dallas, and Las Vegas. Locations should be where consumers have a dressed up attitude in addition to brand awareness.





diamond ring
The new De Beers LV store in New York City presents engagement rings at the "Bridal Bar," and often displays signage with price and carat size ranges.
interior of DeBeers store NY, NY
De Beers' contemporary New York City store was designed by Italian architect and interior designer Antonio Citterio, who has also designed stores for Damiani, Valentino, and Ungaro.
ring by Neil Lane
De Beers LV will open its second U.S. store, on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, this month. It will feature a new jewelry collection by red-carpet favorite Neil Lane.
Renaissance jewelry
Renaissance model
Modern or Renaissance? Our consultants have mixed opinions on the new De Beers print magazine ad campaign, which shows a Botticelli beauty and uses a "Forever, Now" tagline.
Talisman collection rings
Merchandise at De Beers LV ranges from engagement rings to unique, cutting edge designs. The "Talisman" collection includes textured signet rings with rough diamonds.
Todd DeGarmo
Todd DeGarmo
Jean Jacullo
Jean Jacullo
Ilia McCormick
Ilia McCormick
Paula Peterson
Paula Peterson
Spiral Rose brooch
De Beers LV has a lot of potential, and competition, to become the diamond jewelry destination. This "Spiral Rose" brooch is from the store's new "Talisman" collection.