December 6, 2019
Jeweler David Yurman has relocated its Manhattan flagship store, creating a more spacious destination for consumers to explore its collections in person.
David Yurman has made a move from Madison Avenue to 57th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison, opening a new three-floor boutique. In addition to a roomier retail environment for client consultations and heritage storytelling, the store is the brand’s first to feature a dedicated floor for men’s jewelry, reflecting the category’s growth for the house.
"I feel like it’s really important to reflect the codes of our design philosophy and also the family, which is really open, inviting," said Evan Yurman, chief creative officer of David Yurman.
"A lot of the success of the family business has been about listening, and listening to what customers like and kind of responding to that. So we’ve made an environment where we can dialogue with customers," he said. "It’s less of a shopping experience – obviously that’s very important, but it is also more of a place to explore and to learn more about the brand."
Making a move
The boutique at 5 East 57th St. is positioned in between bustling Fifth Avenue and the high-end retail corridor on Madison Avenue, but it sits on a quieter side street. David Yurman’s new neighbors include Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Saint Laurent.
"Fifty-seventh Street was a natural choice. We are on one of the greatest luxury shopping streets in the world—a prestigious American destination," said David Yurman, cofounder/CEO of David Yurman, in a statement. "The flagship will highlight the breadth and depth of our brand offering in an unprecedented way."
Overseen by Evan Yurman, the more than 5,000-square-foot boutique is open across the three floors, with balcony-style upper levels. The floor and the wooden ceiling are designed in pale grey materials to bookend the space.
Mirrors and glass railings further create a sense of space and lightness. The store design was also conceptualized to allow for flexibility, enabling the jeweler to more easily host events.
The boutique reflects brand founders Sybil and David Yurman's move from art into jewelry in and the four-decade-old house's story via a digital heritage wall and four video walls throughout the store.
Throughout the store are pieces that are exclusive to the location. In an homage to New York, a Cable bracelet has been made with the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building sitting at the two ends of the bangle.
On the ground level are women’s fashion jewelry collections.
Up off the street is the second floor, which houses high-jewelry lines and bridal collections.
The new boutique is the first location to include an on-site jeweler, enabling consumers to receive services such as resizing and repairs.
Clients can also work with the in-store jeweler to start the process of creating custom pieces. While pieces will still be made elsewhere, this addition means that clients can have these types of consultations within the store environment.
Private salon on the second floor of David Yurman's flagship. Image courtesy of David Yurman
Within the private salon spaces, furniture pieces have integrated wireless chargers. Technology services also extend to mobile points of sale.
Catering to clients by making the trip and shopping experience more seamless, the store will offer car service and white-glove same-day delivery in New York.
New to the 57th Street store is a dedicated men’s level on the third floor. The Madison Avenue store between 63rd and 64th Streets included a men’s department, but it was housed on the second floor along with other collections.
Featured in the men's section are designs that use unexpected materials including meteorite and polished carbon. This story has its own dedicated consultation area, complete with a masculine-styled salon.
Private client space on the men's floor. Image courtesy of David Yurman
Men's jewelry is a growing category for the brand.
"Men’s has a large presence in our business—it has for quite some time," Evan Yurman said. "And it’s really grown as the business grows, so it’s really stayed on par with the rest of women’s portion of the company. It’s actually a big part of the business now.
"And I think guys like to shop in an environment that’s conducive to them, have salespeople who are dedicated to the product and to the experience and how they shop and kind of speak the same language," he said.
As men's jewelry picks up, brands are catering to these customers. In another male-centric move, Tiffany & Co. has opened a men’s holiday pop-up store next to its flagship location on Fifth Avenue in New York.
The Tiffany Men’s Pop-Up Shop, as it is called, will showcase the U.S. jeweler’s recently debuted Tiffany Men’s Collection. The men’s pop-up clearly eyes a market with potential for growth (see story).
This latest opening follows other bricks-and-mortar investments from David Yurman.
The jeweler recently entered New Jersey for the first time with a boutique in The Mall at Short Hills. Along a similar timeline, David Yurman reopened its boutique at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center in Denver, CO following an extensive renovation (see story).
In July, the company opened a boutique at the Mall at Green Hills in Nashville, TN.
While ecommerce is growing by double digits and represents about 10 percent of sales for David Yurman, brick-and-mortar remains a key channel.
Despite jewelry retailers’ expanded adoption of ecommerce, most consumers are still making their purchases in-store.
A report from Citi Retail Services finds that more than two-thirds of consumers say they purchase most of their jewelry in-store, and the average price for bricks-and-mortar buys is double that of ecommerce transactions. While some etailers have had success selling big-ticket baubles sight unseen, the category remains tied to tactile retail experiences (see story).
"Retail for us is more about an experience," Evan Yurman said. "And for me personally when I shop, I want the experience. I want to walk in and I want the salesperson to be the best representation of the brand, and I want to experience the brand through the store, through the environment and through the salespeople and the product. It all has to work together, so I think it’s extremely important.
"While the online business is the fastest growing segment and it has been for a really long time, it’s really convenient for ease of shopping, but when you want to go and have an experience, you go to the source," he said. "You can buy a Mickey Mouse doll, but going to Disneyland is a much different experience."