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Robert, Kerry and Olivar Musson celebrate the opening of a new store in Sydney's coveted QVB
Robert, Kerry and Olivar Musson celebrate the opening of a new store in Sydney's coveted QVB


Jewellers defy the odds

Despite a difficult economic climate in the retail category, some jewellers are showing their resilience by opening new stores.
It’s often said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and that old adage rings true for a handful of independent jewellers who are opening new stores.

Sydney-based, Musson Jewellers opened a second store last week in Sydney’s iconic Queen Victoria Building (QVB). According to director, Robert Musson, plans have been afoot for five years and follow the success of its Chatswood store.

“Once we could guarantee our production quality and lead times, expanding the business seemed the next logical step for the family and for our distribution to greater markets,” Musson said.

Musson explained that a great deal of emphasis was placed on location and he believes the QVB location is important to attracting a specific demographic and creating an atmosphere suitable to display his jewellery.

“Sydney is an international tourist destination and the QVB is an iconic building with Romanesque architecture but more so than ever it’s a designer’s boutique destination,” Musson said.  

The new store involved a collaboration of seven Musson family members who were involved in various aspects of the process, with Robert Musson heading the store design process.

“As a designer, I didn’t want to leave the structure of creation to a shop fitter so I involved myself in every aspect of the design and implementation in the QVB store,” Musson added.

Melbourne-based jeweller, Temelli is also braving the storm and is set to open its fourth store in October in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. The new outlet will be its first city store, at 259 Collins Street, while its three existing stores are located in Melbourne’s south and south-eastern suburbs.

James Temelli, marketing manager of the family-run Temelli Jewellery believes the success of the business throughout Melbourne’s southern suburbs has spread to the northern areas of Melbourne. “We have slowly gathered a client base from the north, and this new store will provide a central, convenient location for them,” Temelli said.

Temelli added that the company is looking to cater to a niche segment in the jewellery market, and this was a key factor in gaining the city location. “Having Collins Street gives us a platform to showcase a high-end product and allows us to focus on exclusive collections,” Temelli said.

Being located in central Melbourne allows retailers to tap into certain demographics, and Temelli believes combining this with its niche product caters perfectly for Melbourne’s CBD crowd.

George, Diana, James, Kristin and John Temelli celebrate with Miss Universe Australia's 2010 winner, Jesinta Campbell
George, Diana, James, Kristin and John Temelli celebrate with Miss Universe Australia's 2010 winner, Jesinta Campbell

“Not only do we need to cater to our clients in Melbourne’s north, but our unique products are well suited to tourists wanting a souvenir of Australia and Melbourne city is the most common place you will find them [tourists],” Temelli said.

Temelli added that this was an exciting time for the company. “We are putting a lot of time into this new store and maybe in future we will look to branch out interstate,” he said.

Not all the retail ‘action’ is restricted to NSW And Victoria. Queensland-based Loloma Jewellers not only has plans for a new store but it is also planning a strategic shift in its target market.

Loloma will open a fifth store in Townsville next year and, at the same time, will create a new store brand aimed at a younger market.

Set to open in March 2012, its new store will be located in Townsville’s Stockland Shopping Centre where it already has an existing store. The existing store will be transformed into the first ‘Miss Loloma’ store - appealing to a younger demographic.

Loloma retail operations manager Joanne Coleman said the key was promoting the correct products to the right market. “The new store will be located just opposite the new Myer and caters specifically to the bridal market. This will allow us to target ‘significant occasion’ shoppers looking for special purchases,” Coleman said.

“This has been in the works for about 12 months now, however the floods stalled the construction,” Coleman added.

Loloma owner and founder, Graham Jackson believes the new store reflects his confidence in Townsville’s future.

Jackson believes that excellent customer service is the key to competing against the internet retailers. “I’ve always tended to do things differently, so it’s vital that retailers stand out from the crowd while offering outstanding customer service and product knowledge in order to retain customers,” Jackson said.

More reading:

Thomas Sabo's new store a hit

Tiffany & Co reopens Melbourne store

When the going gets tough..

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