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Status is pre-promoting the new Sony SmartWatch
Status is pre-promoting the new Sony SmartWatch

New jewellery store embraces technology

Bold new jewellery store, Status opened the doors to its first location last week with a raft of innovative marketing strategies.
Status, the brain child of former Pandora Jewellery head of marketing Jeff Burnes, aims to merge the technology of an IT store with the beauty of a jewellery store.

The first location opened at Westfield Chatswood last week with Burnes saying a second store will open at Westfield Bondi Junction in August with plans for a further 10 stores by December 2013.

Burnes says, “Status aims to seamlessly integrate emerging technologies and style to change the way people shop, both online and instore, resulting in a revolutionary retail experience.”

The store currently stocks leading watch brands along with branded jewellery ranges and according to Burnes the store uses advanced point of sale technology. Similar to Apple stores,  shop assistants show customers products on an iPad, explain any queries and finalise the purchase without having to go to a central register.

Its approach to marketing is also cutting edge, using social media as a strong driver for business both online and off.

Sony Smartwatch

In keeping with its high-tech approach Status has been quick to be one of the first jewellery stores to introduce Sony’s new Smartwatch. The Smartwatch will be released next month but Status is pre-promoting the watch with a social media and email marketing campaign encouraging customers to pre-order.

Sony’s Smartwatch allows connectivity to an android phone and Burnes said he also considered the recently released Pebble Watch, which has been creating a lot of buzz on social networking sites, but ultimately decided to stock the Sony model first for its more stylised design.

“The Sony SmartWatch differs from the Pebble Watch in terms of the user interface, it’s very cool” Burnes explained. “It pairs with your Android phone, you can get emails, Facebook, and it has music, it’s like wearing an iPod Nano on your wrist. I looked at both [the Pebble and Sony] and I’d still like to do both, but I found the interface on the Sony a little sexier.”

By pre-ordering, not only is the customer ‘guaranteed’ of being one of the first to receive their Sony SmartWatch, they earn loyalty points under Status’  ‘A+’ rewards program as well as earning bonus points by sharing their new purchases on Facebook and Twitter.

Rewards Program
At purchase point, shoppers are asked if they would like to tweet about a product they just bought or ‘like’ a product page on Facebook, and can be instantly rewarded with 1,500 points for their rewards account.

Rewards points, which convert to money that can be spent in-store and online, are also earned by buying products, giving feedback, taking part in competitions and more. New members currently start with 7,500 points, equating to $25 to spend.

Although open only a week, Burnes said he had been encouraged by early signs for the new store, especially the interest customers showed in the multimedia offering in the new Chatswood Westfield store.

“We’ve had a really strong interest from the moment we opened,” Burnes said. “We’re in a good location so the traffic numbers have been fantastic, but we’ve also found that the customers are engaging with the concepts really well. We have quite a lot of social media inspiration within the store, with iPads and our ‘A+’ rewards program, so we’re finding the engagement around those activities is really good.”

Status’ main watch lines include, Skagen, Timex, Guess, Maxum and Seiko as well as a handful of local jewellery suppliers including Najo, Samantha Wills, Guess and Amelleè. Burnes said he was particularly excited about securing American brand CC Skye.

CC Skye
“We’ve been dealing direct with New York to secure the CC Skye brand for our stores,” he said. “It’s a US brand and its really hot at the moment, all the celebrities are wearing it, all the bloggers are writing about it and it’s getting a heap of editorial. It’s a fashion jewellery brand.

“We’ve got that coming in next week. There are a couple of other smaller Australian stores [now stocking CC Skye] but no one is backing it like we are and we think that will be really popular with our demographic,” Burnes said.

The store currently has a heavy emphasis on watch brands and although smart watches may be considered computer technology over jewellery, Burnes said stocking the new Sony Smartwatch was an indication of Status’ intent to stay up with developments in the digital realm.

“Given the social and digital aspect of our business, it made sense for us to stock the Sony Smartwatch,” Burnes said. However, he was also realistic about it, saying he was unsure about the popularity of this new product offering with jewellery consumers, and he didn’t expect the pandemonium that can accompany exciting new technology releases like iPhones and iPads.

“I don’t know what the demand’s going to be like, it won’t be like the iPad, with people lining up 24 hours before launch,” he said. “But our ‘A+’ members [loyalty program] can pre-order the stock and then we can email them so they can pick it up when it’s in store,” Burnes said.

WATCH SMARTWATCH VIDEO


STATUS' CHATSWOOD STORE

Status has recently opened its doors
Status has recently opened its doors

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