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The store provides interactive experiences, inviting customers to “style their own looks”
The store provides interactive experiences, inviting customers to “style their own looks”
 


Michael Hill enters new market

Michael Hill International is branching into other markets with the official launch of a new jewellery brand and its first concept store.

Emma & Roe specialises in a range of charms, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and stackable rings, and is a concept that has been trialled in five Queensland stores over the past 18 months under the Captured Moments brand. After receiving “encouraging results”, the company opened its first Emma & Roe concept store at Caneland Central Shopping Centre in Mackay, Queensland on 10 April. 

The concept was based on research showing customers like to layer and mix and match jewellery
The concept was based on research showing customers like to layer and mix and match jewellery
In an official statement, chairman Sir Michael Hill said that the opportunity to develop the new brand “stemmed from global research that clearly demonstrated the highly engaged shopping style of today’s buyer”. 

“A desire for pieces that can be layered, mixed and matched for everyday wear was a key outcome of the consumer research conducted,” Hill explained. 

Interactive shopping  
Michael Hill CEO Mike Parsell told Jeweller that in line with these findings, Emma & Roe aimed to provide an interactive shopping experience that invited customers to “style their own looks”. 

“Emma & Roe allows each individual customer the design flexibility to mix-and-match their jewellery combinations of charms, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and stackable rings by colour and design. They can coordinate their look to match their mood and/or what they may be wearing day-to-day,” Parsell said.

Mike Parsell, Michael Hill CEO
Mike Parsell, Michael Hill CEO
He explained that feedback from customers who have visited the new concept store has been very positive. 

“Our customers are already seeing the fresh contemporary design of Emma & Roe as the next generation in charm jewellery,” Parsell said. “It’s new and exciting.”

The remaining trial stores are scheduled to be refurbished and rebranded by the end of 2014, with the Captured Moments brand to also be rebranded and relaunched as Emma & Roe on 1 July this year. 

“Emma & Roe will be distributed through stand-alone concept stores as well as uniquely defined brand areas within the Michael Hill stores globally,” Parsell explained. “This commitment to the next generation in charm jewellery is testament to the growing segment of customers who desire fashion and style everyday, without a compromise on quality.”

Bead category 
Michael Hill’s decision to invest in charm jewellery mirrors a growing list of other jewellery businesses that have also entered the bead and charm market. Earlier this year, Thomas Sabo released its own range of beaded jewellery, Karma Beads. 

Emma & Roe offers a range of charms, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and stackable rings
Emma & Roe offers a range of charms, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and stackable rings
At the time, Duraflex Group Australia managing director Phil Edwards and local Thomas Sabo supplier, told Jeweller he believed it was time for retailers to adjust how they viewed jewellery beads, saying they should now be considered a category in their own right. 

The Emma & Roe concept would seem to support that assertion, with Hill saying it involved about half of the capital of a traditional Michael Hill store, and that in the long term, he expected there would be “a similar percentage return on funds employed compared to the existing Michael Hill brand”. 

Micah Walker has been appointed general manager for Emma & Roe. He previously held the same position with Diva Accessories’ international division.

Emma & Roe – named after Hill’s daughter, Emma, and his wife’s maiden name, Roe – is said to complement the Michael Hill brand, with the latter continuing to focus on diamonds, bridal and fine jewellery.

Further plans for the new brand are expected to be made in early 2015.






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Peter W Beck
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