Fashion for jewelry for men is constantly changing. Despite everything, there are constants that remain immutable, such as the choice of materials that go into the composition of jewelry. In the end, this universe tends to evolve slowly. But there is a phenomenon that is rapidly disrupting this sector: online jewelry sales, which is forcing more and more traditional jewelry stores to go out of business. .
Traditional jewellery: more and more stores are closing
Treasure Trove Jewelers was a small institution in Washington D.VS. The jewellery had been open for decades. The owner is going to retire, there is no buyer. It will therefore definitely close its doors.
The 2 brothers, who ran the store, settled in 1946. They remember that in the 70s and 80s, they sold as much men's jewelry as women's jewelry. Their male customers were primarily looking for necklaces for men and bling-bling rings.
The 70s, a golden age for men's jewelry
"Do you remember Mister T, " asks David Broder, who runs the store with his brother Marc. At the time, big gold chains were very popular. “We sold as much men's jewelry as women's jewelry. This is no longer the case today," he said.
"We had a lot of pimps and petty criminals among our clientele," said Marc, 62. " They were the kindest customers. But sometimes we heard that so and so had been killed, or so and so. And little by little, the fashion evaporated and we never saw them again. »
While the stock clearance is going well, customers are still coming to the jewelry store. A lady in panic because the diamond in the ring given to her by her husband 50 years ago has come off. Another came to exchange yen for dollars in the small exchange office of the jewelry store, an activity that the youngest intends to continue after closing.
Online Jewelry: Tough Competition for Storefronts
"Before, you had to take a ticket and wait in line, we were as popular as an Apple Store, " said David. Today, business has become very difficult. men who wear gold chains have become very rare. The Internet is capturing growing market share.
“I like watching people pass by the store. No one is looking at the window, " David said. There are still people who enter the jewelry store to try on jewelry. " Then they say they have to think it over, or they'll be back tomorrow. But we rarely see them again. Most don't come back and buy their jewelry on the internet,” he adds.
By the end of May, the Broder's jewelry store will close permanently. The slow death of this 13th Street company is a symbol of the trend that affects all jewelry stores. This is how chains of traditional jewelry stores announce plans to close the least profitable jewelry stores.
The joys of trader life
But if there's one thing the two brothers won't miss, it's the customers who constantly complain. For example those people who stubbornly maintain that the stone of a ring or an earring is not straight, whereas it is perfectly.
“In any store, you are going to have customers who are very pleasant and annoying. Such is the wonderful life in the world of sales, ” said Marc.
People are less and less romantic
From behind the counter of his jewelry store, Marc has noticed that people are less and less romantic. Previously, he saw appearing in front of him somewhat nervous young men who had come to choose their engagement ring.
“Men who come to choose a ring themselves to surprise her, that almost doesn't exist anymore. Now they mostly show up with a picture of a ring that was chosen by their girlfriend," he said.
Sometimes the couple goes to the jewelry store together to pick up the ring. The customer then kneels on the floor of the store to make his request. A cute gesture, but still lacking in solemnity, according to Marc.