Jared, already the most upscale of the Signet Jewelers Ltd. divisions, is looking to elevate even more.
A pilot at 17 Jared stores is underway, testing a higher-quality, higher-priced assortment, including Italian 18-karat gold from Crivelli with handset natural diamonds, pearls from Yoko of London, gemstones, as well as an elevated offering of bridal and men’s jewelry. The new merchandise began trickling into the group of stores last summer and by the beginning of November was fully in place.
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“This pilot is really intended to inspire the client and understand to what extent we can speedily execute and take this from a pilot to a new level,” said Claudia Cividino, president of Jared. “It will happen fast. We will read the results through holiday and learn a lot. We will make some adjustments, but we want to walk before we run, learn and iterate.”
Cividino has been president of Jared since February 2023. She succeeded Bill Brace, who became president of the Kay Jewelers division of Signet. Before joining Jared, Cividino served as chief executive officer of Loro Piana, North America. Earlier, she held senior executive positions spanning over two decades at Bally of Switzerland, Prada SpA and Saint Laurent.
Upon joining Jared in November 2022, Cividino shadowed Brace through a transition period. “I was able to understand the business at a reasonable pace,” she said, at an afternoon coffee meeting in Manhattan. “It was a very smooth transition. I spent so much time in stores all around the country. I visited 35 in my first couple of months. I spent a lot of time with the sales associates. Their tenure is very high — 11 years on average. Twenty percent of our jewelry consultants have million-dollar books. You don’t drive a level of business like that without deep trust and client relationships. I was also meeting clients, watching transactions unfold, understanding what mattered to them. So much of the strategy I have created at Jared has been informed by those learnings.”
Through her early days at Jared, Cividino said, “The questions I kept asking myself were: ‘How do we enhance the clients’ journey and elevate the clients’ understanding of Jared? What are the values of Jared they appreciate? What must be protected and what are the things we can explore around the edges?’ My background has trained me to always over-index on brand equity, protecting and enhancing brand equity at every turn. If I think about protecting the core but extending the edges, how far can we push this consumer? This pilot is intended to instruct us on how we proceed to elevate the entire business.”
Cividino said she brings a new vision to Jared, which operates 220 stores across the U.S. and jared.com, and specializes in accessible luxury with engagement and bridal jewelry; custom jewelry, gifts; timepieces; men’s and women’s fashion jewelry, and curates collections from brands and designers such as Vera Wang, Pnina Tornai, John Hardy, Le Vian and Tag Heuer.
She described the mission at Jared as “working hard to evolve and reimagine each of our categories whether it be bridal or romantic gifting or self-purchasing.”
It’s also about bringing newness for this holiday season. Jared is launching Monday an exclusive collection of charm gifts called Charm’d by Lulu Frost. The collection, offering an accessible price point for fine jewelry, is designed by Lisa Salzer.
“The magic of Lulu Frost is how it represents a really approachable way to acquire and personalize the jewelry. Lisa has been creating jewelry for years and always in the world of charms and collectibles,” Cividino said. “She devised this fabulous click-on mechanism and a beautiful collection of charms that allows the buyer to personalize with a number, a letter, a birthstone, or a Fabergé egg that is actually a functionable locket. These are beautiful elements that hold meaning.”
Also for holiday, on the high jewelry side, there’s an exclusive Jared Atelier x Shy Dayan collection being launched Nov. 20, initially with seven pieces, followed by another seven in December. It’s in addition to the Shy Dayan accessibly priced collection already carried at Jared.
“Shy cut his teeth in high jewelry. He is a real artisan, and he is very shy. He lives up to his name,” Cividino said. “I approached Shy a few months ago and said, ‘Shy. I would love to take you back to your roots and develop a high jewelry collection for Jared.’ It took him a couple of weeks before he came back to me. I wasn’t sure we would be able to partner on this. But I think he was really intrigued by the opportunity, to work in that space again. Jared has the scale of distribution and the access to clients so the ability to do high jewelry that has a real reach, that’s a pretty rare opportunity. He came back to me with an incredible, truly limited-edition collection of 14 pieces in emeralds and yellow diamonds. We sell it through private appointments, and a limited traveling trunk show. The first will be at the end of November.”
A year ago, a limited-edition high jewelry collection called Jared Atelier was launched. “Atelier was originally done in-house, but this year it’s with Shy. The premise is high jewelry. Atelier is now a platform for us to celebrate talent,” Cividino explained. “I will invite a designer, a stylist or an influencer, one a year, for a pre-holiday launch.”
In terms of newness, Jared is stepping it up. “You will see Jared launch a new collection into the market four times a year, which is more frequent than in the past, practically double the rate, while keeping a core collection always at the center,” Cividino said. “There will be newness dropping into each category — some newness in men’s, in bridal, in women’s, starting in 2024.”
Cividino emphasized the bread and butter of the Jared business has been in bridal and gifting. “As I think about exploring new territories, the self-purchasing female and male guest is also part of evolving Jared and elevating the experience.”
In addition, Cividino said changes to how products are displayed, and changes to fixtures, furniture and the color palette in the stores are being considered. “The stores are largely in great shape, but as we evolve we will want to make some experiential changes to the look and feel,” Cividino said.
She characterized Jared as an accessible luxury brand, and added, “Now the opportunity is to extend and lean into the more of the luxury side.”
“The opportunity is to be accessible to the guest even if we have beautiful things in the case that might be out of reach. They should never feel we are in any way exclusionary. Jared was founded on those accessible principals, and that is the magic of this banner for Signet,” she added.
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