Pop-up shop puts jewels in the hands of consumers

Gemvara, an online retailer of fine, customizable jewelry, and Shift Communications ran a campaign to promote a pop-up showroom on Newbury Street in Boston.

Client: Gemvara (Boston)
: Shift Communications (Boston)
: The Gemvara Experience Flagship Showroom Launch
: October 21, 2013 - January 10, 2014
: $20,000

Gemvara, an online retailer of fine, customizable jewelry, and its AOR Shift Communications ran a campaign to promote a pop-up showroom on Newbury Street in downtown Boston that was open November 8, 2013, through February 15, 2014.  

“Jewelry is a big purchase, usually for a big occasion, and people are still getting used to buying it online,” explains PR manager Carrie Callahan. “We wanted to see if having a brick-and-mortar location where customers could touch and feel the jewelry and meet the people behind the brand would make a difference in our business.”

Events and media and blogger relations drove awareness of and traffic to the showroom.

“It was very exciting to have a beautiful space to show off our jewelry and to be able to invite journalists, bloggers, and consumers in to see it and meet us,” Callahan says. “Gemvara employees – everyone from our CEO Janet Holian to social media experts – staffed the store so visitors were really able to get to know us.”

A reporter for The Boston Globe toured the showroom and interviewed Holian before the opening for an exclusive that ran October 27.

Holian and the team hosted an event for Boston fashion bloggers in the showroom on November 6.

A grand opening cocktail party was held in the showroom on November 7 for consumers. Consumer events were hosted every subsequent Tuesday and Thursday until December 19. Tuesday events often included gift certificate giveaways, while cocktail parties were hosted on Thursdays.

The consumer events were promoted on Gemvara's Facebook and Twitter pages, through email blasts to New England customers, and in local calendar and events listings.

Outreach to local media and bloggers, national dailies, as well as national lifestyle and business traditional media outlets and blogs went on throughout the campaign. 

“We used the showroom as an opportunity to get into the conversation about online retailers opening showrooms and to talk about how people were approaching holiday shopping,” says agency VP Annie Perkins.

Black Friday 2013 sales tripled compared to 2012. Overall sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday were up 100% compared to the same time in 2012 – a record high for holiday season sales.

Callahan says showroom traffic exceeded expectations through the holidays.

The week of November 6 website traffic increased 38% compared to the previous week.

Seventy stories (more than 55 million impressions) ran in outlets such as the Associated Press, The Boston Globe, New England Cable News, Chicago Sun-Times, Houston Chronicle, Racked, Internet Retailer, and JCK Magazine.

The team is working on a Mother's Day promotion.

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