Could you imagine hanging out at your local jewelry store after work?
That is what Reeds Jewelers, a national jeweler headquartered in Wilmington, is hoping to provide for the community by expanding its Mayfaire location into a flagship store. The multi-million-dollar upgrade to the property at 926 Inspiration Drive will include interior Rolex and David Yurman stores and a bar and lounge.
Reeds has operated out of its Mayfaire store for 20 years, and the company is overdue for a formal flagship store, said Genna Zimmer, vice president of operations and strategy at Reeds and daughter of Alan Zimmer, Reeds CEO. The finished product will be a 9,000-square-foot store with integrated digital interfaces to allow for custom designs in-store and streamlined e-commerce and in-person shopping.
Reeds expects the flagship store to be complete around late March 2024 but will continue serving customers throughout the expansion. Construction started in July on the project, which is being built in phases, said Mitch Cahn, the company’s vice president of marketing.
The expansion included moving into the neighboring storefront, which housed a Spectrum store, earlier this year. The Spectrum moved from 932 Inspiration Drive to the back of the center, 820 Town Center Drive.
The new flagship is a big move for the jeweler, Zimmer said. The owners not only want to create a community hub centered around the Reeds brand, but they’ve also made a significant investment in creating a luxury experience for the customer, hoping to cement Wilmington as a city welcoming high-end brands.
“It will be far and above any investment we have ever made in any of our other stores by more than a multiple of double,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer used examples of customers coming to the store for a mimosa on a Sunday or companies using the space for community gatherings.
“We want Reeds to be the place that people maybe hang out after work and have a nice drink,” Zimmer said.
Then, if they’ve been eyeing a watch on display for a while, they may be more inclined to make that purchase, she added.
Reeds prioritized integrating its digital offerings into the store because 90% of jewelry purchases start online industry wide, Zimmer said. Many of the technological features of the flagship store come from Reed’s Charlotte location, dubbed “the store of the future,” where the company tests concepts merging digital and in-person shopping.
This omnichannel approach, blending the online and in-store shopping experience, became popular after the pandemic when customers became accustomed to shopping online, pushing stores to integrate popular digital features into brick-and-mortar stores, like QR codes and customizable products, according to a report from Business Insider.
After the expansion, customers will have the “endless aisle” experience, Zimmer said. By building a 50-inch tablet into the millwork where shoppers can browse the website, Reeds does not have to keep a complete inventory to give shoppers a full selection of offerings. A 3D printer will also aid shoppers in visualizing a custom ring design with a wax replica of a stone’s setting.
Both Zimmer and Cahn echoed that adding a luxury jewelry store could continue the trend of higher-end brands coming to Wilmington. Cahn referenced the Anthropologie opening in Mayfaire at the end of November as building the city’s representation of a high-end market.
The Zimmer family's development company was one of the original developers of Mayfaire Town Center and Mayfaire Community Center in partnership with developer BrodyCo.