High jewelry brand Mejuri will present a hybrid showroom model

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Direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand Mejuri has come a long way since its launch in 2015.

In addition to announcing that he received a $23 million As part of a Series B funding earlier this year, the brand is further expanding its physical retail footprint across its three showrooms in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, where customers can familiarize themselves with products.

Until now, Mejuri’s in-store product inventory (which ranges from $29 for small earrings to $2,150 for larger items like engagement rings) was not stocked on-site. Instead, shoppers could only purchase a product by placing an order which was then fulfilled and shipped within one to two days.

However, the brand is currently rolling out a new hybrid showroom model, The Mejuri Studio, which allows customers to walk out of the store with a product in hand, while remaining agile and without excess inventory on site.

This model allows the brand to respond to customer feedback in real time, and they plan to launch this program ahead of the holiday shopping season.

I spoke to Noura Sakkijha, co-founder and CEO of Mejuri, to learn more about the Why behind this transition as well as the cogs that will make this new approach work. Here’s what she had to say.

KALEIGH MOORE: What initially made you reconsider your approach to order fulfillment in your physical retail spaces?

NOURA SAKKIJHA: We opened our first showroom in July 2018 and the model was based on next day shipping with no option to walk away with product. However, in the last two months we have launched a pilot program in our Toronto showroom with inventory available on-site, and as a result we have seen a 35% increase in conversion rate.

We originally started with our shipping model to keep our retail models light, imagining that retail would simply be an awareness channel for a brand that has such an active online community at its core. of its activity. However, physical retail has allowed us to continue this strong dialogue with our offline community. When it comes to our outlets, we look to optimize them the same way you optimize a website: we look at the conversion rate, but we also look at how we can further grow our community.

For example: we looked at how our consumers interacted with our jewelry displays in our New York and Toronto showrooms, and based on what we saw, we decided to develop over 30 different forms of custom jewelry displays that would show the customer how the product can be styled. This means that we can show our pieces “stacked”, so that while someone is shopping, they can also decide how they might wear it. This is extremely important to our retail model, which relies on breaking down barriers and intimidation around the purchase of fine jewelry.

KM: So what drove the move from 1-2 day delivery to in-store fulfillment?

NS: After opening our showrooms and seeing how our customers wanted that instant gratification (especially after spending time getting their hair done), we realized that giving them the product on the spot enhances the experience. We also realized that many of our customers come for gifts, which is urgent. This, combined with the fact that we are working to increase the number of points of sale, has prompted us to carry out the inventory on site.

KM: Tell me about how the new in-store fulfillment process works.

NS: We don’t display all of our products in stores; we organize the collection according to the location and what’s new in Mejuri. We also have all our stores connected to the same ERP system, which allows us to centralize all our data.

This allows our team to monitor stock levels and push restocking multiple times a week as needed to stay nimble and lean at each location. We also allow customers to make in-store returns (even if the purchase took place online) and have the option for customers to pick up online orders placed before 12:00 p.m. in-store the next day.

There is only one product display on the floor for customers to try, manipulate and play with. However, we have personal stylists on hand in each studio who can grab pieces from the back to help style a client’s look while another navigates so our experience is individualized and seamless. Once an order has been placed, it is gift wrapped at the back of the store and presented to the customer.

KM: What behind-the-scenes technology helps with inventory forecasting? Or are decisions based solely on in-store purchase data?

NS: Mejuri’s business is a marriage of forward-thinking design and trend-validated data. As we introduce new editions every Monday, each new part impacts the performance of other products. We use internal planning tools that assess different indicators of success (such as material, stone color, etc.) when reviewing inventory planning. We’ve released over 1,700 products to date, so we also have plenty of feedback to work with.

In stores, we offer a curated selection of our products, and we personalize this selection based on location, which is informed by data and feedback from our stylists. Based on existing product sales and feedback from our community, we then include this in our design loop. Our design and forecasting teams are side by side, which means we include both in the thinking process. We are vertically integrated and use technology and 3D printing in our prototyping and production processes, which also helps us shorten the steps needed to go from design to production.

KM: What about the demand around the brand’s online business? With over 100,000 people on waiting lists for the Mejuri product, what are you doing to reduce wait times? This clearly illustrates demand, but does it also indicate a supply chain problem?

NS: We manufacture in limited quantities with individually handcrafted parts, and this process means we produce in small batches. When we release new editions, they often sell out, exceeding demand expectations. The initial launch means we can then predict the demand for the next restock at the product and size level.

We don’t have a lot of inventory because we’ve built our supply chain so we can restock very quickly. So when you are on a Mejuri waiting list, you wait no more than three weeks on average. to receive your product. This short waiting period ensures that our community always receives the highest quality handcrafted pieces.

KM: How do you plan to respond to the increased volume that occurs during the busy holiday shopping season using this model?

NS: We factor this into our inventory planning (as well as staffing) to ensure we have sufficient inventory and seamless service during this busy time.

We have also designed our showrooms to allow flexibility in terms of capacity as well – we are used to large crowds. Last month we saw 25,000 people in our showrooms. On a typical weekend in our New York showroom, we have an average of 2,000 people visiting the store.

Depending on the day of the week, we restock rooms, move tables and even reposition entire lounges to create more space for visitors coming in groups, which means we can accommodate different store capacities.

There have been times when demand has exceeded our expectations and we have run out of stock, so to prepare for this, we are still giving customers the option to place in-store orders, which we will then ship with free express shipping. from our main depot.

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