As featured in Gallery Magazine – Summer 2022.
Whilst we all love and cherish the older traditional shops in St Helier, Jersey there comes a time when they have to change. That’s which is why local family-owned jewellers Rivoli, which has operated from its iconic store in the heart of town since the 1970’s, felt it was time for a change.
Director Melanie Mayer Davies tells us that the previous shopfit had run its course with the lighting, layout and style all in need of modernisation. The layout especially, no longer worked for the business; many customers now expect to be able to sit down and relax when they are making purchases to celebrate significant moments and the old-style shop with its counters that the team stood behind were dated.
The Rivoli shopfit has been in the pipeline for a number of years. Work started on the designs in 2019, with a plan to do the work in January 2020. Fast forward the two years that nobody, especially retailers, want to remember and they’d again hoped to commence work. However, supply chain issues, not least the hinges for the cabinets which were sourced from multiple suppliers across the USA as there wasn’t a single
source globally that had enough in stock, meant that work couldn’t start until May 2022. The team worked together to create the look and feel of the new store. Managing Director David Speed says that, as Rivoli has been a feature of the Jersey high street for over 30 years, maintaining the existing colour palette was a must. The aim was to create a modern, elegant and inviting store. “A lot of time was spent in the store imagining different layouts and scenarios until we felt it was right.” The cabinetry of the store is all wood even the free-standing cabinets with slated legs and the display around the pillar. The legs and trim of the cabinets are sprayed gold to give them a metallic finish and the cream and green feature wallpaper is a dramatic, smooth textured marble effect, with tiny flecks of mica.
The pendant lights and soft furnishing were sourced from Home & Style, La Motte Street who specialise in luxury design furniture. It all has a mid-century modern feel and the large globes on the pendants soften the lighting in store.
One of the biggest improvements (and costs) are the doors on the back of the windows. They have been changed from heavy, solid wood doors to glass to allow the light to flood in and for anyone passing to be able to see into the beautiful new store. The height of the displays in the windows offers privacy to customers who are seated in the new bridal area.
Despite still being a fairly small store, zones have been created within the shop floor with the stone effect flooring. Darker and lighter areas show distinctive areas and the circular nature of the zones helps the flow of the customers and adds a softness to the overall design and a much more spacious feel.
One of the focal points of the new store is a distinctive gold arch on the backwall and free-standing cabinet with beautiful legs underneath. The arch was inspired by Rivoli’s much-loved clock on the outside of the building, which also features a gold-leafed arch. The clock chimes every hour and has six hand painted revolving scenes, three for summer and three for Christmas. The clock and the outside of the Rivoli building has also been refurbished by local artisan and traditional signwriter,
It was important to Rivoli to use as many local businesses in the project as possible from the architects through to the incredibly talented shopfitters, furniture suppliers and signwriters.
Melanie explains “We used local contractors for the project not least because they understood the difficulties in getting materials and goods into the island. The attention to detail and project management from the shopfitters, LVC Interiors was second to none. We were able to visit the workshop whilst the cabinets were being made to make adjustments and ensure that the size and position of everything was going to work before we dismantled the old store helping to ensure that the project was as smooth as possible”.
Of course, a new store means new collections and one of the most exciting is Created from British bridal specialists Brown & Newirth; a collection of solitaire engagement rings alongside exquisite matching pendants and earrings sets all featuring lab-grown diamonds in the brands’ beautiful Bloom settings. Lab-diamonds offer a sustainable and affordable alternative to mined diamonds whilst maintaining the beauty and qualities of mined diamonds. They are a hugely exciting development in the jewellery industry and it seems fitting that they have a space in the new store alongside the popular Rivoli Love Heart engagement and wedding ring collections.
The new store layout also gives Rivoli more space to sit down with clients who are having bespoke pieces of jewellery made with in-house designer Deb Macklin. There is also now a watch bar, which allows the team to present their watch brands which include Longines, Rado and pre-owned Rolex in a much more comfortable manner.
So what is Rivoli hoping the relaunch will offer customers in terms of experience and atmosphere?
“All the display units behind our serving areas were redundant and every square foot of the store needs to work for us. Experience has shown that a lot of people want to browse the store, wander around and get a feel for the product and then be served. We can now also offer a seated experience to our customers in the dedicated bridal and watch zones. We have deliberately separated the main service area to create a distance between customers coming in for repairs and those shopping. I hope that
we have created a store that is inviting, modern, spacious and welcoming.
We have a very friendly, relaxed team and we have store where everyone is made to feel welcome.”