Houston–In 50 Jewelers/50 States, National Jeweler interviews one retailer in each of the 50 U.S. states to find out how they are meeting the challenges of the changing retail environment.
Founded in 1945, Reiner’s Fine Jewelry is still a complete family affair today.
The Houston, Texas store is currently headed by four members of the Reiner family: Irvin is president and CEO; Steven is vice president, sales and merchandising; Lenny is vice president, accounting; and Bert is web master and social media chairman.
Luckily, Hurricane Harvey left Reiner’s unscathed. “Our store did OK,” Steven Reiner said. “We were closed a few days, but no water damage.”
He talked to National Jeweler about retail challenges not related to the weather, particularly how the store’s custom bridal work doesn’t gel with e-commerce.
Founded in 1945, Reiner’s Fine Jewelry is located in Houston, Texas. The store has a 1,000-square-foot showroom and six employees.
National Jeweler: What’s the biggest challenge your store is facing today?
Steven Reiner: The biggest challenge our store is facing today is staying competitive with the internet.
NJ: What’s the top-selling category at your store?
SR: The top selling category at our store is bridal jewelry.
NJ: What’s your top-selling brand?
SR: The top selling brand at our store is CrownRing across the board.
NJ: Describe your regional customer.
SR: Our regional customer is a man in his late twenties or early thirties. We serve the greater Houston area and seem to have a diverse demographic.
NJ: What’s the most popular style of engagement ring with your clientele now?
SR: The most popular style of engagement ring is the classic traditional solitaire. It still holds true (as a) timeless fashion over time. The most popular diamond shape for our store is the round, and the most popular type of metal is 14-karat white gold.
NJ: Which social media accounts are important to your business?
SR: The social media account that is most important to our business is Facebook.
NJ: Do you have e-commerce?
SR: We do not have e-commerce. We don’t have it because with the competitive nature of e-commerce, we find it best for our store to have a one-on-one dialogue where we can correlate a 72-year tradition of a family business with the hope of building a lifelong customer.
We also do not rely on mass production of items, and therefore prefer to make each interaction with our client as unique as the diamonds they are purchasing.
NJ: What’s the best piece of advice you’d offer to a fellow independent jeweler?
SR: The best piece of advice that I would offer to another independent jewelry store is that money cannot buy you a good reputation. Your reputation means everything when you are helping a client.
NJ: What’s a fun fact about you we can share with our readers?
SR: While attending the GIA in 1980 in Santa Monica, California, I met someone there who has become a lifelong best friend for almost 40 years.