Connect with us

Carly Hagedon

Portfolio: Zales, El Paso, Texas

The well-established jewelry retailer revamps its customer journey




When you imagine a mall-based jewelry store, you might think of seemingly endless display cases filled with countless items. For Zales (Irving, Texas) – which has been operating in mall locations since roughly 1957 – moving away from a visually overwhelming amount of product was part of its strategy in reaching younger consumers and revamping its outdated aesthetic.

FRCH Design Worldwide (Cincinnati) was able to simplify Zales’ customer journey by breaking up its myriad collections into curated cases, referred to as “suites.” These smaller displays help shoppers navigate the full breadth of available items.

According to Robyn Novak, vp, FRCH, designers also wanted to dial up the bridal and engagement experiences, so they added a private consultation room where soon-to-be-wed couples can sit down and chat with an associate about their preferences.

A separate area houses the bridal and engagement collections and is outlined by a proprietary diamond pattern that’s laser-etched onto the partition glass. The room features a backlit focal wall with the etched design, intended to demarcate the space.

And unlike similar stores in this hardline category, Zales features an open, inviting storefront. “Typically, in jewelry retail, there are a lot of small windows and vitrines, which are great because they showcase the product, but it’s hard to tell a bigger story,” Novak says. “We wanted to create something similar to how a fashion retailer would tell a story; we wanted to have this big open window for layering visual merchandising.”

FRCH’s consumer research showed that promotional messaging is important to the average mall jewelry store consumer, so digital screens were installed in the storefront to enable various messaging or to allow for merchandising stories.


Another important piece was showcasing the brand’s history and highlighting its humble origins, which was achieved through a branded wall explaining its beginnings. “To customers, quality, commitment and, to some degree, legacy is very important,” says Novak. “When you start looking at large mall retailers, they’re so big in scale, you don’t realize that they started as mom-and-pop stores. Zales started as a single store and grew into something much larger over time. We wanted to bring back Zales’ personality, where it was founded, how it’s grown and where it is today.”


Zales, El Paso, Texas
Signet Jewelers, Akron, Ohio

Design and Architecture
FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati

General Contractor
Tom Rectenwald Construction Inc., Harmony, Pa.

Music Technologies Intl., Miami Beach, Fla.


Armstrong, Lancaster, Pa.

Amstore Corp., Grand Rapids, Mich.
JMA & Associates, Camby, Ind.

J&J Flooring Group, Dalton, Ga.
Kemper Design, Cincinnati
Daltile, Cincinnati
Nasco Stone & Tile, Reading, N.J.

Beaufurn, Lebanon, Ohio
National Office Furniture, Jasper, Ind.
Herman Miller, Hilliardk, Ohio
Groh Contract Resources, Loveland, Ohio

Benjamin Moore, Canton, Ohio
IFS Coatings, Gainesville, Texas
Matthews Paint Co., Delaware, Ohio
The Eric Master Group, Chicago
Tamarack Distributors, Cincinnati
DL Couch, New Castle, Ind.
Knoll, Philadelphia
Koroseal, Fairlawn, Ohio

Schnackel Engineers Inc., Omaha, Neb.


Regency Lighting, Chatsworth, Calif.

Photography: Richard Cadan, Fairfield, Conn.



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular