Hardy Brothers New Sydney Store Launches in December and Christmas Collection
An Australian icon since 1853 and this country’s oldest continually operating fine jeweller, Hardy Brothers will open its new Sydney flagship store with a complete brand transformation. The new experience aims to modernise the brand, appealing to a new generation of luxury shoppers while remaining true to the Hardy Brothers’ heritage in an uncertain, digital-centric market.
Fine jewellery and watches hit by COVID worldwide:
With 2019 sales of over $329 billion, fine jewellery and watches are significant industries for global business and represent meaningful cultural assets that have reflected human preoccupations with creativity, status, symbolism, and self-expression for centuries.
Yet, uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic saw global revenue declines of 10-15 and 25-30 per cent, respectively, putting strain on slow-to-adapt players without a digital presence and crystallising emerging market trends that show younger consumers and online sales will gain new momentum by 2025.
Hardy Brothers was an early adopter of digital transformation and relaunched a new website in December 2019, just before the world changed.
“Our initial expectations were to drive focus and traffic to our boutique experience and present a consistent brand message through our digital channels,” explained Alexander Bishop, Hardy Brothers Brand Manager.
The website launch was well executed and well rewarded as Hardy Brothers successfully navigated the digital transformation, earning support from multiple brands as an approved online retailer.
“Year to date, we’ve had phenomenal success. Clients now expect a seamless online experience as they would in any store. COVID accelerated this, and we were lucky people inherently trusted our brand to provide a product and service with honesty, respect and quality every time. Online sales are up 25% from last year and traffic has doubled, though we see a lot of conversion in the boutiques from site visits (those that are still open),” said Mr Bishop.
Though Hardy Brothers’ heritage was redirected to appeal to a growing market of younger luxury shoppers who are already heavily influenced by the world’s leading luxury brands, the redirection led to some uncomfortable conversations with the brand’s more traditional audience.
The challenge, therefore, was to make the brand relevant while selling the Hardy Brothers experience rather than simply products in an online store.
Hardy Brothers’ new mission post-2020 was simple—convey its heritage and appeal more clearly to a new generation of luxury shoppers while maintaining the ideas, principles and values that define its history. To do so, the fine jeweller focused on creating a unique Hardy Brothers experience and establishing a new chapter as the custodian of luxury jewellery in Australia.
“Design underpins everything we do, and we have an incredible history and legacy in that space. We constantly seek to make luxury relevant while responding to prevailing design trends. As a custodian of luxury for over 165 years, we have a great responsibility to uphold the values our customers have come to expect from us over this time,” said Mr Bishop.
Solution: Creating a unique jewellery experience and destination.
The company appointed leading luxury branding and creative agency, 3 Deep, to revitalise its store design, beginning with the Brisbane flagship store concept and rolling it out across the country.
3 Deep identified six guiding principles that would allow Hardy Brothers to create meaningful engagement with its customers: artisanship, authenticity, consideration, individualism, creativity, and the extraordinary.
To integrate these guiding principles throughout all Hardy Brothers’ touch points, its new-look stores artfully capture the venerated history of the brand and establish a space that prioritises thoughtful exchange. From areas dedicated to the brand’s most extraordinary pieces to more public spaces that immerse customers in a fine jewellery journey, the boutique’s design delivers inspiring moments to elevate the in-store experience.
The luxurious palette of materials include polished Venetian plaster, fine leathers, and rich Australian timbers beautifully executed by Woodlands Shopfitting and brought to life by lighting designers, Ambience Lighting.
The experience’s pièce de résistance is the ‘Vault’—a space for private viewings of the world’s most coveted diamonds and gems, thoughtfully designed and crafted by Australian artisans. Hardy Brothers is the Southern Hemisphere’s only fine jeweller to proudly hold the Royal Warrant and is simultaneously a select atelier for Argyle Pink Diamonds. The space acknowledges the gravitas and drama of these honours.
Given the store is so conceptually rich and layered with meaning, one of the biggest challenges was ensuring it didn’t appear academic and overburdened with ideas.
“The boutique provides a unique theatre of experience for clients with the space revealing itself over time,” explained David Roennfeldt, 3 Deep Design’s Executive Creative Director.
The brand refresh delivers a unique and highly curated gallery experience for clients, backed by Hardy Brothers’ 165 years of creative experience in the fine jewellery craft.
“Our brand’s commitment to knowledge, luxury and craft is on full display. Beyond aesthetic appeal, it allows us to increase engagement while celebrating the virtues and values we hold sacred,” Mr Bishop said.
“The design favours meaningful exchange over ephemeral commerce. It’s also about demonstrating what makes our brand unique while respecting our customers’ dreams and desires,” he added.
Hardy Brothers’ Sydney flagship store will open early 2022, with other states to follow.
Source: Hardy Brothers