Aurate Makes A Return To Its Physical Retail Roots

Sustainable direct-to-consumer ( DTC) jewelry brand, Aurate, is looking to bring back its pre-pandemic shopping experience with the reopening of physical stores.

Like many other brands during the pandemic, Aurate shut the doors to its permanent store locations in New York and San Francisco. The decision came as eCommerce drove the bulk of its sales, making it harder to justify the costs of maintaining its brick-and-mortar presence.

But now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted all around the country, Aurate is looking to reopen its doors and deliver a well rounded customer experience.

“We always have been primarily online, so it wasn’t necessarily a huge impact for the top line, but more from the fact that we really much believe in retail,” said Sophie Kahn, co-CEO of Aurate.

“We think it really improves the customer experience when you see us 360 and we worked a lot on building the stores. We were just so proud. We had like the perfect final store concept in February 2020 — and you know what happened in March.”

Kahn noted that the brand’s essentially making a return to its roots with the reopening of store locations. When Kahn and co-CEO Bouchra Ezzahraoui initially considered starting the jewelry brand, the duo opted to open a pop-up experience in SoHo for ten days to gauge interest in the products.

“We just put the product out there on literally Ikea tables and it sold like crazy,” said Kahn. “Before the ten days were over, we had sold out of everything and that’s when we knew, ‘Wow, it really worked.’”

The connection and hype the brand observed in its beginning stages ultimately influenced how Aurate expanded into new markets — through pop-up experiences. Markets that resonated with the brand saw more permanent retail experiences.

Today, Aurate is looking to reenter New York, a market that has always resonated with the label and California — new stomping grounds for the sustainable jewelry maker. According to the company, California is a territory that has come to appreciate the brand’s design, process and mission.

In addition to California and New York, Aurate plans to expand to other markets, including Washington, D.C. and Boston, in the near future as pop-up experiences in these locations have been profitable for its business.

Aurate was founded in 2015 and specializes in sustainable fine jewelry.

Originally published at https://retailbum.com on March 3, 2022.

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