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Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity

Shira Petrack
December 18, 2023
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity

Recently, many DTC brands have begun building up their wholesale partnerships as a way of raising brand awareness, reaching new audiences, and improving margins. But for brands with an already-strong wholesale game, embracing an omnichannel strategy may mean nurturing a DTC pipeline. 

We dove into the foot traffic data for two jewelry brands with strong wholesale roots – gorjana and Kendra Scott – that are proving particularly adept at operating owned physical outlets.


Gorjana, a minimalist jewelry brand, launched in 2004 and sold its products at Nordstrom in California before establishing its own direct-to-consumer channels. The first physical store opened in 2016, and since then, the company has expanded its DTC operations to include over 60 stores nationwide. The chain continued growing its fleet in 2023 by adding new locations in states like New York and Texas, broadening its omnichannel presence.

The company’s offline expansion has led to a major spike in visits, with gorjana venues seeing a 67.2% to 84.8% increase in overall offline visits between September and November 2023, compared to the same period last year. And the new venues are not cannibalizing traffic from existing locations – as the store fleet grew, visits per venue also increased, meaning that gorjana stores are not only more numerous than they were last year – they’re also getting increasingly crowded. 

Kendra Scott

Wholesale-focused brands may also choose to take advantage of the many benefits of owned offline channels without investing in permanent stores by going the pop-up route. Austin, TX-based jewelry designer Kendra Scott – which also operates over 100 full-line stores – has successfully used pop-ups to reach a critical yet seasonal audience segment: college students

The company capitalized on the viral #RushTok trend – where college freshmen document their sorority rush journey on TikTok – by opening pop-ups on college campuses throughout the country in August and September 2023. Kendra Scott’s “Hey, Elisa! An Icon Goes on Tour” pop-ups focused on the brand’s Elisa pendant necklace that had gone viral during 2022’s RushTok season and became particularly popular among hopeful sorority pledges. The pop-ups took place right when students were returning to campus and included custom, Elisa-inspired iced coffee and quizzes to match students with their Elisa style. And though pop-ups were only on select college campuses, Kendra Scott stores nationwide experienced a significant increase in foot traffic from college students in fall 2023 compared to fall 2022. 

By aligning the tour with the back-to-school season and meeting customers where they were – on campuses – Kendra Scott maximized its exposure to college students. And the increased brand awareness among that consumer base seems to have spilled over to more visits to the chain’s other retail locations, highlighting how physical venues – even if temporary – can benefit retail chains beyond the impact of any specific store. 

With many brands now looking for the sweet spots between wholesale and DTC, which wholesale heavy-brands will open DTC stores in 2024? 

Visit to find out. 

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