By Megan Harman
Saskatchewan-based jewellery company Hillberg & Berk will be opening two new pop-up locations in the coming weeks, as the company prepares to embark on a cross-country expansion.
Hillberg & Berk, which currently operates five locations in Saskatchewan and Alberta, opened a location in The Centre Mall in Saskatoon last week, and a location in CF Market Mall in Calgary will open on Oct. 15th.
“We’ve been quietly building over the past decade in Saskatchewan,” says Rachel Mielke, CEO and founder of Hillberg & Berk. “We’re hitting critical mass right now, and we’re at the point where we’re prepared to start expanding across the country.”
Hillberg & Berk specializes in luxury jewellery, with styles ranging from bold statement pieces to elegant engagement rings and sparkly bridal collections. The merchandise is geared towards women between the ages of 25 and 40, however the brand tends to appeal to a broad demographic, according to Mielke.
“It’s very feminine and bold and classic,” she says. “We’re really trying to create pieces that are timeless and on trend, but they still have a longevity to them; they’ll still be relevant and beautiful in the future.”
The new Centre Mall store is a temporary location that will be open until spring 2018, at which point Hillberg & Berk plans to open a permanent store within the mall. The pop-up store is approximately 700 square feet in size.
The CF Market Mall pop-up store, meanwhile, is committed to a one-year lease, with plans to find a permanent location in the mall at the end of that lease. The temporary location is 939 square feet in size.
Both pop-up stores are designed to resemble a ‘dream closet,’ according to Mielke. The stores feature a styling lounge and a fitting room, so that shoppers can try on outfits and consult in-store jewellery experts for advice on accessorizing.
“It doesn’t feel like walking into a jewellery store,” she says. “It feels like you’re walking into a luxury home – maybe your girlfriend’s closet.”
Hillberg & Berk works with CITE360studio in Regina to design its stores. The stores feature predominantly neutral colours along with mixed metals, and the focal point in each store is the jewellery on display.
“You’ll find that our stores really feel like a gallery,” Mielke says.
As Hillberg & Berk begins to expand its retail footprint, locations for new stores are being determined based on the company’s e-commerce sales patterns.
“We look at the cities that are driving the most online traffic, and we start testing those markets and advertising and seeing what the potential is,” says Mielke. “From there, we plan to roll out into either pop-ups or permanent locations.”
The company selected the CF Market Mall location, for instance, since Calgary has been a strong driver of online sales. Other regions that are generating a high volume of online sales, and which have potential for future Hillberg & Berk locations, Mielke says, include the Greater Toronto Area, Winnipeg, and certain cities in B.C.
Mielke is also considering opening a flagship location in Edmonton – a city where Hillberg & Berk already operates two ‘Sparkle Bar’ kiosks.
*All photos are of the new Hillberg & Berk store at The Centre Mall in Saskatoon.