Fast-growing Singapore jeweller By Invite Only has opened two more stores in the city this month – one at Ion Orchard, the other at Bugis Junction, (above).
After physical stores initially took a hit from the movement restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, By Invite Only has thrived this year with sales breaching the seven-figure mark again and the company buying and restoring another local brand The Mindful Company in August
The two new stores take By Invite Only’s network to five, along with a burgeoning online presence. The other stores are at Wisma Atria, VivoCity, and 313@Somerset.
Trixie Khong founded the brand in 2009 when she was an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. After her jewellery was stocked at several multi-label stores in the city, she decided to go direct to consumer with the brand’s own e-commerce site and standalone stores.
Selling online helped the company through a period when stores were forced to closed.
“Because of our existing online presence and our continued investment in digital content and marketing, our efforts have indeed paid off when the pandemic hit and most, if not all, of our business, has gone online during this challenging season.”
But Khong believes physical stores are essential to provide customer experiences and interactions with jewellery.
“At the store, we can better communicate our brand’s story, curating a personal experience for each customer. We find this essential in building our brand and community, additionally increasing brand awareness and cultivating relationships with our customers.”
Stores, she argues, are not just a place where customers can learn more about the brand, but somewhere they can touch, feel, and try on products – experiences not possible online.
“It’s not a choice between the two, but a synergistic combination of both online and offline omnichannel retail that would succeed.”
The company’s revenue last year was split roughly half and half between online and offline, but when stores were allowed to reopen, she recalls revenue from physical stores “skyrocketed” as consumers were looking for something to do, going out with their friends and loved ones.
“The additional disposable income people have from not being able to travel is also another reason why consumers are looking to spend elsewhere for the feel-good factor.”