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Retail Profiles

Mervis Diamond’s mission: Cater to all couples

By Hannah Connorton

April 03, 2014


This Mervis Diamond ad, the headline of which was written by a contest winner, ran in the Washington Blade, a D.C. publication for the gay community. The headline is a twist on Mervis’ well-known tagline, “Nobody pays retail anymore. Why should you!”

Washington--Mervis Diamond Importers is hosting a “Spring Bling” wedding band trunk show at all of its locations this month and is emphasizing the fact that the event caters to all kinds of couples, straight and same-sex.

Mervis has long been a supporter of the gay community, Chief Growth Officer Jonathan Mervis said. The store has exhibited at same-sex focused wedding shows in Washington, worked with gay and lesbian publications and media channels, and even launched its own line of same-sex wedding bands.

“When the discussions about gay marriage rights began, I saw the (laws) coming, so I came out with a line of same-sex wedding rings and threw a ‘coming out’ party, so to speak, to introduce it,” Mervis said. “A lot of members of the gay community attended, and were appreciative of the joke in there. Some couples bought rings but, more importantly, people remembered it for years.”

Word spread that Mervis Diamonds--which has locations in Tysons Corner, Va., Rockville, Md. and Washington--were gay-friendly, and the LGBT community was appreciative.

Mervis said he’s seen bridal jewelry purchases from same-sex couples run the gamut, from one man buying an engagement ring with a 2-carat yellow diamond for his boyfriend to another male couple opting for plain bands.

Two female customers once asked for two engagement rings and two bands, so each could wear a set. Another female couple wanted an engagement ring for one, and a band for the other.

“You have to be totally open and ask them what they’re looking for, it could be anything,” he said.

And whereas the store’s events previously catered specifically to the gay community, Mervis said he’s now moving to market the events to all kinds of couples.

“It’s important to me that we bring everyone together in one place as one big happy family,” he said. “We have a long and healthy relationship with the gay community in D.C., and if there’s anything we’ve heard over and over again it’s that people just want normalcy. Gay couples want to shop like any other couple. They wanted to be treated no better and no worse. They wanted to get married like any other couple, and so forth.”

Mervis said he initially wanted to call the upcoming trunk show “Wedding Bands for Everyone” to reflect the store’s goals, but ultimately changed it to Spring Bling because not everyone is getting married, and all customers are welcome to attend and shop for any reason--a birthday, anniversary or graduation.

Mervis Diamond Importers’ Spring Bling trunk show will be held April 12 and 13 at all of its stores. Additional information can be found on the Mervis Diamond website.