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Kendra Scott to open 12 stores in 2023

The interior of a newly-opened store by jewelry brand Kendra Scott.

The interior of Kendra Scott's new store in The Woodlands in Houston. Photo: Courtesy of Kendra Scott

Fine jewelry maker Kendra Scott plans to open 12 stores outfitted with space for events and experiences, CEO Tom Nolan tells Axios.

Why it matters: Retailers see physical stores as a major driver of growth after years of store closures.

Driving the news: As Axios previously reported, retailers opened more stores than closed them in 2022, the first time since 2016, and an early estimate suggests that 2023 could eclipse last year, according to analytics firm Coresight Research.

Catch up fast: In 2017, PE firm Berkshire Partners closed a minority investment in Kendra Scott, backing a management recapitalization of the brand that valued it at $1 billion, according to reports and data provider PitchBook.

Details: The new store design, based on customer demand, gives more space for Kendra Scott's customizable jewelry experience it calls Color Bar, where shoppers can design their own jewelry and where pieces can be engraved.

  • Some of the new locations will also incorporate the brand's in-house cafe Sips & Sweets.
  • To date, the company has opened three locations, including one in Troy, Michigan, last year and two so far this year in Woodlands, Texas, and in Garden City, New York.

What's next: Another dozen stores are planned in states such as Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  • While most of the new locations are an expansion of the jewelry brand's retail footprint, some may be relocations such as its store in The Woodlands.
  • Although the updated format was designed in-house, the brand tapped Detroit-based GH+A Design Studios to support the process.
  • Nolan declined to comment on how much each new store will cost to build but did say they will be financed from cash flow.

The intrigue: "We have been really fortunate to have landlords proactively approach us because they know our stores drive foot traffic," Nolan says.

The big picture: "We have created an ample runway for sustained, profitable growth," Nolan says.

  • "That said, we will assess opportunities and adjust our growth strategy on a case-by-case basis to move forward with that mission," he adds, in response to whether the company could raise more capital, go public or seek a sale.

The bottom line: "We see retail as a continued opportunity for growth and will continue to expand our physical presence while creating a unique experience for our customers," Nolan says.

Editor's note: This story and headline have been corrected to note Kendra Scott plans to open 12 stores in 2023, not 14.

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