CSA Exclusive: Robert Irwin Jewelers offers digital insurance

A Southeast regional jewelry retailer is streamlining the process for customers to insure their purchases.

Based in Memphis, family-owned Robert Irwin Jewelers operates five stores in Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. The retailer relies on the specialized online jewelry insurance platform of BriteCo, a direct jewelry and watch insurance company, to make it as easy as possible for customers to obtain insurance for their belongings.

We have always helped our customers secure jewelry insurance,” said Howard Knopf, CEO of Robert Irwin Jewelers, in a recent exclusive interview with chain store age. “Before BriteCo came along, the process was tedious. From now on, our customers receive a personalized quote by SMS or by e-mail, which allows them to be insured before leaving our store. This changes things.

One of the key aspects of the BriteCo platform that has made it convenient on the retailer side of the transaction is the fact that it is cloud-based. Knopf described some of the benefits Robert Irwin obtained as a result.

“Because the platform is cloud-based, it literally took minutes to set up my managers and stores to use it,” Knopf said. “The interface is intuitive and the assessment result is consistent.”

According to Knopf, insuring products through the BriteCo solution is also easier and faster for the retailer than their previous manual process.

“I have multiple stores and one of my pain points was making sure each store location was doing reviews in a timely and consistent manner,” he said. “Also, in many cases, a few days would pass before an associate or store manager could sit down and write the review. Now it only takes a few minutes, and the customer can walk out of our store with an appraisal and with their jewelry insured. Plus, buyers appreciate the no-obligation quote for A+ rated insurance.

Knopf said BriteCo’s appraisal system has reduced the time it takes to complete and deliver an accurate and professional appraisal to Robert Irwin clients by 90%.

“Customers can be insured on their phone within minutes, and if they make a claim, BriteCo works with Robert Irwin to replace the item and ensure the customer is happy,” Knopf explained.

Looking ahead, Robert Irwin plans to continue working with BriteCo as the technology company updates its solution.

“BriteCo has added a lot of value to the in-store experience for my customers,” Knopf concluded. “They continually improve their rating systems. We had great conversations and discussed new ideas that I look forward to working with BriteCo on in the future.

Dustin Lemick, founder and CEO of BriteCo, added some thoughts on the digital insurance model.

“At BriteCo, we have democratized the jewelry insurance market by making the process of buying jewelry insurance faster, easier and more affordable than ever before,” said Lemick. “Developing a unique and specialized jewelry insurance program and improving efficiency with proprietary underwriting tools allows us to offer a highly competitive product in an industry that has been slow to take advantage of digital technology to improve the consumer shopping experience.”

As Robert Irwin moves forward with its digital insurance offering, jewelry sales are showing positive momentum. Jjewelry sale in February 2022 was up 22.4% year over year and 24.2% from the pre-pandemic period, according to data from MasterCard SpendingPulse.

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