January 2014

Tapper’s Jewelers opened in Detroit in 1977 and the family business soon grew into a three-store chain with almost 100 employees. “As a team we work for a higher goal, the betterment of our team, not just the individual,” says Steven J. Tapper, vice president of Tapper’s.


“Building great partnerships with our vendors is very important. We are constantly striving to stay in touch and on top of the latest trends and aggressively researching new brands, merchandise and partnership opportunities. Building trusting relationships based on customer satisfaction and warranties we offer.

“Learning to adapt to the constantly changing marketplace and shopping patterns is a constant challenge,” he continues. “We work to develop innovative methods of marketing to draw attention and create opportunities to bring new customers into our stores. Operating lean and using our budgets to their most effective advantage is something we focus on.”


Customer service is a place where Tapper feels like his company can differentiate itself. “For Tapper’s customer service and satisfaction come first,” he says. “We guarantee our customers satisfaction. We have on-premises jewellery and watch service in order to reinforce the level of service we want to provide our customers, along with a return policy to assure a level of comfort for the customer when making a purchase.” Detroit has always been a good market for Tapper’s. “There is great opportunity if we are willing work for it,” he says. “We have to accept the daily challenges and rise above any difficulties to make our business the best that it can be. Some of our newest challenges are our greatest opportunities. With social media the entire world is the potential customer base.”


Tapper’s does carry Shinola and they are having great success with the brand. “Shinola has created an awesome opportunity to tell the story of Detroit craftsmanship and manufacturing, which combines with our heritage and history very nicely,” says Tapper. “Those that have stayed and seen Detroit at its worst and its best see the greatness being revealed by the current wave of growth and development in Detroit. This city is an unrecognised jewel.

“’Built in Detroit’ is a fantastic slogan — there is so much potential to generate excitement and interest,” he adds. “With Shinola, our sales have been fantastic, our only challenge is getting more product in our stores. Detroit’s history does make an incredible difference. Think about it — it’s not just about the auto industry, it’s about the heartbeat, the music, the lives and stories of the people of Detroit. We focus on the great price point and excellent value, and we have seen almost 100 per cent sell through.”


Facts & Figures

Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry (
Locations: three fine jewelry and fine Swiss timepiece stores
How long: Since May 1977
Employees: Approximately 100
Size of stores: Two showrooms over 5,500 square feet and one is 3,000 square feet. Range of price: Watches range from under $300 to $75,000 and beyond.
Most requested watch brand: Rolex.
Watch brands: Rolex, Cartier, Panerai, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier, Hermès, Breitling, Michele Watch, Movado, ESQ, Shinola, TAG Heuer, David Yurman, Raymond Weil, Tudor

THE AMERICAN RE-REVOLUTION Detroit, Shinola and the future

Source: Europa Star December - January 2013/14 Magazine Issue