New building, which was erecting next to the Heroines monument, at Thalang roundabout at central Phuket, had various rumours. Many thought it was going to be a new shopping mall. Some were correct, the huge building was indeed a gem store.
Royal gems pavilion in Phuket
I visited the place today afternoon. Arriving there with my old Honda wave scooter I got some looks by the people who were doing the valet parking. I parked my scooter to the parking lot. Fortunately I had my official Phuket attire. Wearing t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops and backpack. I should easily to blend in..
The entrance gave the first clue, maybe I was a bit underdressed to the location.
Nevertheless I asked if I could see what is inside. I was asked how many people would be on tour and after a bit of time I got my personal tour guide / selling assistant, Jasmine, to take me to a tour around the place.
MBA students, this is a learning experience how to sell
I was taken to a ride of how to sell things to the people. This was no ordinary selling experience, this was one, which should be a presented for young MBA students as target: This is what you should be able to do when you graduate.
The escalators to the second floor gave an tip what there was to come. Extravaganza.
The entrance room to the second store showed style, but that was just a beginning.
There were large walkaways, which ended to special rooms. One room showing how the rubies look like in the nature.
t was time to show the real gems, which are found in Thailand. The science how the gems are produced. This room was dedicated to the 4 gems types found in Thailand.
We walked through various rooms, dedicated to the gems, Thai Royal family, Zodiac signs etc. This zodiac room naturally posted the questions: What are the zodiac signs? What is my zodiac sing?
I already knew that my zodiac sign is pig. Now I learned that my zodiac gem is ruby. Should I get one for the luck?
Craftsmen working with jewelry. It's hard work.
This peacock, made by gem stones, was priced as 9 million Baht (200.000 Euros)
Room dedicated to the Thai royal family and Thai traditions
Setting the tone for the sell
All of this was to set the tone for customers. Let customers to feel that they have come to a special place. My guide, professional seller as she was, tried naturally to get me to buy something. Once I told that I hardly have money for the gems they are selling. She asked if I would be interested to buy a small gem souvenir, which would cost just 200 Euros.
The customers are mostly Chinese. Location for the store is selected as it's the most central location in Phuket.
The next we walked trough the two main sales halls, full of diamonds, rubies and other emeralds. On first hall I was shown diamond rings, which honestly looked were pretty damn nice. The prices were from 20.000 to 45.000 Baht. Unfortunately these were the sections where taking photos was not allowed.
The most expensive item for sale is valued at 60 million Baht (1.5 million Euros).
Making sure the visitors / customers buy at least something
The next hall had pearls and 'paintings' made out of the dust which is collected during gemstone grinding. Some where pretty nice.
After this was the third section. Health food etc. The last chance for people to buy at least something. Far before this point, my personal guide already knew that I'm not really going to buy anything, so she did not even try to push me anything. I'm happy for it. She gracefully provided me the information I was looking for.
If you did not manage to buy anything yet. There was still one more, 7-11 colored shop, which sold dried fruits. You know, for you to get a souvenir.