Trace Shelton is Editor-in-Chief of INDESIGN Magazine and Contributing Editor of INSTORE. His current favorite topics to cover include social media, marketing, and store environment, but you could also get him excited about merchandising and sales if you’ve got something new to say.
Recently, I’ve been banging the collaboration drum pretty regularly, and that’s because a lot of top jewelers are having great success with out-of-the-box partnerships with like-minded retailers, especially when it comes to events. I spoke to two this week who recently teamed with some pretty interesting partners.
Think good word-of-mouth is free? Not always. What if a customer is unhappy with your business, right or wrong? Are they going to say good things to people in person, on Facebook, or worst of all, on review sites like Yelp?
Karen Hollis of K. Hollis Jewelers in Batavia, IL had a recent divorcee approach her with her old jewelry asking, “What can you do with this?” And Karen had a flash: What if she made the woman a ring to celebrate her newfound freedom? “I made her a ‘freedom ring,’” says Karen, “And she walked out feeling like a million bucks.” Today, K. Hollis has turned “freedom rings” into a new category of jewelry for their store.
In an industry sometimes hidebound by tradition, Ritani is breaking barriers all over the place. Two years ago, the engagement ring and fine jewelry company introduced a “clicks-and-bricks” model that united a brand-driven e-commerce website with its brick-and-mortar retailers. This summer, I reported on their incredible new user-friendly iPad software for jewelry retailers and their sales associates. And now, just two weeks ago, Ritani announced its Ritani Designer Collections initiative, which allows designers to sell through Ritani’s clicks-and-bricks web platform. More than that, Ritani promotes the designer lines on its website.
A study released this week by Emory University economics professors Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon determined that men who spent between $2,000-$4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than men who spent between $500-$2,000. (The study also showed that spending less than $500 on a ring led to higher divorce rates.)