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3 Tips for Jewelry Retailers to Adapt, Change and Prosper in this Crazy New World

Here’s how to adjust to the “new normal” of jewelry retailing.

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OUR WORLD HAS changed so much over the last few years. Here are three things to consider about “the new normal,” as well as tips that could help you to weather any storms that may come our way.

1. Don’t switch to an appointment-only model. We adopted a four-day-a-week model with other hours by appointment, and that seems to work fine. There’s a large segment of the population that wants a watch battery changed, a ring sized or has gold to sell and simply won’t make an appointment to do that. We all know how many engagement rings we sell on impulse; having to make a purchase appointment spoils the impulsive nature of that sale, and you may lose it entirely to a competitor. With a good portion of the population still leery about shopping indoors, you must make it as easy for your clients as possible to shop with you. Being open by appointment only creates a barrier for entry into your store that will prevent some people from ever shopping with you.

2. Lower your fixed expenses as much as possible. Most of us have done amazing business in the last two years, but like all good things, it will come to an end and your sales will go back to recognizable levels. Retail sales have already started to trend downward as rising food and energy prices are hammering discretionary income. Consumers are also battling rising interest rates on mortgage, auto loans and credit cards coupled with inflation levels we haven’t seen in decades. Now is the time to take a hard look at your fixed expenses. This could mean closing on your slowest day or closing a few hours earlier than normal (on days when it makes sense) to save money on payroll.

3. Trim your inventory and pay down debt. Take a close look at your inventory levels and make sure you’re not over-leveraged in any particular category. If you are, take measures to trim the fat. Paying down debt would also be prudent, as money just became twice as expensive to borrow as it was earlier in the year. Cut as many of your fixed and variable expenses as you can. Then, if the economy does come crashing down, you will be prepared for it, emotionally as well as financially.

I hope these tips were helpful, as it’s important to be thinking about the changes you may have to continuously make to be successful in “the new normal.”

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When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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