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Eileen McClelland

5 Best of the Best Ideas that Retailers Shared with Us in 2014

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January’s the best time to assess what worked last year while we look ahead to what we hope works this year (all while trying to battle a winter cold and find time to take down that Christmas tree!). Here are five great ideas retailers shared with us for Best of the Best sections of INSTORE in 2014 that are worth looking back on as we plan special events and marketing strategies for 2015. Please send your own good ideas, past, present and future, to me at eileen@smartworkmedia.com.

1

For the past few years, Stephenie Bjorkman has hosted “Love in the Hills,” at Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ. During the 2013 Valentine’s event, 762 couples renewed their wedding vows, generating tons of positive publicity. “If you put it on,” Bjorkman says, “there has to be a bossy, in charge decision maker. And you have to be organized and a little OCD!”

2

When a police officer dies in the line of duty, David Putnam makes a memorial badge pendant for the family. He does so without being asked and free of charge. The owner of Alamo City Gold & Silver in San Antonio, TX, and sadiamonds.com considers this work a community service, one that honors the ultimate sacrifice.

3

Randy Hudson, president and founder of Randy’s Jewelry, in O’Fallon, MO, has something to show you, whether or not you’re in the market for jewelry. He’s got everything from arrowheads and an 84-million-year-old dinosaur egg to amethyst geodes. Local collectors come from miles around to see his collections in his store.

4

T Lee, owner of T Lee Custom Designer Jewelry in Minneapolis, MN, loves gems. So her “Wine, Dine & Mine” trip to Southern California — which took place in September 2013 and offered the chance to mine gemstones, visit vineyards and eat gourmet meals — was a no-brainer for her, and some of her most loyal customers. She deepened her relationship with her clients, and they became friends with each other as well. Besides their memories, the travelers took home rough they’d mined or bought at the roundtable, as well as charms made from rough, which Lee gave each of them on necklaces. “You would have thought that I gave them a 1-carat diamond ring, they were so thrilled,” she said.

5

On a Thursday evening in July 2013 Bernie Robbins Jewelers hosted 40 guests at the Somers Point, NJ, location, for its inaugural Yoga Fest as part of a “Moment of Zen” themed weekend, with spa treatments, giveaways, and yoga classes. The invitation read, “Join us for an evening of health, wellness & fun.” Owner Harvey Rovinsky says Yoga Fest drew new potential clients to the store, many of whom said they were surprised and delighted with what they found there, and how affordable it could be. “We exceeded their expectations,” Rovinsky says.

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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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