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Eileen McClelland

7 Quick Tips From the Stuller Bridge Conference

It took place July 21-23.



EVERY YEAR HUNDREDS of Stuller’s retail customers make the trip to Lafayette, LA, to attend one of Stuller’s interactive Bridge conferences. Classes include deep dives into issues such as repair pricing, bridal merchandising, inventory management, and new directions in customization technology.

Attendees pick up tips and tricks from Stuller experts as well as fellow jewelers.

Here are just a few of many I picked up from this week’s session:

WELCOME TO MY STORE. Include a photo of your storefront on your website, along with text-based directions. It makes it easier for shoppers to find your store and eases threshold resistance.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME. If you’re taking photos of jewelry for social media, zoom out. That will give you the ability to use one photo across all platforms and crop it to optimize the size and shape for Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

BUILD YOUR BRAND VOCABULARY. Begin to craft a brand identity by choosing three words that best describe your company. Imaginative? Resourceful? Purposeful? Adventurous? For example. Involve your staff in that exercise.


GOOGLE YOURSELF. A first impression online is critical. Take control of your content and the ability to interact with reviewers by verifying your Google business listing at Check your name, address and local phone number, URL, store hours and photos. Fill out every single field on this form with as much detail as you can. Verify location with a phone number or postcard verification.

REFRESH YOUR EXPERIENCE. Design intentional experiences that delight your customers. Don’t be afraid to draw on inspiration from other types of businesses. Sephora for example allows customers to interact with products. Saks Fifth Avenue emphasizes the importance of an open feeling and unobstructed, uncluttered sight lines. Starbucks has changed the vocabulary of ordering coffee from small, medium and large to tall, grande and venti! Take a fresh look at your store and rethink the status quo.

ELEVATE THE STANDING OF GROOMS. Bring men’s wedding bands out into the light. Don’t treat them as an afterthought to languish in a drawer or a corner. Men want to be included in the romantic symbolism of commitment.

OFFER ALTERNATIVES. Think stacking is just for fashion? That’s no longer true. The stacking trend has become very popular in bridal, too. Some brides are even opting for a stack of diamond bands instead of a traditional engagement ring.

Bridge is a three-day conference offering business insights, networking opportunities and more held at Stuller’s headquarters in Lafayette, LA. Bridge is free for qualifying customers of Stuller. Upcoming Bridge dates in 2019 are Sept. 22-24 and Oct. 20-22. For more information visit:


Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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