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8 (More) Ways to Go Green in Your Jewelry Store

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The little things can make a big difference.

Our November lead story focused on ways jewelers can build sustainable practices and develop reliable supply chains. Such approaches can, after all, help save the planet and set ethical retailers apart.

Here are eight more ways to go green in your jewelry business.

FOCUS ON ELECTRICITY

Lighting upgrades are one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways for businesses to save energy and money. The obvious step is to switch to LED lighting. When Karen Benado made the switch, it dramatically reduced energy consumption at Diamonds R Forever in Kennesawy, GA, and saved about $850 per month on the store’s electric bill.

Architect and designer Jesse Balaity of Balaity Property Enhancement recommends illuminating showcases with in-case and ceiling fixtures, but skipping the general lighting along circulation paths. Reducing lighting on the floor areas between showcases helps the jewelry stand out by creating a rhythm of brighter and dimmer spaces throughout the store, and reduces energy consumption for unnecessary lighting.

Each of Jennifer Farnes’ workstations at Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO, has its own power switch so it’s only on when the jeweler is at the bench.

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James Doggett, owner of Doggett Jewelry in Kingston, NH, recycles almost EVERYTHING. “Even my teabags get composted in the small vegetable garden outside,” he says. The AC is turned on only when absolutely necessary; first, windows are opened in search of a breeze. Before the heat is turned on, Doggett and team reach for sweaters. “Newspaper is better than paper towels to clean glass. There are so many ways to save resources.”

WATCH THE CHEMICALS

At Design Unlimited in Rapid City, SD, chemicals never wind up in drains. And they use only chemicals that can be rendered inert and disposed of with no environmental impact, says Michael Goin.

RETHINK PAPER

“All of our packaging is post-consumer recycled and always has been,” says Russell Criswell of Vulcan’s Forge in Kansas City, MO. “Our bags are random patterns of fabric-blotter paper.”

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Debbie Klein of Boulder has eliminated most postcard mailings in favor of email invitations and social media. “We have over 5,000 names on our mailing list,” she says, “so that should save a tree or two.” They also recycle and compost everything, which is required by the city of Boulder.

Look for eco-friendly tags, too. Arch Crown offers string tags and earring cards made with a minimum of 30 percent post consumer fiber. Tags are FSC and Green Seal Certified Carbon Neutral Plus, ensuring a reduction in carbon emissions plus a commitment to conserve the environment. 

In response to a drought and watering restrictions in California, Fox Fine Jewelry in Ventura, CA, teamed up with a local radio station to create a “Golden Lawn” contest to spread the word about water conservation. People who brought in a picture of their “golden,” rather than green lawn, were entered into a drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree at Fox, which was given away during an event featuring conservation vendors. Concurrently, Cumulus Radio’s “the Vibe” ran a “Gold is the New Green” contest in which people who posted signs in their yards and post photos on Facebook qualified for prizes.

Debbie Klein of Boulder runs an annual event every year called “Gold Goes Green” with Jeff Feero from Alex Sepkus’ studio. Sepkus uses over 75 percent recycled metal in his work. Klein’s clients can bring in old gold and platinum in exchange for a credit toward a new piece. He can also offer cash for the metal, but they love to trade in old, unworn or broken pieces for something new and shiny. “It’s a very popular event.” Babs Noelle of Alara in Bozeman, MT, has given preference to jewelry designers working in recycled metals since 2009 and has made it a requirement for new designers represented in her store since 2013.

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LUNCH LESSONS

Jill Keith of Enchanted Jewelry in Danielson, CT, and her staff make lunches every day (nothing requires refrigeration or a microwave) and bring water from home in reusable stainless containers. They even got rid of the Dumpster out back and dump their own garbage weekly at the town transfer station.

Jonathan McCoy of McCoy Jewelers in Dubuque, IA, recycles everything possible and casts all designs in recycled metals and repurposed street-purchased gemstones into new inventory. “In addition, we have a large business in restyling old jewelry into next-generation heirlooms,” McCoy says. “Mostly we find that the ‘green’ aspect is a factor but the ‘heirloom’ factor is as strong. Moving something forward from one generation to the next has created a ring with more than just style, but with history to it. This is not just a millennial ‘thing’; we have been doing this for decades for our clients that are in all age groups. All have loved not just the new jewelry, but the story they get to share. The fact that we cast from vendors that supply us with 100 percent certified recycled gold as well as our own efforts in recycling ‘street buys’ into casting grain and not just a check has made a difference in not just our image but our bottom line.”

This story is an INSTORE Online extra.

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Shane Decker

The Most Important Part of Your Sales Presentation Happens After the Sale

Go the extra mile for your client if you want to see them again.

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HOW DO YOU FEEL about a movie that ends poorly? No matter how good it was before then, a weak finish leaves you feeling dissatisfied.

Jewelry presentations are the same way. Clients tend to remember the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds more than the middle of your presentation. And yet, all too often after the purchase is made (or repair taken in), the salesperson turns and walks to the back, allowing the client to leave the store on their own.

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The way out is as important as the way in. We have to treat the client as a guest who is coming into our home for one of the most important events of their lives. Not only that, but the client should feel even more important walking out than they did when they came into the store.

When everything is done, always walk the client to the door. Open the door for them, give them two of your business cards, and ask them to give one to a friend.

Even when you have other clients waiting for you, always walk each one out. Others will see this service and expect the same. Many times as you’re walking the client out, they will stop and look into a case they didn’t look into on the way in. This allows you to start another presentation, put something on a wish list, plant a seed for a later purchase or even put something on layaway.

Selling on the way out is easy. The client is now in a spending mood, and obviously they love you or they wouldn’t have given you their money already. It also allows you to give suggestions about service and other events you have coming up.

Sometimes, the client may have other important things they want to talk about on the way to the door. They’ll start by saying, “By the way…” This allows you to build rapport, get information that allows you to do more effective clienteling, and become even more of a friend.

So make the client feel that your store is the most awesome place to shop. Not just because of the merchandise, but because there is not any other place to shop in their area that compares to the professionalism, politeness and experience that your team delivers.

People get ho-hum service everywhere — but don’t let it happen in your store. It’s up to us to break the cycle. Make the exit even more awesome than the entrance. And remember: Always thank them for coming in!

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Ask INSTORE

Your Holiday Questions Answered, Including Security, Aged Inventory and Sales Presentation

Plus a tip for making shoppers feel comfortable in your ‘decompression zone.’

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What should I do to reinforce security measures at this time of year?

Here’s some advice from Jewelers UnBLOCKed:

  • Create obstacles. Use display cases and holiday décor to block thieves from running straight in and/or out of your store. All areas that contain valuable merchandise should be visible to both customers and staff. Avoid any blind spots.
  • Stay under the radar. If you’re planning a vacation, don’t advertise your absence; refrain from posting vacation pictures until after you return. Posting while traveling makes your store, employees and even your home susceptible to invasions, crimes and thefts.
  • Double and triple check seasonal employees. Even if they’re temporary, you need to ensure that all employees are trustworthy. Don’t forget to perform background and reference checks.
  • Limit the number of pieces that can be presented to a customer to between one and three pieces of jewelry or watches at a time, and post signage of this policy. If a customer complains, sales associates can point to the sign and mention its store policy. Deter potential thieves from trying to take off with a stockpile of jewels.
  • Keep store windows clear. A cluttered window blocks criminal activity from being seen outside.

We’re expecting to see a lot of old faces over the next few weeks. What should we do about aging inventory our customers may have seen before?

Stop fretting. Start polishing. “The majority of your customers don’t remember your stock,” says Dick Abbott, owner of the Edge POS software. “They may recognize a specific piece they have looked at previously, but the majority of it will look new to them, as long as it looks new.” Make sure each item is clean and sparkling and has a fresh ticket on it to adjust the retail to reflect today’s prices. Add a different chain to a pendant. Rearranging your cases makes everything “new” in the eyes of your customers. Identify the items you wish to clear and give your sales team a sense of ownership by brainstorming ways to clear old stock and then review your results and strategies every day.

What last-minute things can I do to sharpen my sales presentations?

Sales and display consultant Larry Johnson recommends enriching your vocabulary. There are adjectives that carry more emotion than the usual ones salespeople tend to use, he says, suggesting words like stunning, glowing, bold, brilliant, glistening, radiant, elegant, natural, fabulous, attention-grabbing, sparkle, romance, edgy, and timeless. “Upgrade your sales presentation to include these descriptive words that add impact. Start out today using one or two until you are more comfortable with adding more.”

How can I get shoppers thinking about buying as soon as they cross the threshold?

Pay attention to your store’s decompression zone, according to VEND, the global cloud-based POS and retail management provider. The decompression zone is the first few feet of your shop. Shoppers who are in this part of your store are prone to distractions, which is why most experts agree that retailers should keep the decompression zone simple and uncluttered. In addition, having greeters in your store makes people more aware of their surroundings and helps them focus.

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Brainstorms

Ever Considered Making Your Own Store Beverage? Here’s Why You Should

This jewelry store partnered with a local juice store to do it.

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WHO HASN’T THOUGHT of creating their very own beverage brand? H1912 in Princeton, NJ, partners with local juice store Tico’s to create its own cold-pressed blend that it serves to clients. “We wanted to provide something different that sets us apart from other retailers and would also tie into our upbeat and fun shopping experience. What better way than to enjoy a refreshing, all-organic, cold-pressed juice made of ginger, lemon, pear, and mango packaged in an 8-ounce glass bottle with our logo on the front?” explained former store director Lea D’Onofrio.

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