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Will My Beautiful Jewelry Store Sell for a Premium Price … and More of Your Questions for April

It could depend upon how long ago the redesign and revamp took place.




Will My Beautiful Jewelry Store Sell for a Premium Price … and More of Your Questions for April

We have a beautiful purpose-built jewelry store (last renovated about eight years ago). We are retiring and holding a GOB sale and hope to sell just the store (not the business) to a jeweler. Is it realistic to expect to get a premium for a custom-designed jewelry store?

Probably only if your store is in a great location with a strong current business, says David Brown, whose Edge Retail Academy helps clients plan strategic exits from the business. Otherwise few jewelers would be willing to pay a premium and usually they’d want the whole business with all the goodwill capital, and not just the physical shell. Ruth Mellergaard, founder and principal of design company GRID/3 International, adds that eight years is actually quite a long time in terms of store technology. “So many things have changed in those years — the mind blowing acceleration of LED use affecting energy, particularly for jewelry stores and the way jewelers sell — side-by-side selling, custom, the customer touching the jewelry without a salesperson — that we feel they would be wiser to put it on the general market.” Our advice: Get an evaluator and then trust in the wider market. “If it happens to attract another jeweler who knows the history of the store and is prepared to pay a premium to secure the location, that would be a bonus,” Brown says.

What’s the best advice to offer a client when your appraisalsuggests there is a problem with her recently purchased branded product?

If the issue is one of a discrepancy over the identification of the gem material, weight, disclosure or just general quality, then the client has several options, says Gail Brett Levine, executive director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers. She can go directly to customer service of the branded product for resolution, appeal to the credit card company that processed the purchase to act as an intermediary, or as a last resort, go to Jewelers Vigilance Committee to file a complaint with them. 

If the problem resides in the price paid for the item, you will be in that no-doubt familiar position of having to tell the client that she’ll have to face the reality that a branded item cannot be compared to any “like/kind” jewelry. “A Lucida diamond from Tiffany & Co., for example, cannot be compared with a generic cushion-cut diamond,” notes Levine.

If I use a chain and lock to secure jewelry while traveling in my car, will that satisfy an insurer if the line is stolen?

Very unlikely. Think of your jewelry like a baby: Leave it alone and you’re basically negligent. “A chain and lock is not permission to leave your bag unattended in your car,” says Howard Herzog, president of International Jewelers Block. “Your insurance protection requires you to keep your merchandise in close personal custody at all times,” he  says.

Should I list my diamond jewelry by price?

We know a lot of jewelers will howl in disagreement, but we think you should. Retail is becoming more transparent, and younger customers expect to have that information presented to them. Diamonds, especially engagement rings, are a category for which people have budgets and they like to know what they can afford. Easily readable price tags also take away the embarrassment for a browser worried they won’t be able to afford a ring they pick out. As for concerns that price is a bad place to start a sales conversation, consider it an opportunity to better explain your value.


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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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