Ask INSTORE Boosting Sluggish Store Traffic, Pros and Cons of Drug Testing and More of Your Questions for February Building up traffic, drug testing for staff, errors in paid-out bonuses, and more. Published 10 years ago on January 20, 2012 By INSTORE Staff Instore February 2012 Issue Share Tweet My traffic is down, what can I do? One of the lasting effects of the Great Recession is that consumers aren’t shopping as often as they used to, apparently thinking that if they can’t be tempted they won’t spend. That is doubly troubling for jewelers because few other industries are so dependent on getting the merchandise into the hands of customers. The jewelry buyer needs to see and feel the merchandise, and to be romanced. Price promotions are the most obvious way to get people in the door but a slippery slope when it comes to your profitability. An alternative is private sales for your best customers, or if you’re feeling creative, a special event, which not only builds buzz and excitement — but gives customers the opportunity to try things on. Whatever path you choose, it’s crucial you maintain those personal contacts with your best customers. They are resisting the siren call of general advertising. They’ll still answer the call of their friend the jeweler if you show you’ve got their interests top of mind (such as exclusive discounts). Drug Testing A business friend recommended I insist on drug testing for all staff. I’m not sure it’s a good idea. What do you think? The case against drug testing is that it’s intrusive and can corrode workplace morale. But if you’ve got items vanishing, too many accidents occurring in the shop, weird behavior on the salesfloor, you’re within your rights to ask employees (even potential employees) to submit to a drug test. But first, Suzanne DeVries, president of Diamond Staffing Solutions, recommends you have the appropriate documentation in place. “On your employee application, have them sign a release, or have a separate release giving you permission to conduct drug testing.” DeVries advocates testing hair rather than urine, as hair will go back six months. Check out drugfreeworkplace.org for the details at your state level. Bonus Error I caught an error in the bonuses we paid out to sales staff for the holidays. It comes to over $1,000. Should I ask for it back? Asking for the money back now is a lost cause — even if you could collect, the impact on morale and productivity would be a killer. Instead, you could explain what happened and that you plan to treat the payments as interest-free advances against next year’s bonuses. That way, you should recover most of the overpayments without demanding staff find money that’s probably already spent. But, hey, it’s $1,000, and it’s your mistake. If you need $1,000 that badly, you have bigger worries. Hiring Advertisement Where can I find a good watchmaker for my store? A good place to start your search is at the Careers section of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute’s website (awci.com), says Terry Parresol, owner of Parresol Jewelers in Lakeland, FL. For a $35 fee, the institute will put you in touch with a watchmaker who matches your needs. Reference Price An employer has asked me to comment on a former staff member’s performance. He wasn’t great. Should I be honest? Sadly, this is an area where it’s often best to keep your mouth shut. Unless he signed a release protecting you from legal action, a simple “It’s our policy not to comment” may save you from a lawsuit. Related Topics: click to Comment(Comment) Up Next Moving ‘Crappy, Nasty’ Gold Scrap Diamonds … and More Jeweler Questions Answered Don't Miss How to Implement an 80/20 Customer Service Program and More of Your Questions for January INSTORE Staff Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected]. Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Thinking of Liquidating? Think: Wilkerson When Peter Reines, owner of Reines Jewelers in Charlottesville, VA, decided it was time to turn over the “reins” of his 45-year-old business to Jessica and Kevin Rogers, he chose Wilkerson to run his liquidation sale. It was, he says, the best way to maximize the return on his decades-long investment in fine jewelry. Now, with new owners at the helm, Reines can relax knowing that the sale was a success, and his new life is financially secure. And he’s glad he partnered with Wilkerson for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “There’s just no way one person or company could run a sale the way we did,” he says. You may like Promoted Headlines Thinking of Liquidating? Think: Wilkerson Wilkerson Consolidating Stores? Time to Call the Experts! Wilkerson It’s Going to Set Us Up Very Nicely for Retirement Wilkerson Advertisement Latest Trending Videos Press Releases1 day ago SJTA Announces 2022 Board of Directors Columns1 day ago Here’s Why You Should Consider Hiring a Business Coach Cover Stories2 days ago 23 Ways to Do More in Your Business by Doing Less Brainstorms2 days ago Take Leave of the 21st Century With an Amish Hour Sponsored Content2 days ago Thinking of Liquidating? Think: Wilkerson Benchmarks3 days ago These Jewelry Retailers Grab Shoppers’ Interest with Inventive Displays Headlines4 weeks ago Woman’s Sale of $32,000 Engagement Ring Was ‘Unjust Enrichment,’ Court Rules Photo Gallery1 week ago Check Out These 9 Jewelry Stores’ Checkout Counters [Photo Gallery] Headlines3 weeks ago California Jewelry Store Hit by ‘Takeover Robbery’ Involving 8 to 10 People [Video] Headlines3 weeks ago New Hampshire Jewelry Store Attacked with Smoke Bomb Jimmy Degroot1 week ago Video: Fix the ‘Glitches’ in Your Jewelry Business Jimmy Degroot1 month ago Video: Everyone in Your Jewelry Store Can Get Along. Here’s How. Sponsored Webinars2 months ago Podium Presents: SMS Marketing 101 for Jewelry Retailers Sponsored Webinars2 months ago GN Diamond Presents: How to Rock Your Diamond Sales! Jimmy Degroot2 months ago Video: Discounting Your Jewelry Can Send the Wrong Message Advertisement Advertisement SubscribeBULLETINS INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips. (Mailed 5x per week.) Facebook Latest Comments Most Popular Benchmarks3 days ago These Jewelry Retailers Grab Shoppers’ Interest with Inventive Displays Headlines3 days ago $8.7M in Fake Jewelry Seized in Cincinnati and Indianapolis Best of The Best1 week ago Louisiana Jeweler To Launch Diamonds into Space Celebrity Jewelry6 days ago The ’60s Make a Comeback in Jewelry and Fashion Benchmarks3 days ago 11 Intriguing Examples of Jewelry Store Window Displays Hot Sellers6 days ago 90 Percent of Surveyed Jewelers Reported Growth in December. Here’s What They Sold Cover Stories2 days ago 23 Ways to Do More in Your Business by Doing Less Celebrity Jewelry3 days ago Judge the Jewels: Were Pharrell’s Diamond Tiffany & Co. Sunglasses Inspired by a Famous Antique?