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Best of The Best

Best of the Best: Charm Giveaway

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Stores that are doing things right: Gold Casters Fine Jewelry

[componentheading]THE STORE[/componentheading]

Best of the Best: Charm Giveaway

Founded by Brad Lawrence in 1984, Gold Casters serves Indiana University’s hometown of Bloomington. The 10,000-square-foot store serves the population of 105,000.

[componentheading]THE IDEA[/componentheading]

Brad Lawrence

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While giving away jewelry may seem counterintuitive to a lot of jewelers, for Lawrence it was somewhere between a “no-brainer” and “not rocket science.”  

In April, his store hosted a week-long charm bracelet give-away. “No one wants just the bracelet,” Lawrence says. “If you can get the bracelets out there, you’re going to make sales.” And sales they did make: Of the more than 500 bracelets they gave away in their launch of Pandora’s line, only 28 recipients did not buy a single bead. “How many people hear about giving away free jewelry?”

Lawrence says, noting there were no gimmicks: A person could simply come in and pick up the free bracelet — which costs Gold Casters $6 and retails for $21 — and simply leave. “The worst case scenario is we gave away bracelets and got nothing, and that’s just what it cost me in marketing for the week,” he says. But … “If they buy one charm, you’ve already made a profit.” Lawrence says he tripled his initial investment, bringing with it great buzz about the store throughout the city as well as hundreds of new self-purchasing customers no longer intimidated by a misconception that Gold Casters’ products are out of reach. “This brought in a lot of people who might not otherwise come in,” he says. “Every day, we’ll have six to eight ladies in the store.”

[componentheading]EXECUTION[/componentheading]

[contentheading]$28K Investment[/contentheading]

Best of the Best LogoLawrence teamed up with a radio station to promote the event. “The key is, you have to do it with just one station,” Lawrence says, adding that it has to totally saturate that station during the event. Due to past advertising, Gold Casters had done with the local station, Lawrence was able to work out a deal in which the on-air personalities were promoting the giveaway during every break. “They wanted me to come on and talk about it,” he says, “but I don’t believe that’s nearly as powerful as the DJs talking about it.” Working with Pandora, Gold Casters was able to ensure the store had enough bracelets on hand to meet the demand, although toward the end of the week, demand outstripped the 200 to 300 bracelets they anticipated giving away, and the store had to issue 70 rainchecks.

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[componentheading]REWARDS[/componentheading]

[contentheading]$100K in Sales[/contentheading]

On an initial investment of $28,000, Gold Casters raked in more than $100,000 in sales over the following six weeks. To date, more than 700 bracelets are out there in the store’s market, each waiting to be filled with the $17 to $20 beads, and Lawrence says his store has become the top Pandora retailer in Indiana. More than that, however, is the increased traffic — particularly of women — and the word-of-mouth sensation it created in Bloomington. “Your risk is virtually nothing,” Lawrence says. But the pay-off continues as customers return for more beads and other purchases.

[componentheading]Try It Yourself[/componentheading]

1. See what sort of deal you can work with your favorite radio station to pro-mote the event.  
2. Offer free charm bracelets for a set period of time.
3. Prepare yourself, your store and your staff for the crowds.

[span class=note]This story is from the October 2007 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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