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Best of the Best: Marquirette’s Exquisite Jewelry

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Best of the Best Logo[dropcap cap=L]aunching events isn’t always about moving merchandise. When the owners of Marquirette’s Exquisite Jewelry of Montgomery, AL, decided to hold a speed-dating event in their 4,500 square foot store, they weren’t thinking so much about selling as they were about bringing a little fun and good feelings into the space. Sales would likely follow. — Rebecca Kisch[/dropcap]

[componentheading]The idea [/componentheading]

[contentheading]Keep it fresh[/contentheading]

Best of the Best: Marquirette's Exquisit Jewelry

The people at Marquirette’s are always trying fresh ideas to keep their store on the cutting edge. When a couple of friends from R.S.V.P., a regional magazine, said they were doing a series of articles on speed dating they decided to give it a shot in their own store. It was something fun and light-hearted and, since speed dating is usually the preserve of restaurants and night clubs, something fresh.

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[componentheading]The execution [/componentheading]

[contentheading]Mix, mingle and munch[/contentheading]

The setup was easy, says Lyle Fields, co-owner of the store. Instead of “cramping the aisles” with tables and chairs, stools borrowed from local restaurants were set up at each of the store’s 36 cases. Each woman had a seat behind a case and waited as suitors rotated through the store to chat for six minutes before moving on. “It was like a seventh-grade dance for a few minutes,” Fields says, but soon everyone was totally into it. For two hours, about 45 people mingled in the store, munching on mini cannolis and other finger foods. Advertising was easy, too. A small advertisement in a local magazine and the promotional help of R.S.V.P. were really secondary sources to get the word out. Talking it up in the store for about six months prior to the event was the most important aspect of the advertising campaign, Fields says. Word of mouth can be a powerful force. They ended up with about 45 daters, ages 35 and up.

[componentheading]The reward [/componentheading]

[contentheading]Create future customers[/contentheading]

Though no merchandise was sold that day, Marquirette’s was featured the next day on the cover of the local newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, as well as on a local television news
station. The goal to maintain a positive presentation of the store was easily met. Plus, any speed dater who fell in love would know exactly where to buy the engagement ring.

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[componentheading]Do It Yourself [/componentheading]

Best of the Best: Marquirette's Exquisit Jewelry

Bring people together. Jewelry stores can be intimidating places. Warm up yours by making it a place for a community to mingle and munch.

Spread the word. Pick a date and talk it up. Customers buying jewelry may not always be single, but they’re bound to have some single friends.

Use your space. The owners of Marquirette’s were lucky enough to have a big store to work with. But be creative. Use what you have. See if you can’t make a dating booth out of a jewelry case.

Tap into your local resources. Marquirette’s used stools from local restaurants. See what else can easily be borrowed

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[span class=note]This story is from the October 2009 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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