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Best of the Best: Sweat Equity

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Store that are doing things righ: Dickinson Jewelers

[h3]Do-it-yourself store expansion[/h3]

[componentheading]THE IDEA[/componentheading]

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[dropcap cap=C]Complete a store expansion without closing up to do it. A general contractor might require you to close for six weeks, resulting in lost business (plus the cost of the contractor). Dickinson Jewelers’ owner Claude Dickinson had wanted to expand his 1,750-square-feet store for years. So when the unit next to his Dunkirk, MD, store opened up he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to double his store space. But how to execute? “It’s very expensive to have people come in and do the work while the store stays open,” he says. “And even so, it’s dusty, noisy, and uncomfortable.” So, he decided to become his own general contractor and framer.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]THE EXECUTION[/componentheading]

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Best of the Best: Dickinson Jewelers

As his own contractor, Dickinson could determine when to complete which tasks to minimize distractions in his store. He and his team tried to finish as much work as possible in the new space before tearing out the wall that separated it from his current store. Nels Lober, who designed the store, had the showcases pre-built and ready to install. And, as framer, Dickinson built new walls around office desks. “Every wall was moved, changed, and rebuilt,” he says. “We literally cut desks in half with some walls.” Dickinson arrived at 6 a.m. each day to work construction, began cleaning up at 9, and opened the store at 10 (with work in the new unit continuing throughout the day). The project began July 1 and was completed by mid-October. “We did lose some sales during the period when lighting was not ideal,” he admits. “That’s why we did it during the summer, when sales are slower anyway.”

[componentheading]THE REWARDS[/componentheading]

The store would have lost about $100,000 in sales if it had closed for six weeks. And Dickinson saved about $75,000 in costs by doing some of the work himself. 

[componentheading]DO IT YOURSELF[/componentheading]

“The more you can plan ahead and keep your mind on the jewelry business, and not on the construction business, the better off you’ll be,” Dickinson says. He figures he may have lost sales simply because his mind was elsewhere. That said, he wouldn’t hesitate to be the general contractor if it were a new location entirely — but he warns jewelers that managing the construction process is “a major undertaking.”

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[span class=note]This story is from the July 2008 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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Best of The Best

Best of the Best: Sweat Equity

Published

on

Store that are doing things righ: Dickinson Jewelers

[h3]Do-it-yourself store expansion[/h3]

[componentheading]THE IDEA[/componentheading]

Best of the Best Logo

[dropcap cap=C]Complete a store expansion without closing up to do it. A general contractor might require you to close for six weeks, resulting in lost business (plus the cost of the contractor). Dickinson Jewelers’ owner Claude Dickinson had wanted to expand his 1,750-square-feet store for years. So when the unit next to his Dunkirk, MD, store opened up he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to double his store space. But how to execute? “It’s very expensive to have people come in and do the work while the store stays open,” he says. “And even so, it’s dusty, noisy, and uncomfortable.” So, he decided to become his own general contractor and framer.[/dropcap]

Advertisement

[componentheading]THE EXECUTION[/componentheading]

Best of the Best: Dickinson Jewelers

As his own contractor, Dickinson could determine when to complete which tasks to minimize distractions in his store. He and his team tried to finish as much work as possible in the new space before tearing out the wall that separated it from his current store. Nels Lober, who designed the store, had the showcases pre-built and ready to install. And, as framer, Dickinson built new walls around office desks. “Every wall was moved, changed, and rebuilt,” he says. “We literally cut desks in half with some walls.” Dickinson arrived at 6 a.m. each day to work construction, began cleaning up at 9, and opened the store at 10 (with work in the new unit continuing throughout the day). The project began July 1 and was completed by mid-October. “We did lose some sales during the period when lighting was not ideal,” he admits. “That’s why we did it during the summer, when sales are slower anyway.”

[componentheading]THE REWARDS[/componentheading]

The store would have lost about $100,000 in sales if it had closed for six weeks. And Dickinson saved about $75,000 in costs by doing some of the work himself. 

[componentheading]DO IT YOURSELF[/componentheading]

Advertisement

“The more you can plan ahead and keep your mind on the jewelry business, and not on the construction business, the better off you’ll be,” Dickinson says. He figures he may have lost sales simply because his mind was elsewhere. That said, he wouldn’t hesitate to be the general contractor if it were a new location entirely — but he warns jewelers that managing the construction process is “a major undertaking.”

[span class=note]This story is from the July 2008 edition of INSTORE[/span]

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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