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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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When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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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

When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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Most Popular