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David Squires

Brain Squad

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Our retail panel gets a brand-new name

NEWS FLASH: we’ve decided to redub our Instore Professional Retailers Panel as the ?Brain Squad?. Reason? Well, primarily because after three-and-a-half years, all of us were still having trouble correctly remembering the original name. (Which is never a good sign for any business initiative.) And secondly, because those 300-plus different retailers who have agreed to answer our monthly surveys really are the brains of our operation, the center of everything we’re doing here with Instore. To all of you who are now members (?Brain Squadders??), thank you so much for your incredible help. And for those of you who aren’t on the squad, why not sign up today? Think about how valuable these surveys would be with 500 people answering them monthly, and how much stronger our entire industry would be as a result. (Let’s kick fur’s hide, yeah!) If you’re the owner or manager of an U.S.- or Canada-based jewelry store, just email Click here with your name, store name, and store address. Entitle it, ?One Brain, Ready To Serve?. (Ha-ha!)

Anyway, we think we’ve got an extremely cool issue for you this time around. It’s May, so it’s extra-thick. And we’ve added new columns and made some design tweaks that we think will make it even easier for you to crack the good stuff out of the mag. Comments? Send to Click here. Enjoy!

Wishing you the very best business …
David Squires 
Executive Editor And Associate Publisher 
([url=maito:dsquires@instoremag.com]dsquires@instoremag.com’>Click here) 

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Jimmy DeGroot

Be Ready for ‘What Do You Have for $100?’ and Other Holiday Questions

As Christmas approaches, the queries you’ll hear from customers are actually pretty predictable, says jewelry store training expert Jimmy DeGroot. Here's how to make sure your team is prepared for the more common ones.

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David Squires

Launch “Project Brainstorm” in Your Business

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Do you have an employee suggestion box, but there’s never anything in it? Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways To Energize Employees, suggests adding some urgency to this timeless idea-generating device by keeping it open only for a short period … perhaps one or two weeks at a time, once or twice a year. Call these periods “Project Brainstorm,” and create a team that will decide definitively (within seven days after the box “closes”) whether and how to implement the ideas. Boost participation by offering rewards to those whose brainstorms are used.


This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of INSTORE.

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David Squires

Editor’s Note: A Tale of Success

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This little department has been
a key part of “the INSTORE experiment.”

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 edition of INSTORE.


News flash: We’re now 175 issues into
the INSTORE experiment, which can be
defined as “producing business media that
tells the story of its readers’ lives while also
teaching and inspiring them.”

One of the departments we’ve had since
the very beginning is “True Tales.” And it’s
a perfect example of what makes the
INSTORE experiment so special — it’s
content that grabs your interest, makes
you laugh, makes you gasp, and sometimes
gives you a little shiver of excitement that
you do what you do for a living.


“IT MAKES YOU
LAUGH, MAKES
YOU GASP, AND
SOMETIMES
SHIVER.”


I’d guess-timate that we’ve probably
run 250 of your stories over the years. And
while everybody probably has their own
memorable favorites, the incredible thing
about this department is the quality of all
the submissions you’ve shared with us.
That’s because, while we’ve probably seen
enough gut-churning stories of “Could you
turn this (horrifying random object) into
a piece of jewelry?” to last a lifetime, the
amazing thing is that there’s nary a dud
in the bunch. Every one of these jewelers’
stories will make you feel something.

This month’s special lead feature-length
collection of the best True Tales we’ve
received in recent years is no different. Lie
back on your beach chair, pick up this issue
and read of the store owner with a diabolically
cruel ceremony for handing a new
hire their first paycheck, an intimidatingly
angry woman who melted in the face of a
little kindness, and the woman who bought
herself a ring to celebrate 25 years of marriage
(between three different husbands.)
And many, many more.

Enjoy your summer, and have a blast
with this issue!

DAVID SQUIRES


ONE QUICK QUESTION

Cities around the
country are raising
the minimum
hourly wage. How
high would it have
to go in your market to put serious
pressure on your
earnings?

$10

16%

$15

33%

$20

39%

$25

7%

Over $25

5%

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David Squires

Editor’s Note: Shop Like You Mean It

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Buying the right products
is the key to store success.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INSTORE.


What makes your store your store? What is
the most important factor that makes your
store unique and appeal to customers?

Is it your awesome decor? Your incredible
service? Is it your low, low prices? Or
maybe it’s your bandana-wearing pet labrador
curled up in front of the showcase in the
center of the sales floor?

Of course, the answer is that it could be
all of these things. (I mean, who can resist
a friendly Labrador with a bandana around
his neck? Nobody, that’s who.)

But the thing at the very center of your
store personality is the products you carry.

There are two ways to make sure your
store has the right product. One is by
purchasing the brands you know your community wants and then simply screaming
as loud as you can that you have those
products. The second is by convincing local
customers that you are the brand and that
you can always be trusted to find the perfect
accessory or statement piece for anybody
who walks through your door.


“AS ALWAYS,
GO WITH A PLAN,
BUT LEAVE SOME
ROOM IN THAT
PLAN FOR A LITTLE
SERENDIPITY.”


This year’s annual Las Vegas Buying
Guide is a perfect guide for either type of
jeweler, offering 10 painstakingly curated
product categories. You’ll find the year’s
most dominant trends (two-stone rings and
layered necklaces), plus emerging categories
(pink gems, chokers and colored stone
clusters), as well as several others (smartwatches
and jewelry including lab-grown
diamonds) that present an opportunity to
expand into a brand-new sales category.

As always, go with a plan, but leave some
room in that plan for a little serendipity.
Ready to start shopping? Turn to page 62
for our annual product preview.

DAVID SQUIRES


ONE QUICK QUESTION

If you work with
family and had
the chance to do
it all over again,
would you?

7%

Never.

19%

Probably not.

31%

Yes, but with better
ground rules.

43%

Yes. That’s the best part
about the business.

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