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Manager's To Do

Calendar: April 2015



Celebrate Tax Day


Thanks to Tax Day at the heart of April, the month has become home to a series of money-management dates including National Financial Literacy Month, Financial awareness month and 1 cent day. But for all the advice thrown our way, when it comes to money, the vast majority of us continue to be our own worst enemies. We don’t open 401(k) plans, we incur fees because we “forget” to pay our bills on time, we run credit card balances … and then there are all those less-than-prudent business decisions we make. If you don’t have a CPA who specializes in small business or another neutral finance pro guiding your decisions, book a consultation today.

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 edition of INSTORE.


Otto Von Bismarck, credited with uniting Germany, introducing Europe’s first social welfare program, and the following quote, “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes; the wise man learns from the mistakes of others,” was born on this day in 1815. Mark the 200th anniversary of Otto Von Bismarck’s birth (and April Fool’s Day) by re-reading our July 2014 feature, Lessons Learned (


April 18-20 Smart Jewelry Show, Chicago, IL

April 22-25 AGS Conclave, New Orleans, LA


April 25-27 JIS Show, Miami, FL

April 27-28 IWJG Show, Brooklyn, NY

Ann Landers knew a thing or two about feuds — she didn’t talk to her twin sister, (Dear) Abby, for years. It may have been why she was such an advocate of Reconciliation Day. While grudges, feuds and recalled slights can occasionally be good motivators, they mostly just consume time and energy. Today, think of a relationship (commercial or personal) that soured, and write a note to that person saying you’d like to bury the hatchet, or just wish them the best. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s an issue you won’t waste any more time stewing over.

The 155th anniversary of Rene Lalique’s birth represents a terrific opportunity to educate your customers about art nouveau jewelry, which has enjoyed a nice revival in the last few years. Maybe bring in an arty glassmaker for a trunk show.

National Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into 2015 women must work to earn what men earned in 2014. Invite your women customers to come in to commiserate and reward themselves fairly for their hard work, because broadly speaking, society is not in much of a hurry to do it.


The inquiry, “Would you like fries with that?” earns McDonald’s millions of dollars a year. There’s much to learn about the art of upselling from the world’s biggest burger chain, which opened its first branch in Des Plaines, IL, on this day in 1955. The most important is: Don’t suggest add-ons just for the sake of profit or getting rid of unwanted inventory. Customers will see right through you. Instead, determine which products go well together because of style or price point (don’t go higher than 25 percent for the second item), and have your selling points prepared. If you can show the value in your fries, your clients will see it too.

Former Mayor Richard J. Daley called Chicago “the city that works.” We’d like you to think of working smart when you think of the Windy City. As with previous SMART Shows, the 2015 event will provide lots of education (the sessions begin today), peer-group activities, and fun competitions. And let’s not forget a carefully edited vendor list to match your buying needs. Start clearing your cases now.

What you may not know about Paul Revere is that he was one of you: a silversmith and engraver. Mark the 240th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride into the history books with a “mid-night” sale. Hang a lantern above your door, and stay open late with some extra special offers.

So you’re no Joe Cocker. Don’t let that stop you. The organizers of National Karaoke Week claim the benefits of singing along to synthetic tunes in public are increased self-esteem, stress release and when done with the staff, improved bonding through shared experience.

S T O R E    A N N I V E R S A R I E S

jewelry store anniversaries Sorg Jewelers

115 Years: Sorg Jewelers

Goshen and Elkhart, IN

Sorg Jewelers’ 115-year history is a point of pride for its third- and fourth-generation owners but the family has also been careful not to live in the past, notes VP Darin Sorg. While outside, 16-foot art-deco neon signs hint at an elegant past, the business has continued to evolve, most recently upgrading its location in Downtown Goshen, IL, and relocating a second store to a more vibrant part of nearby Elkhart. The family credits the business’s longevity to a simple formula that combines expertise, value and customer trust.


Diamond is April's birthstone


There is a rational case to be made for eschewing diamonds, but it just melts when exposed to the Hard One’s bright, shining charm. It’s been the same way since they first washed up on Indian river banks more than 2,500 years ago. The word diamond derives its name from the Greek adamas, meaning unconquerable and indestructible, like a marriage that lasts into its 60th year.



Wilkerson Testimonials

Not GOB (Going Out of Business) but TMM (Too Much Merchandise)? It’s Wilkerson To the Rescue!

With a remodeling project looming, the time was right for Steve and Linda Hammalian, owners of Little Treasure Jewelers in Gambrills, MD, to call in the Wilkerson pros. The couple needed to liquidate excess, aging inventory. Steve says he’d totally recommend them. “Wilkerson offered a comprehensive solution in terms of advertising, in terms of on-site presence and for their overall enthusiasm. They’re also really nice people.”

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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.




May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.




1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.




10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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