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Manager's To Do

Calendar: February 2015

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

jewelers party for the new year

1 For an occasion that seemingly has so little to do with the refined world of jewelry, the Super Bowl gives jewelers a great chance to show off their game, at least in terms of marketing. In recent years, we’ve seen jewelers hold Most Valuable Proposal contests, Souper Bowl food collections, and an array of bets on the big game (Your money back if the Seahawks score on a safety, the Ravens win by 10 points, it’s a shutout … ). If such tie-ins sound too ambitious for your market, how about a men’s night with beer, cigars and lots of talk about pigskin?

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Never been involved with American Heart Month? Make this the year you do. National Wear Red Day is a perfect fit for a jeweler. Partner with a clothing store to stage a Red Dress fashion show, join in a community activity, host a Red Dress gala in conjunction with Valentine’s Day (just remember, no mini cheeseburgers), or distribute Red Dress Pins. There are dozens more ideas for retailers here: instr.us/1153.

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14 Steve McNeil, owner of Diamond Designs in Marion, IL, once hired a Cupid with a bow and arrow to shoot plastic “hearts” at random people outside his store in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. The reward, he says, was terrific. Too bold for you? Northeastern Fine Jewelry in Schenectady, NY, ties up with a fine restaurant each year to treat people who buy Valentine’s gifts, while Woelk’s House of Diamonds in Russell, KS, did probably our favorite all-time V-Day promotion a few years back: a Death by Chocolate event. What will you do to share the love this year?

UPCOMING EVENTS

Feb. 1-5 Jewellery & Watch Birmingham, England

Feb. 2-7 JCK Tucson, Tucson, AZ

Feb. 3-8 AGTA GemFair Tucson, AZ

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Feb. 20-23 India Inter-national Jewellery Show —Signature Mumbai, India

Feb. 24-28 55th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, Thailand

Feb. 28-March 2 Atlanta Jewelry Show, Atlanta, GA

17 Sugar, fat, flour and eggs were restricted during the ritual fasting of Lent. The result? Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday, on the day before the self-deprivation began. What’s it mean for you? Those also happen to be the ingredients for a great store event. Today, hold a pancake tasting and watch as the aromas prompt your women customers to throw abnegation to the wind.

19 Bow down and welcome the humble sheep, because today is the beginning of the CHINESE NEW YEAR. Consider putting a gift voucher in a Chinese-styled red envelope and urge your customers to join in the celebrations to welcome in the Year of the Sheep, a symbol of tranquility and harmonious co-existence. After all we’ve been through over the last six years, that will be welcome.

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21 The Chinese have a phrase that nicely sums up our modern efforts to get things done: “A hasty man drinks his tea with a fork.” Our brains are designed to beautifully handle one focus at a time. They multi-task poorly. On single Tasking Day, focus completely on the task at hand, then move on to the next one. You may actually get a few things done.

22 Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock stole the show at the academy Awards last year with heavy accessory choices that anticipated trends in 2014 (headbands, opals and cluster earrings). Who will it be this year? Invite your best clients to watch the broadcast with you. They can walk the red carpet, sip cocktails and win prizes for guessing the most honorees. You can provide the fashion commentary.


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

jewelry store anniversaries iowa diamond

15 Years: Iowa Diamond

Des Moines, IA

In mid-1999, Chuck Kuba had a plan, financial backers, a location in his sights … and more than a few doubters. His idea was to open a jewelry store that targeted the bridal segment. What’s more, he planned to locate it on the second floor of an office building, with no showroom and no display lights. Customers would work closely with sales associates manning a desk. Now in its 15th year, the business has grabbed a string of business awards, but even more impressively, a 26 percent market share. Kuba credits his concept, colorful marketing, and a relaxed work environment. “Since we probably spend more time at the store than at our homes, having fun is important,” he says.


B I R T H S T O N E S

Amethyst is February's birthstone

Amethyst

This royal purple stone was historically considered one of gemology’s elites along with diamonds, emeralds and rubies and it is still featured in the British Crown jewels. Its modern-day abundance, however, means it is now available in all sizes and shapes and to all people. In addition to being February’s birthstone it is given to mark sixth wedding anniversaries.

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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.

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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 instoremag.com — 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.

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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.

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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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