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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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VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Wilkerson Testimonials

Texas Jeweler Knew He'd Get Only One Shot at a GOB Sale, So He Wanted to Make It Count

Most retailers only have one GOB sale in their lifetimes. This was the case for Gary Zoet, owner of Shannon Fine Jewelry in Houston, Texas. “Wilkerson has done thousands of these sales,” says Zoet. “I’ve never done one, so it’s logical to have somebody with experience do it.” The result exceeded Zoet’s expectations. Wilkerson took care of everything from marketing to paperwork. When it’s time for you to consider the same, shouldn’t you trust the experts in liquidation?

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Manager's To Do

Capitalizing on Valentine’s Engagement Sales, March Madness Ideas and More Manager’s To-Do Items for March

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar. 3-9

BUDGETING Time to get started on making a budget for the 2019 buying season and get ready to trade in old inventory for new inventory. Also, if possible, have an inventory reduction sale to get rid of the dated inventory before going to Vegas.

SALES FLOOR Beware the ex-brides of March! Divorce filings are highest this month. Do you have a script ready explaining why the resale value of an engagement ring may not meet the customer’s expectations? If not, get busy.

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MARKETING Remember all those clients who bought engagement rings in advance of Valentine’s Day? Call to see what their plans are for wedding bands.

Mar. 10-16

MERCHANDISE It’s March. Embrace the madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals starts on March 17 and runs through to April 8. It’s a great chance to clear out old inventory with a quick Sheer Madness Sale! At the very least, organize a pool for staff.

SHOWROOM Is your custom area as friendly as it could be? Does it feature a gallery highlighting past designs, portraits of satisfied customers, updated displays, appropriate lighting, a signature scent?

Mar. 17-23

MARKETING Hold a Prom Dress Party. Encourage girls to bring their dresses into the store and try on jewelry with the dress. Identify pieces to excite them at prices that will entice a sale (that means jewelry with a big look for less money).

MERCHANDISING Pull out your promotional calendar and view it from the perspective of using the events to manage and reduce specific inventory. Annual customer appreciation sales, trunk shows, open houses, and repair/jewelry remodeling events can all give your finances an even greater boost if you execute them with a view to moving certain items.

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MANAGEMENT Download a time tracker to your phone and start logging how you spend your work life — not because there’s much value in the record you create, but because the very act of recording can have a powerful psychological impact, leading you to use your time much more efficiently. (Warning: Brace yourself to be alarmed at how you fritter away time.)

Mar. 24-30

SHOWROOM In one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It apparently has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a side wall out to provide a view of the glorious outdoors, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

PERSONAL Take an inventory of your tech use and evaluate each item for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Exit the social networks you barely use and get rid of the apps that, when you think about it, have no benefit. Yep, that means Candy Crush may have to go.

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Calendar

Day of Unplugging, Near Miss Day and More Important March Dates

Don’t miss your chance to have a parade for Mardi Gras.

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20 There’s a reason the Hare Krishnas hand out flowers before soliciting donations — the awesome hold reciprocity has over humans. The psychologist Robert Cialdini notes in his bestseller Influence that we’re so deeply primed to reciprocate generosity that customers who receive a free gift become far more likely to make a purchase “in return.” Since it’s spring, take a tip from the Hare Krishnas and hand out fresh flowers to customers.

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4 Day of Unplugging. The challenge: 24 hours without phone or Internet contact. Can you do it? The benefits are said to be surprising.

5 Celebrate Mardi Gras with a bead party. Cook up some red beans and rice, stick on some music and have yourself a parade.

23 Thirty years ago, a mountain-sized asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very, very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your or your sales associate’s recent “near misses” and debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More romance? Bruce Willis?

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Calendar

Single Tasking Day, Red Carpet Season and More Big Dates for February

The essential jeweler’s calendar for the month starts here.

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4 With more than two billion users, you need to be sure you’ve fully explored the potential of Facebook. On the 15th Anniversary of Facebook’s Launch by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends, adopt the company’s motto, “Move Fast and Break Things,” and commit to shaking things up with your social media marketing. Test some sponsored posts. Get absurdly specific with your targeting. Try a contest. Try more video. Follow INSTORE’s Facebook page at facebook.com/instoremag.

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10 Red-carpet season rolls on with The Grammys today and The Academy Awards on Feb. 25. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with tweets, snaps, posts and blogs.

14 Love with a touch of panic is one way to look at Valentine’s Day. And not just for the guys. If you need ideas, go to instoremag.com and test out our archive search.

22 On Single Tasking Day, let your brain do what it’s been designed so beautifully to handle — focus on one thing at a time: one conversation, one meal, one task, one baseball game.

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