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Manager's To Do

Calendar: February 2015



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?

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:


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?


Feb. 1-5 Jewellery & Watch Birmingham, England

Feb. 2-7 JCK Tucson, Tucson, AZ

Feb. 3-8 AGTA GemFair Tucson, AZ


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.


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.


Amethyst is February's birthstone


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.



Wilkerson Testimonials

When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines


Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.




1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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Manager's To Do

Holiday Planning, Social Media Tips And More To-Do Items for Managers in October

Be sure to clean your entire inventory and props — correctly.




Sep. 29-Oct. 5

CRM The gifts you give your best customers are your chance to show off your imagination and skills as a retailer. Engraved glasses customers can take home from a store event, embossed golf balls, toy jewelry or stickers for the kids, charm bracelets with unusual words … your goal should be something memorable.

EVENTS Set aside two evenings for a private client sale in late October. Which new pieces are likely to excite your best customers?

Podcast: When a Planned Purchase is a Style Mistake, Honesty Always Pays
Over the Counter

Podcast: When a Planned Purchase is a Style Mistake, Honesty Always Pays

Podcast: Ben Smithee Isn’t Just Another Social Media ‘Influencer’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Ben Smithee Isn’t Just Another Social Media ‘Influencer’

Podcast: Wisconsin Salesperson Uses Life Savings to Live Her Dream of Jewelry Store Ownership

Podcast: Wisconsin Salesperson Uses Life Savings to Live Her Dream of Jewelry Store Ownership

Oct. 6-12

SOCIAL MEDIA Go through your social media pages, especially Pinterest, and make sure they are up to date. The last thing a 2019 holiday season shopper wants to see is something from 2018. (Unless it’s vintage).

HALLOWEEN Trick or treat! If you don’t have plans for an event, look to see what the neighborhood merchant association is planning.

Oct. 13-19

COLLATERAL Run an inventory check of your non-merchandise to make sure you don’t run out of things like toilet paper, paper towels, bags, cleaning cloths and stationery.

FINANCING Still can’t offer consumer credit? Get that application done!

Oct. 20-26

INVENTORY Double-check that you’re well-stocked in the price-points you sell most. Consider how you can take advantage of the holiday season to move pieces that are showing their age.

SECURITY Alert your staff to be on the lookout for pickpockets, distraction gangs and other sneak thieves. Check security camera angles and function.

Oct. 27-Nov. 2

MERCHANDISE Steam and/or ultrasonic clean entire inventory and props. Larry Johnson recommends using Simple Green cleaner (diluted 50/50 with water) to lightly clean all leatherette displays. “Don’t rub too hard or you’ll remove the fabric topcoating,” says the author of The Complete Guide To Effective Jewelry Display. Once the cleaning is done, re-display to create interest and desire and accommodate new arrivals.

CLIENTELING Phone customers to set appointments to create wish lists or to show off new merchandise. From here on in, your daily schedule should be sales calls first, paperwork last.

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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.




Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites:,,

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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