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Calendar for Jewelers: December 2015

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Attract Self-Gifters

Sure, it’s the season of giving. But your customers also won’t mind giving something to themselves. Have those impulse buys ready!

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’Tis the season of giving, to the person customers love most: themselves! Last year, 57 percent of holiday shoppers bought something for themselves, spending an average of $127, according to NRF data. These shoppers basically fall into two types: those looking to take advantage of doorbuster sales, and those making impulse buys. It’s the latter you should target. A marketing message that says something along the lines of “From us to you,” “Go ahead, reward yourself” or maybe “One for them, two for you,” always goes down well at this time of year. Play it up on your bulletins, website and in-store signs.

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

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5 There’s something to be said for outrageous marketing; just ask the industry’s enfant terrible, Steven Singer. But it is possible to celebrate Bathtub Party Day without beers, suds and girls in bikinis. How so? A bathtub party for your customers’ jewels! Yes, we’re thinking your ulstrasonic. Invite customers to bring in their favorite old rings for a tub. (This is the perfect week to get them in the store before the action reaches its peak.)

6 If you live for the salesfloor action, you’ll love where you are right now. Only two and a bit weeks to go until Christmas, and there’s a constant flow of customers looking to spend, spend, spend. As demanding and unreasonable as those shoppers can sometimes be, keep your spirits high and keep an eye on your profession’s noble goal: To help people find what they are looking for. And don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back today: It’s National Salesperson’s Day.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Nov. 5-8 PawnCon 2015, Atlanta, GA

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Nov. 9-10 IWJG Show, Miami, FL

Nov. 21-22 Pier Antique Show, New York, NY

7 If there’s a sizeable Jewish community in your area, consider ways to honor and observe HANUKKAH, which starts today.

19 Another December date to add to an already crowded month: Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas and on average the second- or third-busiest shopping day of the year. This year it falls a full six days before Christmas, but expect it to be as busy as ever, as customers, especially men, wake up to the realization that time is running out. Prep your employees with sure-thing gift suggestions.

21 There’s an old joke that the best way to shorten WINTER is to borrow some money due in spring. As the year’s shortest day signals chilly days ahead, remind customers of the financing options you offer. Consumer credit has never been cheaper.

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25 CHRISTMAS DAY and peace, if not for all mankind then at least — for one day — for you. If you don’t have kids, sleep in and enjoy a long, well-earned rest. If you do, it’s going to be an early start as they come bursting into your bedroom before the sun’s up, keen to swap the clay mug they made for you in art class for that $400 Xbox that Santa promised. It’s a great trade. Enjoy.

26 The day after Christmas is a lot of things — boxing day, Thank-you day and the beginning of returns week — which probably has something to do with the fact that, according to ShopperTrak, it’s regularly the seventh busiest day of the year.


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

Nash Jewelry owners

Greg and Mary Ann Nash.

60 Years: Nash Jewelry

West Palm Beach, FL

The tale of Nash Jewelry has a touch of Doctor Zhivago about it, with a backstory that includes war, revolution and flight from the Bolshevik army. Owner Greg Nash says that escape, via Israel, was funded by diamonds hidden in the lining of his then young grandmother’s dress. As his store marks its 60th anniversary, Nash credits its longevity to lessons passed down by his father and grandfather — always treat customers like family, and never throw anything out of the shop: there could be gold in those paper towels, tiles or dust. Given that the store has always operated from a fifth-floor office in a historical building overlooking downtown West Palm Beach, its focus on providing top customer service — and generating word-of-mouth traffic — has been crucial. “I have learned service and quality are the gold standards to a durable success in business,” says Nash.


Tanzanite is the birthstone for December

B I R T H S T O N E S

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is the new kid on the birthstone block, having been admitted to the AGL-overseen club only in 2002. With the help of a hefty marketing push from Tiffany’s (which came up with the name), this blue variety of zoisite has done well as a precious stone since its discovery in the foothills of Kilimanjaro in 1967. Connections or not, it’s hard to argue with its often stunning (and OK, yes, usually enhanced) violet-blue color.

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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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Calendar

Decemberitis Prep, Snow Promotions and More Tips for December

Some notable dates to remember during the most hectic month of the year.

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18 It’s hard to believe that when the movie YOU’VE GOT MAIL was released on this date in 1998, people actually looked forward to opening their inbox. Today, the average office worker receives 125 emails per day, most of which are poorly written or even useless. To bring back that rom-com joy, set strict times for inbox maintenance (it’s not the first thing you have to do in the morning), experiment with email scanning services, and learn best practices (bold text is way better than all caps to emphasize something).

01 Let your staff know that you’re aware of DECEMBERITIS — that this month is king when it comes to phony absences as employees juggle work, shopping, holiday tasks and family obligations. Have staff sign off on schedules well in advance.

21 Tempt your customers to take a bet with your own snow promotion: a percentage point discount for every inch that falls in the week before Christmas.

31 NEW YEAR’S EVE means “Auld Lang Syne,” well-deserved toasts to your hard work this year and resolutions for 2019. Think big (Best Year Evah!) and think small (eat more fish oil, floss daily, join INSTORE’S Brain Squad). It’s going to be a terrific year.

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Manager's To Do

Make the Most of Christmas with This December To-Do List

See how you can remain on the game while enjoying the Christmas season.

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Dec. 3-9

OPERATIONS Starting today, make it a rule: Everyone must greet each other with a cheery “Merry Christmas” (or, yes, “Happy Holidays,” if that’s a better fit) every morning. When all is said and done, you sell joy and you and your staff’s good moods will determine much of your success.

HUMAN RESOURCES Take care of your team, says Kent Bagnall, owner of Kent Jewelry of Rolla, MO. “Make sure all inventory is correctly marked and that staff is kept up to date and properly trained for the holiday rush. I make a special effort to ensure that they take care of their health during the holiday season.”

MANAGEMENT Start holding short morning meetings. To ensure they stay brief, insist everyone stand. Update staff on things like average sale, which pieces to show first, repair deadlines, any ads you’re running and what’s being highlighted in your window cases.

Video: It’s Crunch Time for Jewelers … Here’s Some Last-Minute Christmas Advice
Jimmy Degroot

Video: It’s Crunch Time for Jewelers … Here’s Some Last-Minute Christmas Advice

Video: Gene the Jeweler Shares His Appalling Views on Customer Service
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Shares His Appalling Views on Customer Service

Video: To Improve Your Email Marketing, Read This Book
Jim Ackerman

Video: To Improve Your Email Marketing, Read This Book

Dec. 10-16

DISPLAYS Tweak your window displays. Move things around and highlight different categories in your windows (especially your key price point jewelry). To window shoppers, it sends the message that you have a wide range of merchandise that is moving quickly.

INVENTORY Watch your reports like a hawk. Start making small markdowns on slower selling items to help clear case space for bestselling items during the last two weeks of the holiday season. And stay on top of your vendors. Timely delivery is critical right now.

INVENTORY Be sure to promote your store’s gift cards this month. One idea to make it an easier sell: Add 10 to 20 percent cash value to any gift card you sell.

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

Dec. 17-23

SPIFFS Tack up envelopes on your bulletin board with labels like “Most Add-Ons” and “Highest-Value Sale.” Day’s winner gets the envelope and the prize inside.

SOCIAL MEDIA If you haven’t seen your social network “fans” in the store yet, why not urge them to come in early for special VIP hours?

OPERATIONS Dec. 22, the final Saturday before Christmas, may well be the biggest shopping day of the year. Go over your plans for staffing, stock and hours.

Dec. 24-30

INVENTORY It’s return season. Accept those painful returns with a big smile. If you handle the returns as well as you handled the sales, those customers will inevitably return.

CRM Begin entering all that customer data you collected in the last few weeks. You did have a system in place to collect those all-important email addresses, right?

MANAGEMENT Holding an end-of-season staff party? Consider joining up with someone else in your strip mall. It will help save costs and build potentially useful relationships.

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Manager's To Do

Your Manager’s To-Do List to Prepare for the Holidays in November

Get ahead — and stay ahead — of the holiday rush.

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Oct 29-Nov 4

MARKETING “Follow a pre-established schedule on social media and modify based on last-minute trends,” says Allison Leitzel-Williams of Leitzel’s Jewelry (PICTURED). “Focus on sales training and discuss different types of shoppers and the type of service they prefer (women who like to take their time vs. men who want your advice and who should not be over-presented). Create festive playlists to energize the store as we approach Christmas. Follow up on old repairs, layaways and pending projects to encourage pickups before the holiday rush.”

CIVIC DUTY Nov. 6 is Election Day. Make arrangements to ensure you and your staff have time to vote.

Podcast: A Classic Holiday Poem is Reimagined in a Jewelry Store
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Classic Holiday Poem is Reimagined in a Jewelry Store

Podcast: Alexis Padis Shares Her Story, and a Few Drinks, on “The Barb Wire”
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Alexis Padis Shares Her Story, and a Few Drinks, on “The Barb Wire”

Podcast: JimmyCast Takes on the Paradigm Shift in Jewelry Store Marketing
JimmyCast

Podcast: JimmyCast Takes on the Paradigm Shift in Jewelry Store Marketing

Nov 5-11

STAFF Shake up your holiday spiffs this year. If you offered individual prizes last year, try a team-based approach this year. If you’ve traditionally offered money, consider non-cash incentives. Align the most exciting prizes for days you expect to see the biggest sales results.

STORE Want to liven up the atmosphere in your store? Cut a Christmas karaoke video with you and your staff singing timeless holiday classics in booming voices. Play it occasionally — and at a low volume, please — on your store’s video monitors.
CRM Prep Christmas cards to your best customers. The cards should only contain a “from our family to yours” type of message, with signatures written in hand (no promotional offers). All cards should be mailed right after Thanksgiving.

Nov 12-18

MARKETING Use your email bulletins to emphasize collections or new products that may be out of stock later in the season.

OPERATIONS Hold a decorating party one night after work or on a day your store is closed. Play music, order pizzas and have fun! If your merchandising is done on grays or whites, you can easily use red and green, two colors that are the simplest, most effective way to say “Christmas.” But, if they clash with your store, you will have to go to an alternative — perhaps blue and white winter colors.

Nov 19-25

CLEANING Set up a steam cleaner in your diamond ring area, so staff can quickly steam the stones when they take them out for a presentation. It’s also a cool show for your clients.

INVENTORY Fill holes in inventory with a focus on fast sellers. Begin weekly reviews of core stock and set a replenishment plan.

STAFF Do a refresher with temps on handling the phone, customer flow management and gift-wrapping.

Nov 26-Dec 2

OPERATIONS Stick up a sign that reads “Repairs Will Be Ready On __” and then update the new date daily. (Charge a premium for express service.)

INVENTORY Make a list of jewelry items that need a “companion” — diamond stud earrings with a tennis bracelet, cocktail ring with pendant. Prepare for add-on success.

GENERAL Attend any parties you’re invited to, but be sure to get sleep, too, over the next six weeks.

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