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Calendar for Jewelers: February 2016

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Here’s a devilish way to make sure you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions.

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1 It’s f-f-f-freezing out there. Your nose turns blue in five minutes, everyone is cloaked in heavy black wool, and the sun slinks off at 4 p.m. All in all, it’s the perfect time to hold a Pacific Island-themed sales event to mark HULA IN THE COOLAH DAY. Turn the heat way up, tell your customers to come in their best flip flops, shades and Hawaiian shirts, mix up some Mai Tais and stick George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” (do-doo do-doo) on the stereo. Say Aloha, baby — winter ain’t going to get you down.

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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2 Well, it’s Groundhog Day … again. If life in your store feels like you’re having the same day over, and over, do something about it. A few years back, Studio 2015 in Woodstock, IL, (where the movie was filmed) took a chance on a snow promotion: If it snowed 3 inches on Groundhog Day, customers would get their money back. Even Punxsutawney Phil couldn’t have predicted the blizzard that would follow: The insured store happily gave away over $60,000 in jewelry.

7 The 50th Super Bowl will kick off in Santa Clara, CA, today. How about holding a beer and pizza night in your store a day or two after the big game, to help your customers get over the the temporary loss of football in their lives?

UPCOMING EVENTS

Feb. 2-7 AGTA GemFair Tucson, Tucson, AZ

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Feb. 5-8 IIJS Signature, Mumbai, India

Feb. 12-15 Inhorgenta Munich, Munich, Germany

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

Feb. 27-29 SJTA Atlanta Jewelry Show, Atlanta, GA

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In Chinese astrology, the monkey represents honor, luck and riches. Expect all of these this year.

8 Bang a gong! The year of the Monkey is here, and if all goes according to the astrologically determined way of things, an auspicious 12 months awaits. The monkey represents honor, luck and riches. Put some coupons of various value in red envelopes in a fish bowl and invite customers to test their fortune.

14 One of the great things about Valentine’s Day, is that it gives us a chance (again) to highlight the fun approach taken by retailing maverick Moosejaw to the big red letter day. One year it offered to do the dirty work for its customers who didn’t have the courage to dump their girlfriends. Another, it uploaded an emergency love poem for its more verbally challenged customers, that started: Let’s change our names to Philip and Regina … Underscoring it all is a message that we’re here for you, even in a slightly perverse way. Does your V-Day marketing do that? If not, get some help here: americangemsociety.org/proposal

15 Red-carpet season reaches its peak this month with, first, the Grammys today, and then the Academy Awards on Feb. 28. It’s your chance to ride the tailored coattails of Hollywood’s most powerful brand ambassadors. As soon as the awards are done, hit your favorite fashion websites to find out who wore what. In your showcases, place a photo or two of your favorite stars wearing a piece from a designer you carry. Mention your discoveries in an email blast to customers.

29 On Leap Year Day, so goes the traditional belief, women can propose marriage to men. Make sure all eligible single women in your market are aware of this semi-state secret. Offer discounts to those leaplings who have the fortune or misfortune to have been born on this calendar anomaly. Get out your frog-oriented promotions and encourage those customers with wavering boyfriends to take a leap of faith.


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

Miner's Den in Royal Oak, MI

Prospecting is still in the blood of the owners of Miner’s Den.

45 Years: Miner’s Den Jewelers

Royal Oak, MI

There are still the odd miners’ hats on display, along with huge rock samples, that point to the Schowalter family’s long love of prospecting, and its origins as a business that dealt in rocks – real rocks, as in big chunks of semi-precious amethyst and anything else they found on weekend trips to Michigan’s Copper Country or as far away as Canada. Today, the Miner’s Den is a much more traditional jeweler, and one of the Detroit area’s best known, with a large diamond area, big repair shop and custom jewelry service in a 7,000-foot space.


Garnet is the birthstone for January

B I R T H S T O N E S

Amethyst

Like aluminum, mobile phones and air travel, what was once the preserve of the elite is now available to all when it comes to amethyst. The gemstone’s modern-day abundance, apart from making it almost cheaper than a soda can, means it is readily available in all sizes and shapes. Its strong points include its durability, which allows it to be worn every day. It is also the gemstone for the sixth wedding anniversary.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler Gets Kicked Out of the Studio

In the latest episode (#42) of Gene the Jeweler, Gene is going about his business, recording a new episode. But that doesn’t last long. Four-time NFL Pro Bowl leading rusher Ahman Green walks in, and Gene finds that his time in the studio is over — whether he likes it or not. (See more Gene the Jeweler episodes at instoremag.com/gene.)

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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.

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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: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

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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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”

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19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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