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Manager's To Do

Calendar for Jewelers: January 2016

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Stick to those resolutions

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

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A few years back,Staples teamed up with motivational website StickK.com to challenge small-business owners to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. The campaign was inspired by a finding that 80 percent of small businesses don’t monitor their goal-setting. Now, for you: Go to StickK.com, announce your goal, commit a pledge (say, a donation to a political candidate you don’t like if you fail) — and then the key part, name a referee. The concept behind StickK is based on research that shows people are three times more likely to achieve their goal when incentives and accountability are on the line.

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

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1 At a few seconds past midnight on Jan. 1, 1946, Kathleen Casey Wilkins came into this world, kicking, screaming and demanding attention in a Philadelphia hospital. Over the next two decades, 78 million more baby boomers followed, becoming the most powerful demographic retailing has seen. Now entering their eighth decade, boomers are expected to spend about $2.3 trillion on consumer goods and services this year. Throw a party!

10 The Golden Globes kick off red carpet season and designer jewelry will once again take center stage. Style watcher Michael O’Connor says one of the best ways to play new trends is to group such fashions together. “If a style is trending, you could show the pieces together in your showcase with a quality photograph of a celebrity wearing the trending jewelry,” he advises. And what trends should you be looking out for? Go to INSTOREMAG.COM’s blogs to read style maven Tanya Dukes’s coverage of the latest A-list styles.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Jan. 16-18 Jewelers International Showcase Miami, FL

Jan. 22-27 VicenzaOro, Vicenza, Italy

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Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Centurion Show Scottsdale, AZ

Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, Antwerp, Belgium

12 Holy Cow! Has it really been 50 years since Adam West and Burt Ward brought their camped up version of Batman to the little screen? For a show that lasted only three seasons, Batman has become a lasting cultural phenomenon. Celebrate the milestone with a fancy dress party. Send out some Bat-vites, prepare some Batfood and Batdrinks and invite customers to come as their favorite character. “POW!” “BAM!” “ZONK!” It promises to be a fun night.

18 The third week of January is Healthy Weight Week. Not only does shedding a few pounds have health and business benefits (overweight managers are considered less competent, say studies), but there are marketing angles to explore as well. Over the past few years, Oletowne Jewelers in York, PA, has teamed up with a local community center for a Biggest Loser style competition in which the winner gets a free diamond that reflects his or her weight loss. In 2014 that was a 69 point diamond ring to a local man who lost 69 pounds. The contest gained region-wide media coverage.

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Don’t let handwriting become a forgotten art. Put pen to paper in letters to your customers on National Handwriting Day.

23 A neat cursive hand is another skill all jewelers should possess. In today’s keyboard-driven world of communications, receiving a well-penned note is almost like coming across an archeological find. On National Handwriting Day (observed on the birthday of John Hancock), surprise your customers with a legible piece of handwriting that says you appreciated their business over the holidays.

26 Inspiration struck somewhere below 20,000 feet. Sitting in a small propeller plane descending through turbulent clouds, Marc A. Chavannes, a Swiss-born inventor, noticed how the clouds seemed to be cushioning the aircraft’s descent. Shortly after, BubbleWrap was born. In honor of its 55th anniversary, lock the office door and spend 10 minutes bursting those little air pockets. The mental comfort gained will make it a worthy investment of your time.


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

Josephs Jewelers in Des Moines, Iowa

Josephs Jewelers has been in Des Moines for nearly a century and a half.

145 Years: Josephs Jewelers

Des Moines, IA

After almost a century and a half of business growth and success (including an America’s Coolest Store honor), you’d think the owners of Josephs’ Jewelers could rest on their laurels – even just a little. But no … “We’re in the store all the time,” John Joseph says of himself and brother Toby. “We don’t take six weeks’ vacation; we don’t leave at two to play golf. Your stores tend to run better when you’re there,” he told INSTORE when asked about the secret to the store’s longevity. Consistent community involvement and a commitment to quality product are crucial too, said John, who is part of the fourth generation to run the store.


Garnet is the birthstone for January

B I R T H S T O N E S

Garnet

The star of your lineup? Not likely. Precious? Not often. But few gemstones have garnet’s history or character. (According to one legend Noah used the stone to help light the Ark’s passage, while Indians reportedly used them as makeshift bullets against British soldeiers.) If your customer is born in January or celebrating a second wedding anniversary, make sure she’s aware of garnet and its story.

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Les Georgettes

It’s All About Choices

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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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