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Manager's To Do

Calendar for Jewelers: July 2016

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National Fun At Work Day

PRE-SEASON TRAINING FOR FOOTBALL will start soon
at high schools around the country. Get down to the
coach’s office to see if you can sponsor the flip coin. Cast it
yourself, take out ads in the game program notes and soon
the whole community will know of your talents.

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

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1
INDEPENDENT RETAILER
MONTH
celebrates its fifth
anniversary this year amid a
growing awareness that Mom and
Pop retailers are not only good
for marketplace diversity but
help support the unique identities
of neighborhoods. Proclaim
your independence with an event
tied to July Fourth. Tout the
individualized customer service
and quality you offer compared
to chain stores. The Independent
Retailer Month website ( instr.
us/6163
) has posters and other
visual elements you can print out
to display in your windows.

2Today is one of those “how
time flies” days. Yes, it’s the MIDPOINT OF THE YEAR; half of
2016 — somehow — has gone.
Instead of getting depressed, get
busy. Retrieve your targets from
your January planning meetings
and check where you are
now. If you’re way off course, big
adjustments are necessary but
perhaps more importantly it signals
something is awry with your
assumptions. Simply working
harder, for example, won’t boost
sales if traffic is drying up.

TRADE SHOWS

JULY 5-6
Jovella
Tel Aviv, Israel

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JULY 12-14
Pawn Expo
Las Vegas, NV

JULY 22-25
New York
Antique
Jewelry & Watch Show
New York, NY

JULY 24-26
JCK Luxury
Privé
New York, NY

JULY 24-26
JA New York
Summer Show
New York, NY

3 Back around the turn of the
century, Time magazine
surveyed world leaders to ask
them what they thought was the
greatest innovation of the 20th
century. Most opted for medical or tech breakthroughs, or peacebuilding
institutions. Not the late
Lee Kuan Yew, founding father of
Singapore. He said air-conditioning.
Without it, no work would
get done in his steamy little island
state. The same could be said
for summer shopping. On AIRCONDITIONING
APPRECIATION DAY
, let the sweaty, heaving crowds
know they’re always welcome in
your store and will be received
with old-fashioned lemonade and
an invitation to relax and browse.
Your summer policy is No heat.
No pressure.

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13 Hear ye, hear ye! It’s the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF
THE TOWN CRIER
and we think
you, and your neighbors, should
get together to hire one to do the
rounds of your strip mall, mall, or
downtown. Advertising contact
with your customers is nearly
always done through an electronic
medium these days, but there’s
still power in the human touch.
Make your cries newsy. “Oyez,
oyez, gold is up to $1,250 an
ounce, silver is not so far behind.”

24 Stop us if you’ve heard
this one. “How do you
entertain a bored pharaoh? You
sail a boatload of young women
dressed in fishing nets down
the Nile and urge him to go
catch a fish.” Ba-da-bum! Maybe
it was funnier in the original
Egyptian. Whatever. According
to the Smithsonian that is one
of the oldest jokes on record. On NATIONAL TELL AN OLD JOKE DAY ,
challenge staff to bust out their
best funnies (What do you call
a cheap and nasty belly-button
ring? A navel destroyer!) It’s midsummer
and a groan has to be
better than a yawn.

30
Donna Soodalter-Toman,
owner of Donna’s Infinite
Variety of Adornments in
Newtonville, MA, had a fun way of
marking
NATIONAL DANCE DAY — a
12 percent off sale on anything if
people entered the shop dancing.
It was, she says, one of her most
successful, low-cost promotions.


HAPPY 70TH ANNIVERSARY TO

Gause and Son Jewelers

VIERK’S FINE JEWELRY
LAFAYETTE, IN

The story of Vierk’s Fine Jewelry
can perhaps be best summed
up as a case of one thing led to
another. After it started as a
used-clothing outlet in 1946, an
offer to buy a boxcar full of old
army gear led to a specialization
in military surplus. That evolved
into a focus on camping supplies
and later bicycle services.
An opportunistic foray into gold
and silver buying followed in
the ’70s. “Some [of it] we just
didn’t have the heart to scrap,”
recalls third-generation owner
Jeff Vierk. “Next thing you know
we had enough very nice jewelry
to fill a showcase … and then
six showcases.” Today the store
has 5,000 square feet of retail
space. Not surprisingly, Vierk
attributes the store’s success
to its ability to adapt. “There is
only one guarantee in the jewelry
business, and that is that it’s
going to change,” he notes.


BIRTHSTONE

RUBIES

Nearly as
hard, often more
expensive and infinitely
more exotic
than diamonds. And
— thanks to the Tom
Lantos Block Burmese JADE
Act of 2008 — difficult to buy
and sell (unless you can prove
it’s not of Burmese origin, keep
records going back years, etc.,
etc., etc.) Traditionally a symbol
of passionate love, but now
more one of political repression,
the ruby is given to mark the
40th wedding anniversary.

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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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