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Manager's To Do

Calendar for Jewelers: July 2016



National Fun At Work Day

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.


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.
) 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.


JULY 5-6
Tel Aviv, Israel


JULY 12-14
Pawn Expo
Las Vegas, NV

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

JULY 24-26
JCK Luxury
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
, 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.


13 Hear ye, hear ye! It’s the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF
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.

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


Gause and Son Jewelers


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.



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.



Gene the Jeweler

When Gene the Jeweler Speaks, His Employees Listen

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s Gene the Jeweler series, Gene has a simple request for his employees. The good news is that they follow his instructions. The bad news is that they follow a bit too literally.

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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.




May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.




1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.




10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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