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Manager's To Do

Calendar for Jewelers: March 2016

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“Dress in Blue Day” is aimed at raising awareness of colon cancer.

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Similar to the Go Red for Women campaign and the issue of heart disease, Dress in Blue Day seeks to raise awareness about colon cancer and to remember people who have been lost to the disease. Its focus on the color blue also makes it a cause that is a particularly good fit for jewelers. Sapphires, aquamarines (March’s birthstone), blue topaz, zircon, lapis, kyanite … there are few gemstone color groups as glorious. For ideas on how you can get involved, see the Colon Cancer Alliance website instr.us/2161.

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

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1-7 National Consumer Protection Week provides a number of opportunities for businesses to get involved. The most obvious for jewelers is simply to help people become better informed about the goods they sell. Master gemologist appraiser Martin Fuller of Martin Fuller Appraisals in McLean, VA, did that two years ago, hosting a session at the local county offices on diamond grading. At his hands-on workshop, he invited consumers to bring in a diamond to see if it was “a true gem or a brilliant deception.” What ring owner could resist such an offer?

4 “If you persist in writing, ‘Good food at it’s best,’ you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave.” So says Lynne Truss in her best-seller, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. In short, there are people who feel strongly about grammar, and that anyone who is careless with language will be careless with everything else. If the rules of English are a weak spot for you, do two things on grammar day: Go buy yourself a copy of The Elements of Style, and be sure you have Word’s grammar check turned on at all times.

TRADE SHOWS

March 3-7 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Hong Kong

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March 10-13 Istanbul Jewelry Show, Istanbul, Turkey

March 13-15 LUEUR Spring, New York, NY

March 13-16 MJSA Expo, New York, NY

March 13-16 JA New York Spring Show, New York, NY

March 17-24 BaselWorld, Basel, Switzerland

March 28-29 International Watch & Jewelry Guild (IWJG) Show, Dallas, TX

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8 Daylight Savings: Invite customers to save on jewelry during your Great Leap into Spring Fashion celebration with daylight “savings” for today only.

12 Girl Scout Day can make a good claim to being the most under-appreciated date on the jeweler’s calendar. The moms love it, the kids love it, and the staff gets a kick out of it. Borsheims in Omaha, NE, did a fun event last year in which girls from a local troop were invited in to work with jewelers to create charms they felt best represented the Girl Scouts. The two finished bracelets were later auctioned off at a fundraiser.

15 In honor of the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament, which begins today, host a game of horse, the sales version. Create a list of goals such as “Sell a $100 item” or “Obtain an email address” and write each one on a piece of paper. The salesperson who draws the first goal from a hat must achieve it on his next interaction with a client or forfeit his turn. If he’s successful, the next salesperson in line must replicate his feat or earn an “H”. And so it goes. Last man standing after a weekend of action wins a prize.

20 The birds are chirping, the sun lingers and the snow has receded, leaving the question of, where does the white go? … and you with spring cleaning work to do. This year, forget the lights and carpets and focus on your inventory. Gather whatever is old or unfashionable and melt it down, eBay it, redesign it or mark it down. And all the while, remember to whistle while you work. It’s spring, after all.

27 To celebrate Easter and its own delicious inventory, London jeweler 77 Diamonds last year collaborated with a leading chocolatier to create the “World’s Most Extravagant Easter Bunny.” The jeweler provided two 1.7-carat diamonds for the eyes of the rabbit, which was put up for sale with a promise to create (for free) a bespoke piece of jewelry featuring the solitaires “once the bunny had been devoured.” Could you do something similar?


STORE ANNIVERSARIES

Harold Jaffe Jewelers in Toledo, OH

Harold Jaffe Jewelers was named one of INSTORE’s “America’s Coolest Stores” in 2005.

70 Years: Harold Jaffe Jewelers

Toledo, OH

Like many of America’s great jewelry stores, Harold Jaffe Jewelers has its origins in the small intricate world that exists between watchback and crystal. Founder Harold Jaffe was a “watchmaker’s watchmaker.” But he also had an eye for unique, distinctive pieces and a passion for what the store calls Ultimate Customer Satisfaction. This combination, supported by active community involvement, especially in the arts, has helped the store to become one of Toledo’s best known. Over 70 years the store, which is now run by Harold’s sons, Jeff and Ivan, has won a string of Best of Toledo awards as well as America’s Coolest Stores Contest honors in 2005.


Aquamarine is the birthstone for March

BIRTHSTONES

Aquamarine

As its Latin-inspired name suggests, aquamarine has traditionally been associated with the sea. Ancient sailors believed mermaids’ lower bodies were made of aquamarine. And they traveled with aquamarine crystals, believing it would ensure a safe passage. Perhaps that is what makes it such an appropriate gemstone to mark 19th wedding anniversaries: A stone for long journeys and safe returns.

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Wilkerson Testimonials

Texas Jeweler Knew He'd Get Only One Shot at a GOB Sale, So He Wanted to Make It Count

Most retailers only have one GOB sale in their lifetimes. This was the case for Gary Zoet, owner of Shannon Fine Jewelry in Houston, Texas. “Wilkerson has done thousands of these sales,” says Zoet. “I’ve never done one, so it’s logical to have somebody with experience do it.” The result exceeded Zoet’s expectations. Wilkerson took care of everything from marketing to paperwork. When it’s time for you to consider the same, shouldn’t you trust the experts in liquidation?

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Manager's To Do

Capitalizing on Valentine’s Engagement Sales, March Madness Ideas and More Manager’s To-Do Items for March

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar. 3-9

BUDGETING Time to get started on making a budget for the 2019 buying season and get ready to trade in old inventory for new inventory. Also, if possible, have an inventory reduction sale to get rid of the dated inventory before going to Vegas.

SALES FLOOR Beware the ex-brides of March! Divorce filings are highest this month. Do you have a script ready explaining why the resale value of an engagement ring may not meet the customer’s expectations? If not, get busy.

Video: Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should
Jim Ackerman

Video: Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store
Jimmy Degroot

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store

Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage

MARKETING Remember all those clients who bought engagement rings in advance of Valentine’s Day? Call to see what their plans are for wedding bands.

Mar. 10-16

MERCHANDISE It’s March. Embrace the madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals starts on March 17 and runs through to April 8. It’s a great chance to clear out old inventory with a quick Sheer Madness Sale! At the very least, organize a pool for staff.

SHOWROOM Is your custom area as friendly as it could be? Does it feature a gallery highlighting past designs, portraits of satisfied customers, updated displays, appropriate lighting, a signature scent?

Mar. 17-23

MARKETING Hold a Prom Dress Party. Encourage girls to bring their dresses into the store and try on jewelry with the dress. Identify pieces to excite them at prices that will entice a sale (that means jewelry with a big look for less money).

MERCHANDISING Pull out your promotional calendar and view it from the perspective of using the events to manage and reduce specific inventory. Annual customer appreciation sales, trunk shows, open houses, and repair/jewelry remodeling events can all give your finances an even greater boost if you execute them with a view to moving certain items.

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MANAGEMENT Download a time tracker to your phone and start logging how you spend your work life — not because there’s much value in the record you create, but because the very act of recording can have a powerful psychological impact, leading you to use your time much more efficiently. (Warning: Brace yourself to be alarmed at how you fritter away time.)

Mar. 24-30

SHOWROOM In one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It apparently has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a side wall out to provide a view of the glorious outdoors, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

PERSONAL Take an inventory of your tech use and evaluate each item for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Exit the social networks you barely use and get rid of the apps that, when you think about it, have no benefit. Yep, that means Candy Crush may have to go.

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Calendar

Day of Unplugging, Near Miss Day and More Important March Dates

Don’t miss your chance to have a parade for Mardi Gras.

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20 There’s a reason the Hare Krishnas hand out flowers before soliciting donations — the awesome hold reciprocity has over humans. The psychologist Robert Cialdini notes in his bestseller Influence that we’re so deeply primed to reciprocate generosity that customers who receive a free gift become far more likely to make a purchase “in return.” Since it’s spring, take a tip from the Hare Krishnas and hand out fresh flowers to customers.

Video: Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should
Jim Ackerman

Video: Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store
Jimmy Degroot

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store

Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage

4 Day of Unplugging. The challenge: 24 hours without phone or Internet contact. Can you do it? The benefits are said to be surprising.

5 Celebrate Mardi Gras with a bead party. Cook up some red beans and rice, stick on some music and have yourself a parade.

23 Thirty years ago, a mountain-sized asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very, very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your or your sales associate’s recent “near misses” and debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More romance? Bruce Willis?

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Calendar

Single Tasking Day, Red Carpet Season and More Big Dates for February

The essential jeweler’s calendar for the month starts here.

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4 With more than two billion users, you need to be sure you’ve fully explored the potential of Facebook. On the 15th Anniversary of Facebook’s Launch by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends, adopt the company’s motto, “Move Fast and Break Things,” and commit to shaking things up with your social media marketing. Test some sponsored posts. Get absurdly specific with your targeting. Try a contest. Try more video. Follow INSTORE’s Facebook page at facebook.com/instoremag.

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’

Podcast: A Jeweler Learns the Internet’s Weaknesses, and His Own Strengths
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Jeweler Learns the Internet’s Weaknesses, and His Own Strengths

Podcast: How to Find Good People and Avoid Employee Nightmares
JimmyCast

Podcast: How to Find Good People and Avoid Employee Nightmares

10 Red-carpet season rolls on with The Grammys today and The Academy Awards on Feb. 25. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with tweets, snaps, posts and blogs.

14 Love with a touch of panic is one way to look at Valentine’s Day. And not just for the guys. If you need ideas, go to instoremag.com and test out our archive search.

22 On Single Tasking Day, let your brain do what it’s been designed so beautifully to handle — focus on one thing at a time: one conversation, one meal, one task, one baseball game.

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