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Manager's To Do

Calendar: March 2015

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Celebrate Pi Day

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This year’s Pi day will be a once-in-a-century event: Come mid-morning, our clocks and calendars will strike the first 10 digits of Pi: 3/14/15; 9:26:53. True, that’s probably only going to excite math geeks, so a better strategy might be to follow the lead of Japanese jeweler Brilliance, which a few years ago marketed 0.314 TCW diamond jewelry as gifts under a campaign called “Propose with Pi.” It noted that Pi is infinite, irrational and cannot be divided — like everlasting love.

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

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Procrastination Day is promoted by the National Procrastinators Club to highlight the “many benefits of putting off until tomorrow that which needn’t be done today.” We’d suggest its organizers postpone the day indefinitely. The biggest problem with procrastination is that you can’t enjoy today. American writer and philosopher Eric Hoffer noted, “Our greatest weariness comes from work undone.” Got something you don’t want to do? We’d suggest targeting just 20 percent of the job and leaving the rest. It’s amazing what a little momentum will then do. To paraphrase Nike, just start.

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One of the few American ideas the old Soviet Union picked up and improved upon, or at least supersized, was international WOmen’s Day. Call a meeting of the store politburo and think of ways to honor and celebrate your hardworking sisters (highlight your favorite female designers, especially overseas artisans as a nod to the international aspect of the date, with a no-buying, gals-only event.)

UPCOMING EVENTS

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March 8-10 MJSA Expo, New York, NY

March 19-23 The Diamond Show, Basel, Switzerland

March19-26 BaselWorld, Basel, Switzerland

March 25-27 Jewelers International Showcase, Miami Beach, FL

March 25-28 Amberif 2015, Gdańsk, Poland

March 28-29 Pier Antique Show, New York, NY

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12 Want to start building a pipeline of future customers? Ahead of Girl Scout Day, get in touch with your local troop and offer to sponsor a Jewelry Badge. At Artful Eye Jewelry Design Center in Prescott, AZ, the store’s goldsmith gives the budding jewelry lovers a tour of the workshop and helps each one make a sterling silver twisted wire ring to take home. Hey, get prepared!

14 The FBI rolled out its “10 Most Wanted List” on this day in 1950. To mark the 65th anniversary of the date, send a 10 Most Wanted Wish List for your female customers to fill out ahead of Mom’s Day. Vow to hunt down and alert the men in their lives.

17 Shake those limbs, suck up the oxygen, we’re leaving nothing in the locker room. Yes, March Madness, aka the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships, starts today and for retailers the date’s become one of surprisingly rich potential. Jill Hornik of Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL, held a March Madness event last year in which all the inventory in the showroom (OK, take back that line about leaving nothing in the vault) was available at a 50 percent off. “We marketed the event by sending an e-blast to our customers, posting on social media, putting up two digital billboards with messages that changed throughout the sale, running a couple of print ads in community newspapers, and utilizing the local BID office for additional marketing support,” she recounted. The cost was less than $10,000 yet generated $108,000 in revenue, said Hornik, who recommends such dramatic sales only once every few years.

26 Think there are already too many national days to remember? The sponsors of Make Up Your Own Holiday Day don’t agree, and neither does retail analyst Ken Gassman. “Jewelers need to do everything possible to smooth their business across the year, rather than relying mostly on the Christmas season,” he says. Any idea, any theme, any hook will do. “You can have a sale like ‘The Manager’s Away, So We’re Nearly Giving Jewelry Away! Come in now, before he returns,’” he says.


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

jewelry store anniversaries Godwin Jewelers

15 Years: Godwin Jewelers

Bainbridge, GA

Godwin Jewelers started small — really small — in an 8-by-10-foot space where Monroe Godwin opened a watch-servicing business with his wife, Mary Anne, in 1960. The local railway brought in a stream of customers (railwaymen needed working watches), and before long the business was on the move, first to a space around the corner, then to the city’s main square, followed by time in a new mall and finally, in 2000, to its own free-standing building, a 7,300-squre-foot space that had previously been a bank. Size has its benefits, second-generation owner Ronnie Godwin told INSTORE a few years ago. “To sell you a 3-carat diamond you have to have a 4-carat diamond to let them know you’re seriously in the business.”


B I R T H S T O N E S

Aquamarine is March's birthstone

Aquamarine

The name of this beautiful, light blue stone evokes images of calm, clear seawater gently lapping against a Mediterranean shore. No surprise then that it was long thought to have a soothing influence on married couples, and it is rightly the recommended gift for the 19th anniversary. Legend says it is the treasure of mermaids, and that aquamarine earrings will bring love and affection to the wearer … and if not, at least admiring glances.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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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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