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David Geller

David Geller: Holiday Fix

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WANT TO MAKE your shop really hum this holiday season? Here’s the steps you need to take. Starting … just about … now!

1. Start now and write down what type of sizing stock and wire you normally keep in your store. Make a chart. Be sure before November that you have enough on hand. In our store we had a listing on a form, easy to always order. Example:

  1. 12” each flat sizing stock: 2 x 1.5mm; 2.5 x 1.5 mm 14kt yellow gold and 14kt white gold;
  2. 6” each flat stock: 3 x 2mm; 4 x 2mm;
  3. 12” each BS round wire 18; 20; 22; 24.

2. Keep a simple log of the styles and sizes of heads you use. Go to an “organizing” store and get plastic compartment boxes that have 12 small drawers. Put inside at least three to six of the sizes of heads, lobster claws, jump rings that you use most. This will allow you to make more instant sales from the case by changing out heads, etc.

3. Have the right amount of polishing buffs, rouge, etc on hand.

4. Buy a writing board and post each day “next available due date” for repairs and custom work and wax views. This way the sales staff will know and won’t “over-promise” work.

5. If your shop is really swamped during December, cut off repairs for Christmas by December 10th. But do continue to take them in, promising repairs for January 10th.

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6. Anyone who needs a repair for Christmas after December 10th, charge a premium (we charged an extra 50 percent for repairs performed during the Christmas season).

7. To eliminate the confusion of “This was a rush job, why isn’t it done?”, buy different colored job envelopes to help identify the rush jobs. My company used the ones from Impact Manufacturing: [email protected].

8. Make a work schedule in advance so everyone knows the days on and off of your shop jewelers. Plan ahead for things like your staff (jewelers) needing time off to shop for Christmas, etc.

9. Do something nice for the jewelers at Christmas; they are bent over all day long! We arranged for the whole staff to get massages at a massage therapist office about a week before Christmas, letting them off a little early. It really boosts morale and helps to ease that built-up shoulder tension. It was $65 well spent.

10. Consider placing an ad in the newspaper on Christmas Day, a few days after, and right before New Year’s Eve. It should read something like: “Christmas present the wrong size? We offer repairs and sizing while you wait”. There would be an asterisk next to it and at the bottom of the ad it would say “extra charge for while-you-wait service”. We charged 50 percent more for anything done while you wait. It was almost as busy as the first week in December. Great profits from this week.

This story is from the September 2003 edition of INSTORE.

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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