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David Geller

David Geller: Start Fresh in 2009

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There’s nothing like jan. 1 to get inspired about the store and what you might be able to achieve.

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[h3]Wipe Your Slate Clean[/h3]

Happy New Year! You’ve enjoyed this ride haven’t you? Well, put 2008 behind you and let’s start fresh. To do that you need to take care of a few tasks first.

[dropcap cap=1.]Take inventory. Don’t put it off. Have the staff come in on a Sunday or close one day of the week. This is needed for the accountant to do your tax return but more importantly it’s needed to “square up” the inventory dollars in your showcase with the figures in your point of sale (POS) program.

Many POS programs have a space for you to scan the tag. At the end of the program, it might ask you, “Shall I print a list of items you missed?” Say yes and go find them or take them out of inventory in the POS program. If you find these items later, you can always add them back in.[/dropcap]

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[dropcap cap=2.]While taking inventory, ultrasonic, steam clean and replace any tags that are worn. With the store closed, this is a great time to restore some of that sparkle. Get a brush and/or damp cloth and clean the display units that house the jewelry. Buy a can of compressed air from an office-supply store (the kind used to blow dirt out of a computer) and blast the dirt from inside the slots in display.

If after cleaning, any tags need replacing, now’s the time. Get it all done by the end of the day. Bring in family to help if needed.

By the way, your cases are too cluttered. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 10 pieces in the case per linear foot. That means a 6-foot long showcase shouldn’t hold more than about 60 pieces of jewelry. Too much inventory confuses the customer. Jewelers who use this formula have told me that their average dollar sale has increased while the amount of time to sell a customer decreases.[/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=3.]Remove all display inserts from the showcases and clean the inside glass. While someone is counting, have the displays cleaned and clean the inside glass of the cases. Windex and newspaper (instead of paper towels) do a great job.[/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=4.]Reorder needed ring boxes, bows and wrap. Valentine’s Day is coming up and you’re likely low on boxes. Time to reorder.[/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=5.]Remove what’s underneath the showcases in the hidden doors and clean the shelves. Besides being neat, you’ll be surprised how often a piece of jewelry will show up there. We had a small problem with employee theft and this is where the employee hid the stolen goods before putting them in her purse.[/dropcap]

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[dropcap cap=6.]Go into the shop and have the jewelers clean out every drawer, the catch drawer and the top of their bench. Every jeweler says “but I can use that piece of scrap gold. I melt it into new things.” I visited one store where the jeweler had so much scrap, parts and pieces it was amazing. I went and got a gram scale and piled it all on. There was more than $5,000 in scrap on his bench. Against his wishes, we sent it to the refiner for cash. There will always be more scrap.[/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=7.]Time to clean the polish machine, install new filters, maybe even install new washers on the steamer. Clean these items, and put the filters in the refiner barrel. (We always had a barrel where we stored emery paper from the bench, floor sweepings from the shop and polish room including the bag from the vacuum cleaner.) A barrel at the refiner years ago brought us in about $5,000. If your steamer leaks, particularly from the glass, replace the washers and drain the steamer totally (with the machine off).[/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=8.]Go to the findings cabinet and if it’s been sitting there for a year, scrap it. Just because you say “Hey, one year we’ll use that 4-carat head,” doesn’t mean it makes you money. Yes, I know you bought it when gold was $300 but inventory turn is inventory turn. The shop’s findings should turn quickly and if they don’t, they should be melted. We used old heads and such in our castings for new stock. Or you can send it to the refiner with other scrap and get cash or sizing stock.[/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=9.]Clean off your desk and put those “things” sitting in tin cups and such into inventory, put in diamond papers for the shop to use or throw in the scrap box. For all those “I’ll put in stock one day” items, do it now. Stock it in the POS system or send it away for cash.[/dropcap]

[dropcpa cap=10. Any old items sitting in the safe (we’ll sell it one day) put in the “Extreme value case” on sale. Or scrap it. Get a showcase together to start a sale of inventory that’s old. What’s old? Anything over a year for sure but anything over 15-18 months needs to go now. I know you’ve got lots of old stuff in the safe that you kept saying “I’ll get around to it.”[/dropcap]

Let this single “Extreme Value” showcase hold the old inventory: from the safe, your desk and especially the showcases. You have more than enough pieces to keep this showcase fed for months (or even years). Think cash, not stash.

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David Geller is an author and consultant to jewelry-store owners on store management and profitability. E-mail him at [email protected].

[span class=note]This story is from the January 2009 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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