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IN EARLY 2006, it was becoming clear to the owners of Day’s Jewelers that the retail world around them was changing. Catalogs and flyers no longer attracted the response they once had. Fewer people were coming into the store, and those who did often came armed with printouts. And overall growth had slowed to a crawl. 
Faced with the choice of continuing with its strategy of expanding via brick-and-mortar stores or trying something bold and different, the six-store New England-based chain opted for the latter — an overhaul of its e-commerce capabilities. 
“My father always said you have to ground the business in the customer. Always go back to the customer and his needs and desires and evaluate your ability to provide (for them),” says Day’s CEO Jeff Corey. 
Day’s concluded the biggest luxury for its mostly female clientele was time. Their only source of relaxation had become snatching an hour or so on the Internet after the kids had gone to bed. The Day’s new Web operation, developed by MarketLive Inc, was built to serve such women. It features three-click navigation to any item on the site, quick-loading “intelligent” imaging, and a “Would you like to see this item in a Day’s store?” button that allows customers to make an appointment to see the piece of jewelry in a store. 
“The idea is, via e-mail, to get to know the customer, to know their lifestyle, their likes, to strike up a relationship as you would in the store,” says Corey. The early response to the website suggests Day’s got it right. Since the relaunch, has generated nearly double the monthly revenue and a 40 percent increase in average purchase size. The conversion rate for customers who hit the “make-an-appointment” button is 78 percent. 
The technology also helped remedy a growing problem at the chain: merchandise overload. With six stores across Maine and New Hampshire ranging in size from 5,000 to more than 10,000 square feet, Day’s inventory of more than 15,000 SKUs meant it was often difficult to match the best piece with the customer. The installation of in-house terminals, in addition to the website, now enables Day’s to expose clients to pieces they may have once missed. 
The new DAYSJEWELERS.COM was a big investment — about the same cost as a new store. And while still small, accounting for less than 1 percent of total sales, it is expected to play a key role in Day’s growth. “Jewelers have viewed the Internet as a threat. But we have to find ways to use it to our advantage,” Corey says.



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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