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Tip Sheet

Dealing with the Summer Slump, Standing Out in Your Marketplace, and More Tips for May

Plus how to apply an “immediacy filter” when deciding whether or not to say yes to an engagement.





managementDivide and Conquer

Create “areas of pride” in your store to promote a fun spirit of competition and a better knowledge of inventory among the staff, urges John Nicolosi, a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. How to do it? “Assign each associate to merchandise, promote and clean a particular area each month,” he says. `

SALESDeal with the Summer Slump

With their hot temperature, people away on vacation, and no “gift giving” holidays in sight, summers can be a challenge for a jeweler. To breathe life into this often-slow period, Toner Jewelers in Overland Park, KS, holds its biggest sale of the year, featuring a large assortment of estate jewelry at 50-70 percent off and other aged goods. “Our best clients wait all year for this event, so it helps get us over the hump of the slow summer months,” says manager Lucy Conklin.

MARKETINGPurple Palm Trees

In his book Purple Cow, marketer Seth Godin argues that you need to do something remarkable to stand out in today’s cluttered marketplace – like using a mascot, handle, brand image that is so distinctive that no one can miss you, or installing a big purple bovine outside your business. That approach has worked for Sherrie’s Jewelry Box in Tigard, OR. “We have palm trees, yes in Oregon, and new passersby will come in just to ask about them, and we will have a new client,” says owner Sherrie Schilling-Devaney.


MANAGEMENTForce A Real Decision

The next time you ask an employee or partner for their opinion on a business-related matter — say, to rate a job candidate, a new line, or a business proposition — ask them for a score between 1-10 but tell them they can’t choose seven. Seven is a fudge, says speaker and author Kyle Maynard. Force the person to choose between at least an eight — they’re genuinely excited by the prospect — or a six, which usually indicates they’d pass on it.

DISPLAYLighten Up the Mood

Summer is almost here: It’s time to lighten the mood, in your store and showcases. “If I have a larger collection of a certain brand, I’ll switch out the heavier, darker stone pieces and display light and airy pieces for a spring/summer look,” says Krystal Shiklanian, the stylist at Radiant Fine Jewelry in Plymouth, MI.

MANAGEMENTApply an Immediacy Filter

Life is an exercise in prioritization, but it can be hard to remember that when it comes to some vague unfilled time slot weeks away. “When you get an invitation to do something in the future, ask yourself: Would you accept this if it was scheduled for tomorrow? Not too many promises will pass that immediacy filter,” notes WIRED co-founder Kevin Kelly on his blog.


With gas prices still near historic highs, bikes suddenly look like a great way to get around again. “Plus, it’s just nice,” adds Beth Cevasco of Scott’s Custom Jewelers in Dublin, OH. “We plan on bringing our bikes for after-work rides — gotta enjoy the evenings!”


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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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