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Do You Hire Part-Time Help for the Holiday Season? Our Brain Squad Weighs In

do you or don't you: Two out of three surveyed jewelers said they did not.

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question:

Do you hire part-time help during the holiday season?

Yes: 33%

  • We hire current and past interns to work part-time during the holidays. Their main priority is to help at the registers, gift wrap, and keep everything stocked and looking pristine. This allows our best sales associates to focus on what they are good at: selling. — Beth Greene, Conti Jewelers, Binghamton, NY
  • There is an increase in traffic and days/hours that we’re open, so we need extra help. We bring back previous employees, our “reserves” are called in, we increase the hours that our current part-time people work wherever possible, and we usually hire a college or high school student to gift wrap and greet. — Jennifer HOrnik Johnson, Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT
  • Always need extra help, but it has its drawbacks. Training quickly is not a good idea. We try to find people with experience who are retired. — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • Our limited staff can only do so much. Part-timers can wrap, change batteries, answer the phone, run to the post office, get lunch, and do errands. We train our part-timers to know our Pandora department, and they can take that load off our more experienced staff. — Don Unwin, Sterling Jewelers, Wethersfield, CT
  • It’s a cyclical business. It is easier to bring PT in for a few months when needed than try to pay a full-timer with benefits. — Nicholas Pronko, Steve Pronko Diamonds, Dickson City, PA
  • I hire my sales staff’s kids (15 and up) to box, bag, ring sales and run errands. — Krystal Shiklanian, Radiant Fine Jewelry, Plymouth, MI
  • We always plan on a few Christmas elves (holiday part-timers). We usually need extra help on the Saturdays since major town events take place. And you never know if someone is going to be sick. — Ellie Mickey, DBS Fine Jewelers, St. Michaels, MD
  • We’re open Sundays for three weeks, so we need extra help to cover extra hours. — Willa Dickens, Herteen & Stocker, Iowa City, IA
  • We need to preserve the current staff to give them time to do their shopping and spend time with families. — Cindi Haddad-Drew, Cindi’s Diamond & Jewelry Gallery, Foxboro, MA

No: 67%

  • We’re super-human. — Gretchen Schaffner, Eytan’s Designs, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • I actually needed to, but we will get by. — Shari Lewis, Cravens & Lewis Jewelers, Georgetown, KY
  • Regular staff works overtime. — Gary Richmond, Van Horne & Co., Granger, IN
  • I don’t feel that I have enough time to devote to training — especially for any down time — so we focus on being as efficient and customer-focused as possible! — Erika Godfrey, Hawthorne Jewelry, Kearney, NE
  • I have a couple of workers on call that help us during the season. — Tim Wright, Simply Unique Jewelry Designs, Yorktown, VA
  • Too long to train them to be productive. It always seems like we spend more time helping them help customers than helping other customers. — Chuck Jacobson, International Diamond, Adrian, MI
  • We can manage, and customers want to see the same faces, not new people. — Rosanne Kroen, Rosanne’s Diamonds & Gold, South Bend, IN
  • We close between Christmas and New Year’s Day and ask our staff to work the three Sundays in December to make up for time closed. — Ragnar Bertelsen, Ragnar Jewellers, Vancouver, BC
  • Christmas is not the time for rookies. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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