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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Keep Tabs On Local Competitors? Here’s What Our Brain Squad Said

The results were split 50/50.

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Yes: 48%

    • I have sent paid people to secret shop to get prices and see what repair services are recommended. — Josh Rider, Dylan Rings, Montgomery, AL
    • I click on every ad and check out all the social media and website of every online diamond engagement ring seller/promoter. I experience their vibe, accessibility, shopping features, value add-ons, education, etc. and use the experience to ask our guests where we can improve and then start making those improvements. It’s a constant work in progress, but well worth it as so many guests find us online and then realize we’re their neighborhood jeweler. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
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    • I have the other area jewelers in my Facebook insights. It lets me see when they post, what they post, and what the response from the public is. That said, there is more than enough work for all of us, and I deeply respect my competition. All good folks. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
    • We check Facebook, ads, Instagram, Pinterest and community activities. — Dale Robertson, Dale Robertson Jewelry, Loveland, OH
    • Always checking out the other stores. Local and far away when on trips. Always call on the new for-lease signs, even if I just signed a new lease. Must always be aware of your market. Moved my store one mile nine years ago. Knew the market turned down some other spaces. When this landlord called, I knew the market, the prices and how desparate he was. Got a great lease with a great landlord. — Stephen Ware, Ware Designs, Lafayette, CA
    • Our “covert operations” tend to be sending in friends or family to the other local jewelers with gold to sell or repairs to fix so that we can gauge whether our pricing is competitive. We want to get a feel for their pricing but especially the level of customer service because that is extremely important to us! — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
    • I follow all of their social media pages and I am always trying to go see what special events they have going on. Plus, I secret shop ALL THE TIME! It is vital to know what your competition is doing and how they are selling. Gotta beat the best if you want to be the best. — Erica Lorenz, Michael & Sons, Reno, NV
    • Talk to manufacturers’ reps and secret shop. Also participate in our state jewelers association. Word gets around. — Chuck Kuba, Iowa Diamond, Des Moines, IA
    • Keep watch for commercials and billboards, print ads … always pay attention to what they are advertising and how. — Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC

    No: 52%

    • What others are doing doesn’t influence me. — Kelly Jensen, Plateau Jewelers, Sammamish, WA
    • I know who is around already. I know that I am one of the very few real goldsmiths in my area. I rely on word-of-mouth advertising and have an extremely high customer retention rate. — Catherine Dining, CG Designs, Lafayette, CA
    • If you keep looking in the rear view mirror, it is hard to go full speed ahead! — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
    • I think the answer is really somewhere in between. We do talk to sales reps and customers about their offerings. We do also watch their advertising, both traditional and digital. — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
    • I do keep tabs, but I don’t do much. Most of my “competition” is more what I consider “colleagues.” We’re friendly neighbors. But I follow them on social media, and they follow me. It’s as more to see what they’re doing so we DON’T overlap. But if you do find yourself in hardcore competition with others in your market, you better have Google alerts set up for them as well as yourself. — Casey Gallant, Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Orleans, MA
    • We don’t feel we have competition. The other stores are outdated in inventory, decor and customer service. I would rather worry about what we are doing right than what they are doing wrong. — Elysia Demers, Barnhardt Jewelers, Spencer, NC
    • Because other jewelers are not my competition — cellphone, computer and new technology sellers should be looked at as our competitors. As jewelers, we should all be colleagues! It should not be how I can beat out the jeweler down the street; rather, how as an industry can we get the public to realize that the gifts of technology are obsolete once they walk out the door whereas jewelry is a lasting legacy? — Patty Gallun Hansen, Dorothy Gallun Fine Jewelry, Cedarburg, WI

    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.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Do You Or Don't You?

Here’s How Your Fellow Jewelers Recharge From The Hectic Holiday Selling Season

Some vacation, others party, and some just sleep.

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  • We don’t and we need some tips to figure that out. The owners get away after the holidays, but the staff just keeps going and it seems like we get in operations mode rather than selling. Working on it! — Natasha Henderson, Saxon’s Fine Jewelers, Bend, OR
  • We take a week off, often fully paid. — Jessica Rossomme, Mucklow’s Fine Jewelry, Peachtree City, GA
  • Communicate what has happened and drink a lot! — Larry W. Hall, Baker & Baker Jewelers, Marietta, OH
  • We have our holiday party at the end of January. Good time to unwind and thank everyone for their hard work. — Christine Osborne, Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins, Des Moines, IA
  • Eggnog. We have a customer who makes his own and brings it in, and boy is it good! 🙂 — Tommy Thobe, The Village Gem, Perry Hall, MD
  • No recharging needed, I am an adult. — Nicholas Pronko, Steve Pronko Diamonds, Dickson City, PA
  • We don’t! January slows us down automatically until we get recharged from buying trips and get ready for Valentine’s Day. — Jeff Weintrop, The Silver Lady, University City, MO
  • Celebrate and enjoy family time with the day after Christmas being off. We will plan our holiday party for January. Limo trip, dinner, dancing and fun! — Erika Godfrey, Hawthorne Jewelry, Kearney, NE
  • With a couple days off at Christmas, and again at New Year’s. And I don’t know for sure about everyone else, but relaxing with wine is my favorite! — Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • Mandatory reduced hours. — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • We ALL schedule a little extra time off around New Year’s. I usually go with my family to watch the Clemson Tigers play in the NCAA football championship! Go Tigers! — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
  • Beers and wings. — Tim Markwart, Assaly Marks and Hopkins, Nipawin, SK
  • I sleep. — Kelli Reinbold, Vernon Jewelers, Salina, KS
  • Going to the woods to go hunting or 4×4 driving, out of cell coverage. — Josh Rider, Dylan Rings, Montgomery, AL
  • Cut back to a five-day work week for the cold winter months and enjoy our downtime together. — Joe Caron, Caron’s Jewelry, Bristol, RI
  • Recharge? What’s that? We’re a team of three that balance all aspects of our business (sales, purchasing, repairs, returns, inventory management, cleaning, you name it). Ain’t nobody got time to rest! — Wadeana Beveridge, Community Jewelry, Brandon, FL
  • A nap usually works wonders, as long as it’s not while driving home. — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • We don’t. We just start all over and do it again. — Joan Charlene Little, Genesis Jewelry, Muscle Shoals, AL
  • With inventory, of course! That’s what January is for! LOL. — Cindy Fuller, Fuller Designs, Poplar Bluff, MO
  • A few days away from the store and email. Last year, snow skiing. This year, golf. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • Close between Christmas and New Year’s and come in and do inventory for a few days. Remove decorations, clean up the store. Feels like starting the year off on fresh ground. Allows staff to relax in a lower stress atmosphere and clear their heads. — Stacey Gelmici-Saunders, Gelmici Jewellers, Edson, AB
  • No team, just me. And I love the excitement of the “hectic season”. I try to do some decompression every evening before I go to bed. TV, music, and/or solitaire! — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • We have a Christmas Survival Party! Everyone gets dressed up and we head to a nice restaurant together, reminisce about years past, and celebrate our successes. — Jennifer Farnes, Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Vacation to the ocean for me, then shopping in Tucson end of January and into February. — Pamela Hecht, Pamations, Calumet, MI
  • Close Christmas Day and the day after, then New Year’s Eve and the next two days for a four-day off rest. I go to Jamaica for 10 days … let the boys run the show … — Alan Perry, Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC
  • Savannah every January to our favorite B&B. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Alcohol, alcohol, and more alcohol … not really … — Shari Altman, B&E Jewelers, Southampton, PA
  • January Christmas dinner for employees and spouses. — Judy Stanley, Skippack Jewelers, Harleysville, PA
  • We close up the store for four to five days. — Charlene Foltz, Pentaltha Jewelers, Tallahassee, FL
  • We close for the week in between Christmas and New Year’s Day, giving everyone time with family and friends. They also get to take advantage of sales that were impractical earlier in the season due to time or budget constraints. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • Vacations or really just long weekend getaways to clear the mind and heal the body. — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL

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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Do You Or Don't You?

Do Jewelers Take Time In January For Strategic Planning? Our Brain Squad Weighs In

Most do, but barely … and for a variety of reasons.

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Yes: 56%

  • It is important for us to get a strategic plan. We have three owners with three different agendas, so the management team likes to come up with objectives to work toward for the year. We start with three pillars of success, and all decisions for what to focus on are based on that. We have had many years with no strategic planning. It led to less communication, more disgruntled staff, and having nothing to shoot towards creates a less motivated team as well. Many owners don’t value planning, but we have seen our sales grow as well as our employees’ skills, drive and attitude! — Natasha Henderson, Saxon’s Fine Jewelers, Bend, OR
  • Plan and grow what worked, prune and ditch what didn’t! — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • I try to anticipate changes that will affect our business and create a budget based on those assumptions. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • You always want to look at what worked and didn’t work in the last 12 months, and look at new industry developments that may provide either opportunities or threats to protect your business from. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • My business partner and I go off site for one to two days so we can plan the coming year without distractions. It would be impossible for the two of us to stay on the same page and not confuse the heck out of the staff if we didn’t. We are adding in a facilitator this year for the first time. We hope this will keep us accountable for following up on the decisions we made at our retreat. — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
  • I look at the numbers, which companies sold well, what pieces sold best, what needs replenishment, what companies need to go. — Christine Matlack, E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA
  • If I plan early I not only do better in business, I do better in pleasure. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • I love the New Year. My favorite holiday, always invigorating! I try to jot down some goals/plans/ideas, and put together a vision board for the year. Nothing elaborate. I’ve tried planners, but never seem to take the time to write anything in them, let alone follow along! If I have my handwritten goal notes and my vision board above my desk where I can see them every day, that keeps me motivated! — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL

No: 44%

  • January is too busy. Lee Krombholz, Krombholz Jewelers, Cincinnati, OH
  • We spend January rebuilding up our stock. Which means that we make jewelry for us to sell. — Idar Bergseth, Idar, Victoria, BC
  • As a small operation, January is for physical inventory and decompression. Strategic planning is done with my ERA coach in February. — Stew Brandt, H. Brandt Jewelers, Natick, MA
  • I just keep on truckin’. — Ira Kramer, Diamond Exchange of Maryland, Tallahassee, FL
  • Planning is consistent and constant through the year, not delegated to one particular time. — Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • January is Christmas cleanup. February is time for reflection. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • It sounds like a good idea, but January is absurdly busy for me preparing tax stuff for the accountant and getting ready for Tucson. — Stacey Horcher, J. Reiss, Lincolnwood, IL
  • We do our strategic planning in September and set our operating budget (marketing and inventory and expense) by November. January is too late for strategic planning! — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH

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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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Welcome Pets Into Your Store? Our Brain Squad Sounds Off

4 out of 5 readers say yes.

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Yes: 81%

  • We encourage our clients to bring their pets into the store. We always have treats on hand and a water dish if needed. Most of the staff has at least one dog, and my wife and I have two adopted cats and two adopted dogs. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • We do ask the dogs be on a leash. It has been a positive response and people enjoy being able to bring in their furry friends. — Sue Parker, Nyman Jewelers, Excanaba, MI
  • Fortunately, we have not had a need for guidelines. Dogs are the pet of choice visiting our store. Our team enjoys the interaction as much as the dog. The dog owner appreciates our openness to their beloved friend. — Tonia Ulsh, Mountz Jewelers, Camp Hill, PA
  • We are customer friendly. I once had a customer who brought a Rottweiler into my store. His head was the shape of an anvil, he slobbered all over me, but the owner bought a couple of gifts for her girlfriends. No problem for me. — Bruce Goodheart, Goodheart’s Jewelry, Overland Park, KS
  • The only guidelines are no peeing or pooping in the store! — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • We allow pets so long as they are nice and well-behaved. We live in a dog-friendly city where people are actively out with their dogs all of the time. We usually require a leash, but the dogs who are off leash are super-trained. It’s never been an issue. For us, the rewards are many as we love animals! It makes the store fun and inclusive. — Betsy Barron, Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA
  • As long as they get along with our dog, then all is well. It is usually the humans that need some guidelines. — Kirsten Reynolds, Windsor Gallery, Salisbury, NC
  • Our downtown (where we are located) is very pet friendly. We are near a pet-friendly brewery, and our town even has a dog ambassador, @CharlieDoches. We’ve never had to set guidelines on pets. We carry the DogFever line and give 10 percent of sales back to our local animal rescue groups. In the summer at our major downtown festival, we offer a “dog cooling station”. — Chay Rees Runnels, Rees Jewelry, Nacogdoches, TX
  • No guidelines. We neither encourage nor deny anyone who wants to bring a pet. It does allow for an easy personal connection with the customer. — Thomas Licciardi, Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry, Morgantown, WV
  • We post Facebook and Instagram pictures of any dogs that visit. Our boxer Maggie is also at the store most days. I don’t know what rewards we get other than a nice community feel and we get to visit with other people’s dogs (we all love dogs). — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
  • Any cat, dog, bird or weasel — we don’t care as long as they’re sociable and they’re sweet, they’re welcome in our store! We even have custom-made organic gourmet pet treats just for the animals that visit. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • It has been mostly positive, but it can be too noisy if there are too many dogs at one time (we have two here already). — Vickie Wilson, The Goldsmith, Palo Alto, CA
  • Big, mean-looking dogs are not invited in because it scares the customers. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Before he died, I brought my dog to work. He always wanted to sniff a new butt. — Mark Thomas Ruby, SunSpirit Designs, Loveland, CO
  • We have a dog in the store. The customers love it. It makes this place more of a home rather then a store. Obviously, you won’t see the chain stores with a dog in the store. We want everyone including pets to feel welcome. — Michael Kanoff, Michael’s Jewelers, Yardley, PA
  • No guidelines, but an expectation for trained pets as we have a carpeted floor. Some of our most wealthy clients bring their pets with them everywhere; we don’t miss out on their business. — Jill Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL

No: 19%

  • Pets have no place in a business. It has become fashionable to take your pet along and intrude upon others as if something is wrong with them if they don’t agree. As my uncle used to say, no one loves or tolerates your pets or your children as much as you do. — Joe Thacker, Thacker Jewelry, Lubbock, TX
  • We allow them to come in, but we have the right to tell them to take the dog back outside if we feel they are a problem. — Alan Perry, Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC
  • We have had events that involved dogs at the store, and it’s been a major turn-off for a lot of clients. Customers either complain about allergies or not liking pets or just the control of the pet by their owner. — Christine Osborne, Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins, Des Moines, IA
  • Owner is allergic to dogs. — Jeffrey Hurwitz, Colonial Jewelers, Frederick, MD
  • Landlord does not allow pets inside building. My therapy dog is an exception. — Mark Neumann, Ross Designs, Highland Park, IL
  • When you are selling fine jewelry, your store cleanliness and upkeep are soooo important! — Teddie Gause, Gause & Son Jewelers, Ocala, FL

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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