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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Serve Food to Staff? Here’s What Your Peers Do

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Yes: 63%

Sometimes it is a spontaneous splurge in the middle of the week, sort of just because. Other times, when I am faced with having three staff members and none of us can leave the store, I order pizza or make sandwiches in our kitchen. If we have made our monthly goal sooner than expected, then we celebrate with food. We are very food motivated! I also try to keep snacks on hand for us. Maria Aguirre, Benold’s Jewelers, Austin, TX

  • When we built the store, we put a kitchen in, so I make lunch most days and the idea is that healthy eating promotes a good foundation for one’s lifestyle. Joseph Delefano, Regency Jewelers, Rotterdam, NY
  • Occasionally during the year on a Saturday if it’s been an exceptionally good or sometimes bad week to increase morale. Once a week during the Christmas season. Valerie King, King Jewelers, Cohasset, MA
  • We supply during all special events and during the holidays. This year, we also had a turkey dinner giving thanks to our amazing team, halfway to Thanksgiving. Tonia Ulsh, Mountz Jewelers, Camp Hill, PA
  • Any time we are crunched for time and it would take them out of productivity, I feed them! I feed my staff lunch every day between Black Friday and Dec. 24. They love it and it means I have less down time. We do everything from a grocery store spread of sandwiches to catering Thai from our favorite place. I make big pots of chili and other soups, or my staff can sign up to bring in a favorite recipe. Laurie Langdon-Gerber, Elisa Ilana Jewelry, Omaha, NE
  • Starbucks every morning and lunch 3-4 times a week. It’s my way of saying thank you for doing a great job. David Ellestad, Larkin Jewelers, Tacoma, WA
  • Monday through Friday, the staff is on their own. On Saturdays, I provide lunch for staff. Jonathan A. Blatter, Edian Jewelry, Hialeah, FL
  • We started keeping a snack basket, mainly for our college age sales staff. Our busiest hours are 11-2 and this allows them to come in straight from class! We also use several delivery services. I have found it keeps us all well connected to treat a lunch once a week! Linda McEathron, Design House, Waco, TX
  • Breakfast one day a week for our early morning sales meeting. Also, when a sale is going on, we provide lunch. Joe Thacker, Thacker Jewelry, Lubbock, TX
  • I provide healthy as well as fun snacks and fluids every day to keep productivity up and moods up and express gratitude for hard work. We bring in breakfast or lunch to celebrate each crew member’s birthday and work-iversary as well as to celebrate when they hit monthly goals. Food is love and fun. We keep it flowing! Steven & Katherine Lesse, Abracadabra Jewelry and Gem Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
  • We provide snacks and dried fruit with nuts. Some health items and others that are just good. We buy lunch once or twice a week for everyone. We treat our staff like family and all grab a bite of lunch when we can. They are able to leave the store for lunch if they want to and sign out and in when they return. Scott Kelly, Jems Jewels & Gold, North Wales, PA
  • We keep snacks and water in the kitchen for purchase for very modest fees of 25 cents each. This makes it easier for someone to take a brief break without needing to go anywhere. Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • We bring in food on Saturdays. It eases the pain when the weather is nice and sales are slow. David Kammeraad, Preusser Jewelers, Grand Rapids, MI
  • During events and during the busiest days of the holiday season, I provide lunch as well as some breakfasts. I think it’s a little thing that makes them feel appreciated. In addition, they know that on these busy days, there may not be much time for lunch, so they eat quickly and get back out on the floor to sell. They don’t have to plan or think about food, which, hopefully, keeps them customer-focused! Kristin Cornwell, Cornwell Jewelers, Athens, OH
  • I buy lunch for everyone when we celebrate a staff birthday, or Starbucks for everyone if we had an evening event the night before. I keep the fridge full of everyone’s favorite drinks and the cupboard full of protein snacks. It helps keep them focused in the afternoon. Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA
  • We provide breakfast every week for the store meeting. Since our employees are required to come in an hour early it is one less thing for them to worry about. Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • Friday night pizza; we close at 6 p.m. now, but when we are open later, it gets them through until closing. They eat in between customers, so they don’t lose the ability to earn. Saturday morning donuts; we bring in all different types. It’s exciting to see that box open and see 12 different decorated donuts! (It’s the details!) We always provide free Coke, Diet Coke, Keurig choices, pretzels, animal crackers, nuts, peanut butter crackers, quality candies. No generic brands! And yes, it’s a pain always keeping everything stocked. As owners, we feel it is a benefit. Some employees are grateful. Some will always expect it. We feel more appreciate it than do not. Christine Matlack, E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA
  • We are in the Midwest; lunch is what you can shove in your pie hole in 15 minutes or less! For a small store, we move a lot of customers through our doors. Since my goldsmith, my manager and I share the burden of production, I buy lunch for us every day. I look at it like this: these people go above and beyond for me and my store. I am happy to provide coffee, lunch or whatever makes their day better. I appreciate their loyalty, their unfailing work ethic and most of all their honesty! Also it bolsters the feeling of being a working unit, a team and a pretty amazing bad ass machine. I also take them to shows; when you hear them tell “the story” on the floor, my sales soar! Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

No: 37%

  • We previously bought lunch for employees but found that the perk was abused. Employees would eat lunch at the store and then leave and run errands. Bob Richards, Bob Richards Jewelers, Germantown, TN
  • They bring what they want. I have a fridge, microwave and toaster oven. Sara DeSpain, Sara DeSpain Fine Jewelry, Duck, NC
  • We only provide refreshments on sale days for the customers and staff if the staff works overtime. Judy Stanley, Skippack Jewelers, Harleysville, PA
  • Too costly. Jeffrey Debs, Debs Jewelers & Gemologists, Philadelphia, PA
  • Everyone tends to bring their own here. We have a vegetarian and the rest of us are always on different eating regimes! And when we do eat together, we order a lot of takeout! Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • I have in the past, but everyone’s taste is different and it was impossible to please them all. Donnie Blanton, Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, Gainesville, FL
  • Tried as a benefit, but tastes varied so much it was difficult to manage. Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • We do occasional donut days and lunch on us, but we think every employee deserves a break away from the store for lunch. (We should take that same advice, but, #ownerprobs). We do have beverages available to our customers and employees, and when we receive cookies from our customers (which actually happens quite a bit), we all share. Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH
  • Can no longer write it off, so it would not help the bottom line. Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME

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?

Yes or No: Print Advertising for the Holidays?

Our Brain Squad weighs in.

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Yes: 54%

  • People look for jewelry at the holiday season more than other times. — Steve & Alice Wittels, Aljan Jewelers, Mahopac, NY
  • There are still people in our area who get the local daily paper. Demo probably 45 years and up. — Cindy Fuller, Fuller Designs, Poplar Bluff, MO
  • We have a clientele that encompasses all ages. Older clients still follow and advertise using traditional methods. We still have to do everything. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • We have a weekly newspaper in our small town and we advertise every single week of the year. Ironically, our print ads are our most effective form of media. v Nicole Shannon, Keir Fine Jewelry, Whistler, BC
  • We receive co-op for some vendors. Seems more people are looking at print during the holidays. — Brenda Hefner, Oz’s Jewelers, Hickory, NC
  • Christmas catalog is the only print media that works for us. — Joe Thacker, Thacker Jewelry, Lubbock, TX
  • People still respond to print! Postcards, ads in popular local magazines. Some of our customer base is still not digital. — Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • We do very little in print. We focus more on direct mail, email blasts and social media. We feel that you just don’t get the bang for the buck with print today. — David Lindsay, Purdy’s Jewellery & Gems, Bobcaygeon, ON
  • I believe that you need to utilize all levels of marketing in today’s world. Print reaches an older generation that is not as comfortable with social media. As well. I believe that with social media at times, it feels like you are bombarded with ads. — Stacey Gemici-Saunders, Gelmici Jewellers, Edson, AB
  • I only run print ads in November and December, with the bulk in November because we are a custom shop. I cut print advertising by 70 percent this year, and our numbers are running neck-and-neck with last year. Social media brings customers to us far better than print ad ever did. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • I use it to feature a specific product (i.e., diamond stud earrings) or some other item that I may stock in anticipation of a trend for the holidays. Small ads as a reminder. — Murphy McMahon, Murphy McMahon & Co., Kalispell, MT
  • Though it has lost its effectiveness, our older customers are almost exclusively receptive to print advertising. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Even though the Houston Chronicle only has a circulation of about 7 percent of the population, that readership is a core demo for the holiday jewelry buyer: male, educated, employed, disposable income … and it provides an immediacy that no other media replicates. — Rex Solomon, Houston Jewelry, Houston, TX

No: 46%

  • Doesn’t work well in my area. — Laura Pool, Laura’s Jewelry Designs, St. Robert, MO
  • Diminishing results for last decade. Finally redistributed entire ad budget. Switched to social media. Still doing direct mail but no newspapers, shoppers guides, etc. — Robert Borneman, Diamond Jewelers, Centereach, NY
  • Too much money and no guarantee to increase sales. — Tommy Thobe, The Village Gem, Perry Hall, MD
  • I do not. I think billboards, social media and email marketing are much more cost effective, and I like the idea that you can target a specific audience. — Michael Kanoff, Michael’s Jewelers, Yardley, PA
  • Not this year; will be doing more radio. — Cathy Graves, Ellis Jewelers, Frankfort, IN
  • Digital works better for us. — Tim Sherrer, Lou’s Jewelry, Mobile, AL
  • Circulation in the newspaper business has decreased, and those reading already have most of their jewelry wardrobe. — Laurie Cusher, Hyde Park Jeweler, Hyde Park, NY
  • It stopped working. — Ken A. Apland, Apland Inc., Hood River, OR
  • I used to send direct mail. I am planning not to this year. Emails are working; why waste the dollars. — Varsenne Massoyan, Massoyan Jewelers, Old Tappan, NJ

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?

Try To Sell Wedding Bands With the Engagement Ring? Our Brain Squad Is Almost Split

Slightly more jewelers say ‘don’t do it.’

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: Do you try to broach the wedding band sale immediately after closing the engagement ring sale?

Yes: 45%

  • We offer a credit based on the amount of the engagement ring purchased towards wedding bands. We mainly let the customers know that, and if they want to look, we do. — Rick Sanders, Sanders Jewelers, Gainesville, FL
  • Actually I mention it before we close the engagement sale: “What band will we be making to match?” — Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • We offer a coupon for money off both their wedding bands when an engagement ring is sold. It does well for us, too. — Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH
  • Many years ago, I read that statistically, people don’t even buy their bands from the same store as they buy their engagement ring. From that time on, I’ve always at least planted the seed and often offer an incentive to have the clients come back. After all, you’ve already done the heavy lifting. Why not finish the job? — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • I like to show all the options available when the engagement ring is here and the customer is excited. Also, many guys don’t necessarily think about rings for themselves, and they start to have fun looking. It’s finally their turn! — Robin Lies, Burnells Creative Gold, Wichita, KS
  • They are in a happy, excited mood and still in the buying mood. — Paul Reiniger, Reiniger Jewelers, Swansea, IL
  • Why … to educate, to create satisfaction with our product quality/care/maintenance plans, to create additional ring sales and to create lifelong customers/friends and referrals. I always tell people that they want to consider the type of band that will be worn with the ring (integrated, contour, stacked … ), that guys tend to get a few alternative bands for fashion, and that we offer a Tough Love silicone band to each of them complimentary as we’re describing best care for fine jewelry. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • Always looking for the add-on sale because if you don’t ask, you will not always get it. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • If they decide on a ring that does not have a matching wedding band, then they need to start thinking about having one made right now if they are going to consider more than one ring. I have had customers come in a week before the wedding and want a band that will have to be custom-made. We can’t usually help them at that late date. Even if they don’t purchase now, they need to be thinking about a band for the guy and the girl. — Murphy McMahon, Murphy McMahon & Co., Kalispell, MT

No: 55%

  • I don’t ever pressure my customers to buy anything. I don’t like it and would never do such a thing to them. — Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME
  • Only if we are custom-making an engagement ring do we approach the band sale at that time. We have found in our area that an engagement might take a year or few, and we do not want to push the issue and lose the engagement sale. — Tim Wright, Simply Unique Jewelry Designs, Yorktown, VA
  • They are usually exhausted from the decision-making, if they were selecting as a couple. If he’s making the decision alone, HIS band is the last thing on his mind! The exception is for same-sex couples. We look for both together — it’s cool! — Debbie Fox, Fox Fine Jewelry, Ventura, CA
  • Still in shock from selling the engagement ring. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • Why ruin the moment? If it needs to be resized or they bring it in for cleaning, then we will bring the wedding bands up. — Donald Killelea, Killelea Jewelers, Midlothian, IL
  • Too pushy. If you’ve done a good job, the chances are high you’ll get an opportunity down the road. — Bob Goodman, Robert Goodman Jewelers, Zionsville, IN
  • We always let the buyer know that they will receive a discount on their bands as a reward for buying the engagement from us. When we meet the bride-to-be is when we really drive that point home. The guy has forgotten every detail as soon as his feet hit the curb. We feel it’s better to let him get out of the store feeling excited about what he’s about to do and follow up with the bride-to-be a few weeks later. We have over 90 percent conversion on wedding band sales to clients who bought their engagement from us. — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
  • I should. I get lazy. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • Relationships take time to form and evolve. Things should happen in gradual steps. First maybe the engagement ring, next would be a birthday or holiday gift. I should also see her a few times for a cleaning where we can talk about the wedding planning process and than bring up wedding bands, wedding gifts and something borrowed. — Christopher Sarraf, Nuha Jewelers, Plainview, NY

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?

Discounts For Cash Payments? 6 Out of 10 Brain Squad Members Say Yes

Most jewelers will offer at least a small discount for dollars.

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Yes: 60%

  • If cash, the discount can be 4 percent, but usually only offered if the customer keeps insisting on a discount. — Spencer K., Sheridan, WY
  • 3 percent. It’s what I would pay to run a credit card. — Kelly J., Sammamish, WA
  • No matter how low I go on a sale, I always leave 2-4 percent for a credit card. If a client offers cash (or a check), I will give them 1-3 percent off, depending on the item. The credit card companies have created a truly dependent society. Everyone uses them for every purchase. Clients do not even KNOW that there is a fee to the vendor! We receive our 1099 every year from Mastercard/Visa and we could pay another employee a full salary with what we pay them just to accept cards. It’s crazy and nobody even knows! — Mark S., Weymouth, MA
  • Courtesy 10 percent if asked for. — Gordon L., Santa Fe, NM
  • With repeat customers, I like to offer them a discount as an incentive to keep coming back. — James S., McMinnville, TN
  • Usually 10-15 percent, if at all. Not too often, but some customers are insistent, and it’s not usually the millennials. — Cathy M., Austin, TX
  • If they ask, I’ll give them up to 20 percent off of in-case items, never any discount for custom or repairs. — David P., Durham, NC
  • Depends on how often the customer buys from me and how long I’ve had the piece. Maybe 30 percent off. I have a month-long clearance in September, which most of my customers wait for. — Laura P., St. Robert, MO
  • 2-5 percent. I’d rather give it to my customers than the credit card company. — David E., Tacoma, WA
  • I offer my credit card discount if someone is haggling and only for dollars. A check will not do. — Paula D., Asheville, NC
  • When someone negotiates in cash, I am happy to offer them the 3 percent discount for what it would cost me in credit card fees. However, I always respond to them by saying, “I look terrible in orange” (meaning going to jail in an orange jumpsuit), and we pause and chuckle a moment, and then I further explain that I will still be giving you a receipt for this purchase, on which I will need to include sales tax. Reminding them that sales tax is “collected” for our state … and I am obligated to collect it. It is NOT my money. Most of the time, they understand and are grateful for the additional 3 percent. — Rita W., Rocky Mount, NC
  • 20-30 percent. No choice. Everything is available everywhere for cheaper. — Christopher S., Plainview, NY
  • The discount depends when I purchased the item and at what gold market I paid. Some items will get a 30-35 percent savings. — Anonymous

No: 40%

  • The customers who are offering cash are usually expecting big discounts for cash, and that is not our business model. It all goes in the register and on the books, so our savings are less than 2 percent, so they usually plunk down a card. — Alan L., Cape May, NJ
  • We stick with one price for everyone … cash, charge, rich or poor, frequent flier or new customer. Our egalitarian mindset may cost us a sale every so often, but in the long run, our clients have learned that we are not desperate and that they receive the best value. “You can get money anywhere, but this one-of-a-kind piece … only here. Sorry, we don’t discount.” — Steven W., Chatham, MA
  • In order to offer a discount, you need to add dollars to the price up front. When you do this, where do you stop and who do you offer this to? It is kinda like a stripper: they have to put on the garments before they can remove them. I know that this comparison is crude, but think about it and determine what kind of business person you want to be. My pricing scheme is to charge all customers the same and not play favorites. I know that I lose some customers because I don’t give discounts, but I have very loyal customers that would abandon me if I were to offer discounts. If you explain that you price your product correctly to start with, most customers understand. — Ed M., Brainerd, MN
  • Never. Our credit card merchant agreements state that it is against the contracts to offer a discount for a payment that is other than having the customer use the respective credit card. Additionally, our bank charges our company a cash handling charge and we have to fill out a lot of paperwork when people pay with cash. Bottom line: the price is what it is. — Andrea R., El Dorado Hills, CA

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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