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Eileen McClelland

Four “Cool” Ideas To Heat Up Your Sales This Summer



Wondering what to do to generate some excitement in and around your business through the long, hot summer months?

Here are a few ideas from contestants in this year’s America’s Coolest Stores’ contest. (Winners of the contest will be announced on INSTOREMAG.COM on July 28 and published in INSTORE’s August issue.)

HELP CONSERVE RESOURCES: In response to the drought and watering restrictions in California, Fox Fine Jewelry in Ventura, CA, teaming up with a local radio station, has created a “Golden Lawn” contest to spread the word about water conservation. People bringing in a picture of their “golden,” rather than green lawn, are entered into a drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree at Fox, to be given away during an event featuring conservation vendors on Aug. 29. Concurrently, Cumulus Radio’s “the Vibe” is running a “Gold is the New Green contest in which people who post signs in their yard and post photos on Facebook qualify for prizes.

THROW A PARTY: At Wixon Jewelers in Minneapolis, store events always deliver signature cocktails and a crowd-drawing surprise. Their garden party, for example, featured human garden statues, painted white — so convincing, they caused a few spilled drinks when they moved.

ATTRACT ATTENTION: BVW Jewelers of Reno, NV, owns a 1952 GMC pickup, with the store’s logo on it, which is used to attract attention. “We keep a stack of business cards in it, and pass them out like candy,” says owner Britten Wolf. “Wherever we drive it people follow; it’s a great conversation starter and quite often, we see them in the store at a later date.” They also plan to enter the truck in Hot August Nights, the region’s largest special event, which brings in over 6,000 registered classic cars and attracts more than 100,000 attendees.

TRAVEL FOR INSPIRATION: “We want everyone who passes through our doors to see something and think, `Wow! I’ve never seen that before!’ “ says Rachel Meyering, owner of Sparkles Fine Jewelry in Chicago. In March 2014, Meyering and her staff traveled to the HKTDC Show in Hong Kong, where they found remarkable products with incredible prices, and stocked up on unusual gemstones for use in custom pieces. In the process they were inspired by the architecture, landscape and people of Hong Kong. “This adventure solidified and reinforced a lesson that we continue to learn; a philosophy we live and work by: You never know what lies ahead of you, but keep moving forward with passion and an open mind, and only good will come of it,” Meyering says.




She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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