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Holiday Ideas: Here’s the Secret to Compelling Window Displays for the Holidays

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(Our November print issue includes a feature story detailing “10 Steps to Last-Minute Holiday Success.” Today we bring you an excerpt explaining one of those steps: creating useful window displays.)


The fabulous high-concept windows at Onyx II Fine Jewelers in Watertown, CT, helped the shop win Cool Store acclaim for 2016. The secret to creating compelling windows is to include elements that draw attention to your jewelry in ways that a showcase can’t.

Brand manager James Michael Murphy notes that while jewelry is beautiful, it’s far too small and detailed to attract people passing by in their cars. For 2015, the Onyx II “Yuletide Treasures”-themed window featured an electric fireplace, complete with an exterior speaker playing a crackling fire sound, plus beautiful trees in the shop’s theme colors and stockings overflowing with Onyx gift-wrapped goodies.

French’s Jewellery’s Laurelle Giesbrecht has always had an eye for display, and at the end of every day, she pauses to examine how the store looks. While display comes naturally to her, she knows that’s not always true of her staff.

So when she sees an area of her store that needs attention, she takes a “before” picture, spruces up the problem area, and then takes an “after” picture. She displays the photos on a board for her staff titled “This is how we do this.”

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Says Giesbrecht: “It’s worth a thousand words.”

LEFT: Exceptional framing and unusual colors mark Onyx displays.
RIGHT: A French’s display uses real evergreen trimmings.

 

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For 25 years, Stafford Jewelers of Cincinnati, Ohio, was THE place to go for special gifts, engagement diamonds, high-end Swiss watch brands — in other words, the crème de la crème of fine jewelry. But this summer, the Stafford family was ready to retire. So, they chose Wilkerson to help them close up shop. “One of the biggest concerns was having the sale in the middle of COVID,” says Director of Stores Michelle Randle. Wilkerson gave the Stafford team plenty of ideas as well as safety guidelines, which they closely followed. “All of the employees felt safe, the customers coming in the door felt safe and we did a lot of business,” says Randle. How much business? “The inventory flew,” she says. Translation: They sold millions and millions of dollars-worth of merchandise. Randle calls it, “an incredible experience.” Would she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers who are thinking of thinning their inventories or retiring? “Everyone got more than what they expected out of the sale. You have to hire Wilkerson. They’re amazing.”

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