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WHILE SOME RETAIL jewelers launch their businesses with a clear focus, others need time to figure out their best path for success over time.

Once you do decide to specialize and want to become the bridal destination, the colored gemstone expert or the place for repairs in your area, it makes sense to relaunch the business and to use that as the opening salvo in all of your marketing. It gives new people a reason to come to your store, but it won’t alienate current core clients, who will continue to visit.

Update your website, make sure your SEO is targeting the right demographics and prepare for a major social media campaign.

In short, shout your specialty news from the hilltops, but then back up that announcement by delivering the knowledge and customer service prowess to sell yourself as the expert.

Specialists say if handled correctly, the potential for success is tremendous.

Rex Solomon, who has specialized in buying gold and jewelry over the counter since the Great Recession with enviable results, says there is nothing an independent jeweler can do to better control their financial future than buying from the public. In 2020, his specialization came through again for him and carried the business through pandemic shutdowns like an unsinkable life raft in stormy seas.

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Jeremy Auslander owns Roxbury Jewelry in Los Angeles, a by-appointment luxury diamond and jewelry firm specializing in engagement rings and fine jewelry. His marketing message is that working one on one with an expert in a pressure-free, private, luxury office is the way diamond and jewelry buying should be done.

“Do not be a jack of all trades,” he says. “Be an expert in one thing. Tell your story, reach out to people who are interested in what you do specifically. It’s all a numbers game.”

Cathy Miller of Caleesi Designs Jewelers in Austin says one-of-a-kind design is her specialty, and it’s something non-custom jewelers just can’t compete with. “My advice? Find what you do the BEST and get the word out in every way possible.”

Michael Kanoff, owner of Michael’s Jewelers in Yardley, PA, believes his bridal specialty business, supported by a sustained investment in advertising, saved him from closing in 2020 due to COVID-19. He devotes an amazing 25 percent of revenues to marketing efforts. The message he wants to get out is that “We’re different. We’re unique. We’re custom. That’s us. No compromises. We’re going to build her dream ring and it will stand out from the crowd.”

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Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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