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How Will Jewelers Change How They Operate Post-Pandemic? Here’s What Our Brain Squad Said

E-commerce, a cash reserve and social media topped concerns.

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  • We ended up adding e-commerce and free shipping/local delivery as an option. This happened due to the pandemic closing our doors. Looking forward, I’d say we are optimized and have a basic knowledge of what it would take to keep business running in the case of a future crisis. — Morgan Bartel, Susann’s Custom Jewelers, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Experienced a range of engagement with our staff while closed, from stay-cationing to completing projects that had been difficult to do while open. We need to develop a plan providing structure and expectations for these times. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • Definitely have upped the amount we are saving for “rainy days.” 10 percent of daily proceeds now go into the “rainy day savings”! We also were in the process of improving our e-commerce capabilities, that will absolutely continue! We added Podium Pay and Shopify e-commerce to the website. We can now take money “touchless” in multiple ways. — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
  • We now spend 12 hours a day pivoting to more online sales, especially for items under $100. — Shahraz Kassam, Shamin Jewellers, Surrey, BC
  • Manufacturing companies and suppliers need to find a way to stay open to ship. — Laura Pool, Laura’s Jewelry Designs, St. Robert, MO
  • Eliminating staff members that do not generate revenue. — Jill Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL
  • Inventory levels for sure. I feel like I have overbought in Vegas the past two or three years, and I have a surge of inventory. 2019 was the year of custom jobs and special orders, so it really didn’t help my stock move. At least I’m locked and loaded for a year when the jewelry shows got canceled. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • Heavy overhead and inventory. Two big problems. Not sure the solution as of yet. — Chad Elliott Coogan, Gems of La Costa, Carlsbad, CA
  • Taking it slow on buying inventory and advertising. Putting money into social media and staff training and motivation. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • After being closed for two months, we need time to analyze our client behavior. The customers will teach us all. — Don Unwin, Sterling Jewelers, Wethersfield, CT
  • Security. We are getting quotes on adding security film to our exterior glass or possibly installing glass that is bulletproof. We have also spent a lot of time improving our web presence and e-commerce store in the past three months. — Jennifer Hornik Johnson, Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT
  • There are a large percentage of people that are still not comfortable in coming out and shopping. I want to figure out how I can advertise or market to that group. — Gene Poole, Hudson-Poole Jewelers, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Security!! We were cased by people from out of state twice in the midst of this; we are being much more cautious and observant. — Christine Patton, Diamonds & Gold, Green Bay, WI
  • Having inventory listed on our website. The ability to sell remotely is more important than ever. Great photography, lots of products well organized and displayed on our website will help customers see what we have. We have always made a point to do this, but now it is a priority. Items come in, they get put into the system, photographed, uploaded to the website and social media, then either put in the display case or safe, but now the item can be seen! — Jeremy Auslander, Roxbury Jewelry, Los Angeles, CA
  • We need to get totally out of debt. — Christine Matlack, E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA
  • Social media: We need to do more call to action to be able to sell if we can’t open the doors. We are taking classes and doing more research to be more effective. — Valerie Goodwin, Vaughan’s Jewelry, Edenton, NC
  • We need to be more careful with our reserve finances just in case we are shut down by the government again. In this political climate, anything is possible. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • I need to keep from spending too much so I don’t get caught with a lot of bills I can’t meet in a crisis. — Robin Laughlin, Wiford Jeweler, Sidney, OH
  • Undoubtedly our social media presence. We are updating our website (again) and hiring out the management of Facebook and Instagram. We had a very positive response to appointment only visits and have changed our business hours to offer more opportunities without cutting into our free time. — Andrew Russakoff, Russakoff Jewelers, Skowhegan, ME

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 [email protected].

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