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Bobby Wilkerson: It’s OK to Admit Your Market Sensitivity

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Closing out goods is not a threat to your brand identity. It’s an admission to your customers that you’re hurting too. And that’s OK.

 

[dropcap cap=I]t didn’t take much to make lots of money in the past few years. You could throw cash at the stock market without tracking trends. Real estate prices seemed destined to rise forever. [/dropcap]

Now, we find ourselves facing a challenging time along with our counterparts in almost all areas of commerce. The issues are both obvious and obscure. The jewelry industry will continue to perform on two levels: the very modest end of the market and the very highest end. It’s the middle market that will be reactionary and cautious.

Depending on whom you listen to, we’re either in for a soft landing or an unprecedented crash.

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Perhaps the true answer lies in the middle, as most true answers do.

The uncertainty is in the price of gas and oil, the stock market’s ability to recover and the willingness of consumers to accept personal debt as a way of life.

Wealthier baby boomers — just over 30 percent of all Americans — are still expected to fuel recordbreaking demand for jewelry and other luxury items in the next decade. Further, Generation X-ers who had accumulated wealth from the stock market (and held on to some of it) could also generate notable demand for jewelry. Events that spur jewelry sales won’t stop. People will still get engaged, married, have anniversaries, birthdays. And even in a recession, people continue to give gifts.

This is a good time for reflection. Jewelers have an opportunity to begin the process of moving out inventory that has not turned. But, to do this, retail jewelers have to be realistic that closing out goods is not a threat to your brand identity — rather an admission that you want customers to take advantage of outrageous pricing during a time when they will appreciate every effort you make toward them.

Show the customer your vulnerability and sensitivity to the marketplace by reducing the cost of goods and sharing in the pain of the current conditions.

As strange as this sounds, now is the time to tell the customer, “We’re in this together.”

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[smalltext]Bobby Wilkerson is president of Wilkerson and Associates, a jewelry marketing event company. Contact him at bw@bwsi.biz.[/smalltext]

 

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When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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Commentary: The Business

Bobby Wilkerson: It’s OK to Admit Your Market Sensitivity

Published

on

Closing out goods is not a threat to your brand identity. It’s an admission to your customers that you’re hurting too. And that’s OK.

 

[dropcap cap=I]t didn’t take much to make lots of money in the past few years. You could throw cash at the stock market without tracking trends. Real estate prices seemed destined to rise forever. [/dropcap]

Now, we find ourselves facing a challenging time along with our counterparts in almost all areas of commerce. The issues are both obvious and obscure. The jewelry industry will continue to perform on two levels: the very modest end of the market and the very highest end. It’s the middle market that will be reactionary and cautious.

Advertisement

Depending on whom you listen to, we’re either in for a soft landing or an unprecedented crash.

Perhaps the true answer lies in the middle, as most true answers do.

The uncertainty is in the price of gas and oil, the stock market’s ability to recover and the willingness of consumers to accept personal debt as a way of life.

Wealthier baby boomers — just over 30 percent of all Americans — are still expected to fuel recordbreaking demand for jewelry and other luxury items in the next decade. Further, Generation X-ers who had accumulated wealth from the stock market (and held on to some of it) could also generate notable demand for jewelry. Events that spur jewelry sales won’t stop. People will still get engaged, married, have anniversaries, birthdays. And even in a recession, people continue to give gifts.

This is a good time for reflection. Jewelers have an opportunity to begin the process of moving out inventory that has not turned. But, to do this, retail jewelers have to be realistic that closing out goods is not a threat to your brand identity — rather an admission that you want customers to take advantage of outrageous pricing during a time when they will appreciate every effort you make toward them.

Show the customer your vulnerability and sensitivity to the marketplace by reducing the cost of goods and sharing in the pain of the current conditions.

Advertisement

As strange as this sounds, now is the time to tell the customer, “We’re in this together.”

[smalltext]Bobby Wilkerson is president of Wilkerson and Associates, a jewelry marketing event company. Contact him at bw@bwsi.biz.[/smalltext]

 

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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