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J. Shea Jewelers

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ABILENE, TX

J. Shea Jewelers

[dropcap cap=P]roblems don’t seem to exist in the world of 31-year-old Jeremy Shea Leech. Only opportunities. Whether it’s the recession, gold’s inflationary spiral, his youthful looks (great for marketing CAD/CAM) or his total lack of experience, connections and capital when he started, everything has a plus side if you only look hard enough. “If it wasn’t for my naiveté I might never have done this,” he explains. [/dropcap]

CUSTOMERS EVERYWHERE: Of all the “challenges,” his approach to competition might seem the hardest to understand. Open a jewelry business in Abilene and Leech is likely to be at your doorstop with a warm welcome and a business card. The approach has seen him pick up watch-battery customers from Walmart (which won’t service customers who bought their watch elsewhere), custom-job clients from James Avery who can’t wait for its six-week turnaround time and work from pawn shops, which often need repairs or appraisals.

10,000 CLIENTS: By beating the sidewalk, keeping an open mind and following up on every first-time customer with a card or phone call, Leech has built up a database of 10,000 clients in a little over 10 years. “Come in the store a customer and leave a friend. That’s my goal.”

PERSONALITY: It’s a personality-centered approach that’s driven impressive growth. Since it opened in 1999, his store has enjoyed average annual sales growth of 17 percent a year, even during the recession. This year, from a bigger base, he expects to grow 15 percent to $450,000. “Business comes down to people skills and breaking down barriers,” says Leech, who keeps in touch with his customers through events such as barbecues and phone chats.

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COLUMN: The single biggest customer builder, however, has been a column he writes in the local paper. “It has nothing to do with the business. Just some life lessons. I’ve written about my grandmother’s death, when I was robbed. I let people know I am a human, that we all have our crosses to bear. It’s amazing how many customers have come in the door because of something they read.”

[span class=note]This story is from the October 2010 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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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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J. Shea Jewelers

Published

on

ABILENE, TX

J. Shea Jewelers

[dropcap cap=P]roblems don’t seem to exist in the world of 31-year-old Jeremy Shea Leech. Only opportunities. Whether it’s the recession, gold’s inflationary spiral, his youthful looks (great for marketing CAD/CAM) or his total lack of experience, connections and capital when he started, everything has a plus side if you only look hard enough. “If it wasn’t for my naiveté I might never have done this,” he explains. [/dropcap]

CUSTOMERS EVERYWHERE: Of all the “challenges,” his approach to competition might seem the hardest to understand. Open a jewelry business in Abilene and Leech is likely to be at your doorstop with a warm welcome and a business card. The approach has seen him pick up watch-battery customers from Walmart (which won’t service customers who bought their watch elsewhere), custom-job clients from James Avery who can’t wait for its six-week turnaround time and work from pawn shops, which often need repairs or appraisals.

10,000 CLIENTS: By beating the sidewalk, keeping an open mind and following up on every first-time customer with a card or phone call, Leech has built up a database of 10,000 clients in a little over 10 years. “Come in the store a customer and leave a friend. That’s my goal.”

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PERSONALITY: It’s a personality-centered approach that’s driven impressive growth. Since it opened in 1999, his store has enjoyed average annual sales growth of 17 percent a year, even during the recession. This year, from a bigger base, he expects to grow 15 percent to $450,000. “Business comes down to people skills and breaking down barriers,” says Leech, who keeps in touch with his customers through events such as barbecues and phone chats.

COLUMN: The single biggest customer builder, however, has been a column he writes in the local paper. “It has nothing to do with the business. Just some life lessons. I’ve written about my grandmother’s death, when I was robbed. I let people know I am a human, that we all have our crosses to bear. It’s amazing how many customers have come in the door because of something they read.”

[span class=note]This story is from the October 2010 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | C. Aaron Peñaloza Jewelers

Wilkerson Paves the Way for the Future

After serving the San Antonio, Texas community for decades, C. Aaron Peñaloza Jewelers closed its doors earlier this year. Aaron and Mary Peñaloza, the store’s owners, chose Wilkerson to handle their retirement sale. “In the first six days, we did six months’ worth of business,” says Aaron. “In the first three weeks, we did a year’s worth of business.” Mary Peñaloza says Wilkerson’s ability to tailor the sale to their store’s requirements really made it all so much easier. “They are professionals,” she says. “They know what they’re doing. They have a plan, but they will listen to you and adjust that plan to your needs.”

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