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Jewelers Report Mixed Feelings on Price Promotions Now

A quarter of those surveyed do have plans for sales or special offers.



INSTORE’S LATEST BRAIN Squad about COVID-19 issues impacting jewelers’ businesses revealed that only about a quarter of responders are planning price-based promotions as they reopen stores. In particular, they mentioned that online promotions such as Facebook Live have been successful and they’d like to continue that strategy going forward. Forty two percent need more time to analyze market conditions. Another 32 percent do not plan to, either because they consider sales to be tone deaf right now, or they don’t believe in discounting at any time. A total of 230 owners and managers of independent jewelry stores in North America responded to this survey.

Jewelers Report Mixed Feelings on Price Promotions Now

Yes: 26%

  • Demand didn’t really dip too badly during the stay-at-home order. We stayed pretty busy with the curbside pickup. We also did live sales and silent auctions on Facebook to help bring in money. We offered lower prices on those events. We plan on continuing with the Facebook live sales since they did so well. — Elysia Demers, Barnhadt Jewelers, Spencer, NC
  • We created a sale case offering 25 percent off anything in that particular case. It could be items that have been in understock for years or it could have been a design I bought last year that didn’t get much traction; maybe it will at 25 percent off. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • We did $30 gift bags for Mother’s Day that were a sensational hit! Now we’re assembling GRAD BAGS, hoping this too will drive traffic to our website. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • We began doing Facebook Live sales and are selling 50 percent or more of featured items each time! — Morgan Bartel, Susann’s Custom Jewelers, Corpus Christi, TX
  • I lowered prices immediately after the announced stay at home protocol. I added a 20 percent discount for Mother’s Day. I have been posting on social media, “Make me an offer” as if the world is ending, but wasn’t really able to increase sales. Mother’s Day was good, and we are still seeing plenty of action in engagement rings and wedding bands. But I’m finding it very hard to close diamond sales without the client seeing the diamond first. — Jeremy Auslander, Roxbury Jewelry, Los Angeles
  • We are mailing discount coupons to our 3,000 best customers. — Cathy Graves, Ellis Jewelers, Frankfort, IN

No: 32%

  • We do not ever discount. — Eve J. Alfille, Eve. J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL
  • Have not needed to, because we have been incredibly busy. May 2020 is up dramatically over May 2019. Business is very strong. Other than supplying and wearing masks it seems pretty much like back to normal. we have very few affected in our county – that makes a difference. — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • I think running a sale is a bad idea right now. The price of product is not what has prevented business these last few months. Discounting items will only devalue your offerings. — Jennifer Hornik Johnson, Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT
  • Now is not a time for a store wide sale. This is a time to reinforce relationships and care and if needed work out pricing one client at a time. — David Blitt, Troy Shoppe Jewellers, Calgary, AB
  • Too many stores are on a race to the bottom. All of the loss leader promotions, selling at 5 percent over cost, isn’t the way to build a loyal customer base and maintain it. — Heather Wahl, R.C. Wahl Jewelers, Des Plaines, IL

Remains to Be Seen: 42%

  • Can you imagine the issues with social distancing during a major sale? I have thought about the possibility and am wondering when these sales will start and how many of them will happen and will they be successful. I have resources to last a couple of months and then will have to evaluate the business climate. — Ed Menk, E.L. Menk, Jewelers, Brainerd, MN

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



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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