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Manager's To Do

Make the Most of Christmas with This December To-Do List

See how you can remain on the game while enjoying the Christmas season.

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Dec. 3-9

OPERATIONS Starting today, make it a rule: Everyone must greet each other with a cheery “Merry Christmas” (or, yes, “Happy Holidays,” if that’s a better fit) every morning. When all is said and done, you sell joy and you and your staff’s good moods will determine much of your success.

HUMAN RESOURCES Take care of your team, says Kent Bagnall, owner of Kent Jewelry of Rolla, MO. “Make sure all inventory is correctly marked and that staff is kept up to date and properly trained for the holiday rush. I make a special effort to ensure that they take care of their health during the holiday season.”

MANAGEMENT Start holding short morning meetings. To ensure they stay brief, insist everyone stand. Update staff on things like average sale, which pieces to show first, repair deadlines, any ads you’re running and what’s being highlighted in your window cases.

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Dec. 10-16

DISPLAYS Tweak your window displays. Move things around and highlight different categories in your windows (especially your key price point jewelry). To window shoppers, it sends the message that you have a wide range of merchandise that is moving quickly.

INVENTORY Watch your reports like a hawk. Start making small markdowns on slower selling items to help clear case space for bestselling items during the last two weeks of the holiday season. And stay on top of your vendors. Timely delivery is critical right now.

INVENTORY Be sure to promote your store’s gift cards this month. One idea to make it an easier sell: Add 10 to 20 percent cash value to any gift card you sell.

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GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

Dec. 17-23

SPIFFS Tack up envelopes on your bulletin board with labels like “Most Add-Ons” and “Highest-Value Sale.” Day’s winner gets the envelope and the prize inside.

SOCIAL MEDIA If you haven’t seen your social network “fans” in the store yet, why not urge them to come in early for special VIP hours?

OPERATIONS Dec. 22, the final Saturday before Christmas, may well be the biggest shopping day of the year. Go over your plans for staffing, stock and hours.

Dec. 24-30

INVENTORY It’s return season. Accept those painful returns with a big smile. If you handle the returns as well as you handled the sales, those customers will inevitably return.

CRM Begin entering all that customer data you collected in the last few weeks. You did have a system in place to collect those all-important email addresses, right?

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MANAGEMENT Holding an end-of-season staff party? Consider joining up with someone else in your strip mall. It will help save costs and build potentially useful relationships.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Considering Store Layout, Guilt-Easing Gift Ideas, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for November

And here’s a key scheduling tip for your holiday email marketing.

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Nov 3-9

STORE LAYOUT Look out for store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. Fixtures that restrict visibility through the space kill the “spirit” of a store and the impulse to buy.

INVENTORY Investigate vendor spiffs. Your suppliers want their lines to succeed this season, so take advantage of the incentives they offer.

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales
Jimmy Degroot

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

Video: How to Ask for Referrals Without Being Too Pushy
Jimmy Degroot

Video: How to Ask for Referrals Without Being Too Pushy

Video: How to Get People to Buy Jewelry From You Now Instead of ‘Someday’
Headlines

Video: How to Get People to Buy Jewelry From You Now Instead of ‘Someday’

ONLINE Mobile devices are expected to drive about 70 percent of all Christmas-related retail traffic this year. Test your website and any apps to ensure the customer experience on tablets and phones is working as well as on desktops. It often doesn’t.

Nov 10-16

MARKETING Post your advertising schedule in the back room. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what promotions will run when.

SALES Find “guilt-easing” gift ideas to go with gift cards or certificates. For bigger certificate amounts, have a “real” gift — like Belgian chocolates or a bottle of wine — close at hand that you can bundle in free.

Nov 17-23

MARKETING With only four weeks to go until Christmas, step up your email campaigns to twice per week. Schedule campaigns on Thursdays or Fridays to stimulate purchases over the weekend, when conversion rates typically peak.

MERCHANDISING Impulse buys can come in many price ranges and store locations. Rethink the way you normally position these items.

STAFF Show your team how much you appreciate their efforts. Take them out for an activity or nice meal. Team-building will make it easier to get through the weeks ahead.

Nov 24-30

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

OPERATIONS Starting today, hold a short staff meeting every morning, keeping everyone informed on progress. Single out a separate item each day and discuss the best way to present it. Keep the meetings short and make sure they end on an upbeat note.

TRAINING Coach your associates to steer more. Urge them to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings. Advise them to keep the number of recommendations limited.

MANAGEMENT You should now be in full holiday-season mode. For last-minute tips and promotional ideas, go to your own INSTORE archives (or our past issues at instoremag.com/digimag).

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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show twenty questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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