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Manager's To Do

Manager’s To Do For Jewelers: February 2016

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Week 1 / FEB. 1-6

Technology Showcase popular Valentine items on your homepage, with a special emphasis on items that are exclusive to your store.

Display Starting with your V-Day displays, take a photo of each case the first of every month. With a history of it, you’ll know what Valentine’s Day 2016 looked like when it comes around to doing the display for 2017.

Strategy Visit your competitors’ stores and websites, subscribe to their newsletters, and assign someone on staff to create a scrapbook of their ads. You’ll be able to identify which areas to compete in and how to differentiate your store.

Week 2 / FEB. 8-13

Strategy Feb. 14 falls on a Sunday in 2016, leading to last-minute panic-buyers. Prepare a list of popular items at different price points. Review your “last-minute panic-buying” strategy and stock levels.

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Operations The No. 1 complaint customers have about salespeople is a lack of follow-up. Create a follow-up system and let your customers know you will always be there.

Staff You may not need new people now but keep a list of candidates.

Marketing Email blast: “Three days left ’til Valentine’s Day!” List your top 10 ideas for gifts.

Week 3 / FEB. 15-20

Finances If your fiscal year ends in December, you should finalize your financial statements by Feb. 29. Make an appointment to see your CPA.

Marketing Identify your top 1,000 customers and make yearlong plans targeting them. If you don’t have birthday and anniversary data, start thinking of ways to get it.

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Store If florists have any cheap stock left over from Valentine’s, you could get a jump on spring with fresh flowers in the store.

Marketing Adjust case content with an eye toward Mother’s Day and grad season. And don’t forget self purchasers — they buy throughout the year.

Marketing Create a yearlong calendar for events and promos: Bridal event for the fall, designer trunk show for summer, loose diamond event, holiday sale.

Finances If you haven’t updated your props and fixtures for five years, they’re sure to be showing their age. Amortize and depreciate fixtures and props as you do other equipment. Set a budget and schedule to acquire new gear.

Week 4 / FEB. 22-27

Inventory Buying season is on the way: Take a hard look at your inventory. Weed out underperformers and identify any new category trends. Set targets and support plans for your emerging inventory stars.

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Finances Don’t have time to negotiate? Billcutterz.com will do it for you. It haggles utility, Internet, cable, cellphone and trash bills for no starter fee. You and the site split the savings 50-50.

Technology Still not using bar code technology? Get with it. The same goes for all the other under-utilized functions on your POS system.

Operations Conduct an annual review of your property insurance policies to ensure they represent today’s prices.

Data Security It’s the time of year to back up all customer and store data and other important files.

This article originally appeared in the February 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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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.

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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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