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In the End

Off The Edge

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THIS MONTH’S lead feature on ?Edgecraft? provides you with some truly outlandish ideas on how to make your store different. In fact, some of the ideas presented are so outlandish that In the End’s usual approach of offering a ?comedy? take on one of the current issue’s key features … well, pales in comparison. The fact is … you could build any one of these stores (of course, you’d probably need a few adjustments). And you might be successful. And hey … isn’t that what makes retail such a glorious business?  

DIVA!

SUMMARY IN A SENTENCE: If only for an hour, you too can live life exactly like J-Lo, Mariah, Christina, and Britney.  

WHAT’S SOLD: Medium-grade jewelry, of dubious taste, at wildly exorbitant prices. 

INSIDE THE STORE: Enter through a pair of featureless steel doors. A limousine drives you down a long narrow corridor. You exit the vehicle to a blinding wall flashbulbs and the sound of a roaring crowd. Instantly, you are surrounded by a crowd of at least five store employees. These will cluster tightly around you from the moment you enter the door, and remain with you to the moment you leave. They refer to you always as ?Miss ? saying, for example, ?Is there anything I can get you, Miss (Your Last Name)?? or ?Am I allowed to address you directly, Miss (Your Last Name)?? Products will continually be pushed at you, as your ?entourage? murmurs audibly about how ?hot? you look in each. You’re also welcome to have temper tantrums, and insult or ignore any store employee as much as you like. In fact, by their flinching and cringing demeanor, it appears you are expected to do so. So, do so. And don’t think twice ? because it’s all about you. It’s your day to spend a lot of money and feel super … or at least superior.  

SYNERGY: Diva Massage … face, feet and ego.  

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BEDROCK

SUMMARY IN A SENTENCE: It’s your modern stone-aged jewelry shop.  

WHAT’S SOLD: Giant ? and we do mean giant ? crystal jewelry. And of course, those perennial favorites, Flintstone-sized pearls. INSIDE THE STORE: Primary design materials: stone, bone and bubbling lava. You enter through an archway of dinosaur ribs. All Bedrock’s female and male employees are dressed, respectively, in form-fitting saber-tooth tiger pelts and wooly mammoth skins. Male employees carry giant wooden clubs, which are a useful deterrent to potential shoplifters. (Although the fact that the average necklace from Bedrock will weigh 32 pounds makes shoplifting unlikely.) Another highlight will occur after-hours, when Bedrock’s maintenance staff emerges and cleans the store with elephant vacuum cleaners.  

SYNERGY: Cleary, there is huge restaurant potential here. Given the chance, what American baby-boomer who would turn down the opportunity to eat a big, juicy brontosaurus burger?  

ENDLESS LOVE

SUMMARY IN A SENTENCE: Teenage girls across America are shrieking, ?Oh my God! I love this store so much!!!?  

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WHAT’S SOLD: Friendship rings, necklaces, and even the occasional engagement ring (parental consent required). Every item in the store retails for $99 or less, includes a heart somewhere in its design, and features a diamond so small that you’ll have to take the salesperson’s word for it that it even exists.  

INSIDE THE STORE: Pink walls. Throw pillows. On the store’s video monitors, scenes from the most romantic TV shows and movies, like, ever! ? The O.C., American Pies 1 through 3, and anything featuring Orlando Bloom (who, I’m sorry, is smokin’ hot!). Is this an awesome store or what? Hell-o? The store’s display cases contain cute stuffed bears wearing ?Endless Love? jewelry. (Stuffed bears are sold separately but, at least if couples are shopping together, girls will almost always convince their boys to buy the bear by pinching his arm really hard.) Salespeople at Endless Love are trained to react to any buying objections from male customers by shrieking ?That is so not fair!? and pouting (with lots of foot-stamping) until the objection disappears. The store has no business cards ? instead, employees write the store’s phone number on their customers’ arms.  

SYNERGY: ?Endless Love? training bras; ?Endless Love? pimple cream.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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