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On Retail: Tell the Story of Your Store

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On Retail: Tell the Story of Your Store

BY JUSTIN BORTZ

Published in the December 2012 issue.

Find your store’s story
and success finds you.

My jewelry store experienced a 90 percent increase in sales from 2010 to 2011. I attribute that extraordinary leap to two primary changes: One, I hired a business coach, and two, I began to tell a story.

Here are three methods I use to tell my customers a story.

1Your content goes here! A brochure that tells your entire story. A customer of mine is a storyteller, and she had the idea to create a unique brochure.

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The first part contains my life story, interwoven with my unfolding career as a jewelry designer, family man and spiritual seeker. Also, there are lovely black and white shots of me and my family. This was a very personal and emotional brochure. Next are pages with copy of some of my best sketches, then photographs of finished work, and finally a credits page to all the key contributors. 40 pages in all!

Customers have been inspired by this booklet and have gotten to know me at a much more rapid rate than ever before.

2 Your store itself. Fragrance, décor, music and amenities! Every morning before opening I burn a type of incense called Holy Cat. It has a cinnamon-based scent, and is immediately calming. I strike up my surround sound system, and it plays a beautiful buffet of music, from Boz Scaggs, to Al Dimeola, to Serge Gainsbourg, to Burt Bacharach. Music is my true love, and I pride myself on what is playing in the store for my customers to enjoy. I offer a cappuccino to every customer and have wine and cheese Wednesdays from 4 to 6.

My store’s décor is comfortable and welcoming, featuring an inventory that consists of 20 percent of my own designs and the rest unique selections from two main suppliers. Customers tell me my store has a unique selection not found in others and they feel at ease in the store’s great vibe — it encompasses all the senses!

Through the distinct world created within my store, individuals are encouraged to find their own sense of style. I offer my customers a relationship and an experience, and they relay that “story” to their friends and colleagues!

3 The works of local artists. Every two months, I introduce a new artist and feature his or her work in the store. It lends a helping hand to local artists, while keeping the interior of the store fresh, new and unexpected. Through our website, emails via Constant Contact and our opening night celebration, we introduce the artist to the local community and invite people to experience the fine artwork. The work of each artist changes the story of my store with unexpected twists and turns and adds a dose mystery and suspense.

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Justin Bortz owns Justin Bortz Jewelers and
Midnight Swan Designs in West Reading, PA.

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