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Out of Your Control? Our Brain Squad Tells What Could Affect Sales This Holiday Season

Weather was mentioned most often, with politics/war and the economy close behind.

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question:

If there’s one thing outside of your control that could wind up determining the success of your holiday selling season, what will it most likely be?
  • The state of our national economic condition (i.e., inflation, the war in Israel and the Ukraine). Online sales also can hurt. — Gene, John and Krista Poole, Hudson-Poole Jewelers, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • My health. I’m experiencing a health challenge I hope to be resolved soon! — Kas Jacquot, Kas A Designs, Jefferson City, MO
  • WEATHER!! Especially on or near 12/20 and later. A bad storm can ruin us and make me puke … — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • I need more sales staff who are substantively knowledgeable about jewelry. I need more people on the floor who can sell diamonds. I need to clone myself times three. The success of holiday relies almost solely on the number of good people I have on the floor. — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA
  • We’ve had a lengthy search for another jeweler. There’s a limited pool, and the vast majority have low level skills. The top level jewelers have mostly aged out or are about to. This will impact our growth. — Debbie Fox, Fox Fine Jewelry, Ventura, CA
  • Snow: When it flies, we get busy. Smiles: If our farmers are happy, so are we! Wine: The more it flows, the better the holiday celebrations have been (and everyone is in a good mood!). — Erika Godfrey, Hawthorne Jewelry, Kearney, NE
  • One of my competitors just announced her retirement sale. It appears that she hired a professional sales company and they have brought in a lot of cookie-cutter merchandise. I expect sales will be off as much as 50%, but in the long term, I will survive because I own nothing and have a fully stocked store and a cash cushion. My biggest challenge will be keeping the staff from becoming too disheartened. — Edwin Menk, E.L. Menk Jewelers, Brainerd, MN
  • The same financial nervousness that has affected my selling success all year. I’m hopeful that gift-giving will open some wallets. — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • The health and wellness of our sales team and our customers. Our city is experiencing an uptick in COVID and flu, causing the store to be short-staffed during busy sales days and customers fearful of shopping in-store. — Beth Greene, Conti Jewelers, Binghamton, NY
  • Our weather. If we get ice, it can be brutal. The snow doesn’t really slow things down too much, but you can’t get around on the ice. — Sherrie Schilling-Devaney, Sherrie’s Jewelry Box, Tigard, OR
  • Lab-grown prices this year. — Gene Arthur, Arthur’s Jewelry, Reidsville, NC
  • Weather can sometimes be a factor that affects sales, for better or for worse. If it feels like Christmas outside, then people are in a buying mood. But if it feels too cold like the North Pole outside (or too hot like Santa’s beach house), people seem like they are less in the buying mood. — Kyle Bullock, Bullock’s Jewelry, Roswell, NM
  • Media casting doom and gloom. — Willa Dickens, Herteen & Stocker, Iowa City, IA
  • The weather and scheduling of the NFL. — Cindi’s Diamond & Jewelry Gallery, Foxboro, MA
  • How much people want to spend. People are tightening their belts now, so I’m pretty sure that will impact us during the holidays. — Rick Sanders, Sanders Jewelers, Gainesville, FL
  • Customers’ attitudes toward the holiday. If the feeling is upbeat, happy holidays! If things feel dark and moody, it will be reflected in holiday sales. Lucky for us, we realized the folly of living all year for a make-or-break holiday years ago. We do our best, but it never rocks our boat because we are always busy with the next project. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • Government. Yuck!! Don’t get me started! — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Re-re-re-birth of COVID? Maybe a tsunami from Lake Michigan? Asteroid showers? After the past couple three years we are prepared for anything short of the Big One. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI
  • I think the unrest in the world has a lot of people nervous. — Patty Gallun Hansen, Dorothy Gallun Jewelry, Cedarburg, WI
  • War. It has already impacted our sales. — Gregory Fliegauf, Fliegauf Jewelers, Washington, NJ
  • People telling their friends and family about where to shop for jewelry. — Dave Fadel, Fadel Enterprises, Bountiful, UT
  • That’s easy: the whimsical, irrational, entirely pattern-free inclinations of online jewelry buyers. — Gretchen Schaffner, Eytan’s Designs, Sherman Oaks, CA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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