Connect with us

Columns

Rapaport: Take Millennials Seriously When They Tell You What They Want

Published

on

They want to have a say. So let them.

Martin Rapaport focused on the rapid pace of disruptive change during his annual Rapaport Breakfast at the JCK Las Vegas show on Wednesday.

Change is not just about technology. People are changing the way that they think. It’s a double whammy of change.

We’ve heard over and over again that the millennial mantra is “spend money on experiences rather than stuff.” That’s also been interpreted to mean “life is about memories, not diamonds.”

But keep in mind that diamonds represent the “mother of all memories,” the physical embodiment of the memory of an engagement or other life-affirming event.

“We don’t sell the product. We sell the idea behind the product,” Rapaport reminded the audience.

So, how to deal with those problematic millennials and why do you have to? Well, we all know they can’t just be ignored. Millennials are 27 percent of the population and the engagement ring buyer is the jeweler’s feeder stock.

Advertisement

“We can’t lose the engagement ring market. That is the foundation, the basis of what is going on around here,” Rapaport says. “Jewelers can’t afford to lose consumers who decide that diamonds are dirty or conspicuous or ostentatious … .”

So, what to do?

Take seriously their desire for something that’s customized. They want to have a say. They want it to be an experience and they want the engagement ring purchase to be fun

”Jewelers can’t afford to lose consumers who decide that diamonds are dirty or conspicuous or ostentatious.”

So hire some millennials, particularly young women who are passionate about shopping for jewelry, who can make the experience more fun. Add energy and youth and personality to your company culture.

Concentrate on communications. Reach out to them where they are. They are not reading their email. They’re texting and they’re using social media to communicate.

Advertisement

Instead of fighting the internet; be the internet.

“You have to be everywhere,” he says.

Determine what you can do better than anyone else, what you are passionate about and ask yourself if it can be profitable and sustainable. The convergence of those three things is the key to finding success.

Finally, be ethical about sourcing. Dig deeper. Ask questions. Join organizations fighting the good fight. Not only because it’s important to millennials, but also because it’s the right thing to do as human beings.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Having a Moving Sale? Let Wilkerson Do the Heavy Lifting

For Jim Woodard, owner of Woodard’s Diamonds & Design in Tullahoma, Tenn., when it was time for a moving sale, there was only one company to help with the event: Wilkerson. “They brought in the right team for us,” he says, remarking about the sale’s extraordinary results, including a nearly 500% monthly sales increase compared to the previous year. “I wanted to have the best in the industry. And that’s the main reason why I contacted Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Columns

Where Did All My Profits Go?

Understanding cash flow vs. profit can affect how you manage your business.

mm

Published

on

A COMMON COMPLAINT FROM retailers after the CPA has completed the end of year financials is, “Where is the money?” Often, they have reported a healthy profit (which also leads to a bigger tax liability to the IRS), yet their bank account never seems to reflect the profit the business makes.

It’s a common issue. Most store owners expect their profit to show up in the bank account — and that’s perfectly understandable. After all, profit is supposed to be what you have left after paying your operating costs and vendors. Yet, rarely does it align.

Podcast: After Tragedy, One Young Woman Turns Her Grief Into Beauty
Over the Counter

Podcast: After Tragedy, One Young Woman Turns Her Grief Into Beauty

Podcast: Jenny O Calleri Takes on Her Biggest Challenge Yet — Store Ownership
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Jenny O Calleri Takes on Her Biggest Challenge Yet — Store Ownership

Podcast: How Tracking Door Traffic Can Dramatically Boost Your Store’s Performance
JimmyCast

Podcast: How Tracking Door Traffic Can Dramatically Boost Your Store’s Performance

The reality is that cash flow and profits are two different things. Cash flow reflects the ins and outs of your bank account over a period of time. Profit is about your income and the expenses that relate to that income. That means the expenses don’t necessarily line up with when you paid them.

One of the best examples of this is the inventory you buy. For instance, let’s say Bob’s business does $1 million in sales for the year. With a keystone markup, Bob makes a gross profit of $500,000 from his business. After expenses of $400,000, his net profit is $100,000.

The bank account tells a very different story. Although the cost of goods sold is $500,000, Bob didn’t necessarily spend that much on inventory for the year. If he spent $600,000 on inventory purchases, he would have increased his inventory holding by $100,000. However, he didn’t sell the extra inventory, and therefore, it doesn’t pay for itself, but it will still come out of his bank account!

Timing is another important factor in paying vendors, too. Whether you pay your vendors immediately or pay the amount six months later, this will affect your bank balance, but it won’t affect your profit — the item is an expense when you sell it, not when you pay your vendor.

Your bank account can also be affected by assets that you buy. A new vehicle that is deemed a business asset may leave a hole in your bank account now if you pay cash, but as a business asset, its cost will be spread over several years to reflect when it is used. Your profit will look healthier than your bank account in this situation.

Of course, another factor to consider is personal spending. Withdrawing a good deal of money from your business account to support your lifestyle isn’t a business expense and won’t decrease your profit. It will, however, certainly lower the balance of your bank account.

It’s important to understand this difference between cash flow and profit so you don’t get caught spending money you don’t have.

Continue Reading

Editor's Note

Why The Big Survey Should Be Invaluable to Business Planning

When 800 store owners talk, you should listen.

Published

on

WE CALL OUR ANNUAL survey “The Big Survey” because we ask so many questions of respondents, but it’s also big because so many of you participate — more than 800 of you, in fact. And that makes the results incredibly valuable.
They’re so valuable that when I’m asked to speak to industry organizations, I often use the results to illustrate any number of points. For instance, I recently spoke to a group about how millennials are disrupting jewelry retail. I went back to last year’s Big Survey to reference this fascinating result: 51 percent of stores who were thriving said that the rise of millennials has been good for business, while only 18 percent of stores who were struggling said the same.
It’s questions (and results) like these that make The Big Survey so indispensable when charting the future of your business. In this case, it’s clear that if your store doesn’t cater to the needs of millennials, you’re more likely to struggle.

This year’s survey includes results like:

  • the best-performing jewelry and watch brands
  • salary comparisons for owners and staff
  • the “dark arts” of streetwise jewelers
  • the most impactful tech for jewelry store owners

And much, much more! I hope you’ll read this year’s survey not only for the fun bits and responses that make you go “huh,” but also for the takeaways that could set you up for future success.

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

1. Remove store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 26)
2. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what holiday promotions will run when. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 26)
3. Always ask prospective employees, “What was the best day at work you’ve had in the past three months?” (Ask INSTORE, p. 70)
4. After any holiday sale, ask the client, “How many others are on your list?” (Shane Decker, p. 70)
5. Attend local small-business meetings to search out possible cross-marketing opportunities. (Cool Stores, p. 76)

Continue Reading

Commentary: The Business

Sometimes Firing a Jewelry Customer Is For the Best … And Here’s a Perfect Example

This client’s phone manners left something to be desired.

mm

Published

on

Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery says her daughter Heidi, now 15, is not afraid to answer the phone despite what happened and calls it “a learning experience.”

WHILE VISITING A great friend and store owner, Laurelle Giesbrecht of French’s Jewellery in Alberta, Canada, we were commiserating over coffee. I have always loved hearing her stories about community involvement or win/win sales interactions. This time, she had a real doozy.

A customer had recently purchased a $300 ring for her daughter and had sent her back to the store for a free sizing. The young girl had decided it was not going to be on her third finger but the much larger first. That meant the ring needed to be sized from 5 to 10. For this, there would be a charge. The girl left the ring.

Laurelle’s daughter, Heidi, was answering phones as her mom finished closing the store. It was the last call before locking up. Heidi asked how she could re-direct the caller and then, holding the phone to her chest, asked her mom if she wanted to take the call. Mom assured her she was doing fine. It brought a smile to her face when she heard her daughter tell the caller that she would pass the message along to their HR manager.

But later at home, the true story emerged. The call had been from the original purchaser of the size 5 ring, and using a long string of vulgarities, she had demanded a full refund. The next day, typically affable Laurelle left a message requesting a return call. When the return call came, Laurelle informed the customer that the swearing she had done over the phone had been directed at her 13-year-old daughter. She added that she would not allow that treatment of any of her staff. After informing the customer that she would process a full refund, she asked for her mailing address so she could mail it. Laurelle calmly informed the customer that she was not to come back to her store.

But the story was not over. The customer ignored the request to not return to the store and instead brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a neatly written card. She wanted to personally deliver them to the 13-year-old child who had listened so intently to her vulgar language. This customer knew that the depth of her apology could only be appreciated by a face-to-face meeting between an embarrassed adult and precocious child!

If there are lessons here, they are written between the lines.

Continue Reading

Most Popular