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Reader Thoughts on “Road Warriors” and Other Letters from March

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On “Road Warriors”

I am a road rep for the last 30-plus years. One issue I have is the lack of voice for salesmen in all the jewelry magazines. I recently read the “Road Warriors” article. Why not interview reps who can really tell the story of what it is like to work within the current industry?

I mean the following: retailers who do not return messages concerning appointments. Retailers who treat reps with disrespect. The struggle to get a buyer to look at your line. Vendors who cheat reps out of hard-earned commissions. Vendors who fire you even though you have opened dozens of accounts. Companies who expect you to pioneer a line for them without a draw or traveling expenses. I would love to see anyone be brave enough to write the truth about our current industry! — Brian J. Callahan, Alamea and Nambé

There are few experienced “road warriors” left in our industry who hazard traveling from store to store, lugging bags and cases behind them. I’m often surprised at the callousness and disrespect jewelry store owners show these brave guys. A little kindness can go a long way. The seasoned pros can offer great insights into what’s happening in your market. No doubt they have their finger on the pulse of the industry. So, to my peers: be nice to these brave men and women who risk their very lives making a living in this crazy industry bringing the market to your doorstep. Offer them a snack, call in for lunch, and maybe some bottled water for the road. They can teach you a lot … just listen. — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA

Peer Review

Love the magazine! Obviously written by people who have been there! We put it on the lunch table and often read articles to each other, knowing that the other person has been faced with this problem before and would be interested in the ideas mentioned in the article! — Greg Brooks, Benchmark Jewelers, Leavenworth, WA

My Fault Too 

I read your essay winner Justin Banaszynski’s column [from the January issue] that said, “I am to blame!” I am to blame, too!!! I did most of my shopping online at Christmas. While my store door was steadily swinging for my loyal customers, it was also swinging for the UPS man delivering my Amazon and mail-order packages. We need to look no further than our own environment to see why so many small businesses are failing. Get out your front door and visit a local small business (not just restaurants). We have the disposable income to help our fellow entrepreneurs succeed! Rethink that next Amazon/mail order. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL


This article originally appeared in the April 2018 edition of INSTORE.

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Big Survey

2019 Big Survey: Here’s Where Valentine’s Day Is Dying the Fastest for Jewelers

Results of the 2019 Big Survey have been rolling in. Here’s a sample.

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VALENTINE’S DAY SEEMS to be dying fastest in Minnesota, where 85 percent of jewelers said it was no longer pulling in customers the way it once did. Across North America almost one in two jewelers identified the day of love as a key traditional date that had become SIGNIFICANTLY LESS important to their business in the last decade (see chart).

Other prominent dates near the top of the list were Father’s Day, selected by 53% of jewelers who took INSTORE’s 2019 Big Survey, and Mother’s Day, chosen by 41%. Christmas still seems to be maintaining its hold on the shoppers of America. Only 14% of jewelers said it had become less important.

For the record, Indiana appeared to be the state where a promotional arrow from Cupid might still hit its target: Seventy-nine percent of jewelers there said V Day was still a potent traffic driver.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.

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Big Survey

Big Survey: Jewelers from KS, MO and WI, We Love You. But Jewelers from DE, MS, WY … Don’t You Love Us?

There’s still time to take the Big Survey!

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JEWELERS FROM KANSAS, Missouri, and Wisconsin topped our list of the most community-minded, generous with their time, and just all-round coolest people, at least when it comes to taking industry surveys. Those three states all hit above their weight by a factor of at least 2.0 in terms of population size to contributions to the 2019 Big Survey. At the other end of the scale, just three states have yet to be represented in the Big Survey – Delaware, Mississippi and Wyoming.

Luckily for jewelers in those three states, the 2019 Big Survey is still open (just click HERE). Be quick though, we’ll be closing it soon.

(Please note the Big Survey is designed for owners or managers)

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Big Survey

The No. 1 Mental Health Issue for Jewelers

Stress takes first place.

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RUNNING A JEWELRY store is a tough job. It may help jewelers who have felt the strains of the job to know then that more than half their peers have considered getting professional help (or did seek help) to deal with stress. That’s according to the 2019 Big Survey, which asked jewelers about any mental issues they may have struggled with during their professional careers. Following stress were sleeplessness, depression and anxiety.

Please note that the Big Survey is still open and we are adding new responses as they come in. If you’re a jewelry store owner or manager and would like to take the survey, it can be accessed HERE. Be quick though, we’ll be closing it soon.

(Please note the Big Survey is designed for owners or managers)

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