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Rethinking the Store: Clodius & Co.: Month 3: Growing Pains



Since the beginning of the year, Mark and Monika Clodius have been involved in a major expansion of their Rockford, IL, store, Clodius & Co. Trying to finish in September, they’ve settled on an architectural style, obtained permits, come up with an interior layout and dealt with countless other minutiae. Now they’ve started looking ahead to managing the larger staff a bigger store will require. instore updates March’s developments.

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT: Laying the groundwork for what Mark and Monika are calling Clodius College, an employee training program. You just think of the bricks and mortar, Mark said of a project like theirs that will double their sales floor space, but what are the consequences?? In their case, the consequences involve expanding from 12 to as many as 20 employees. It’s so important to have a system to present employees the most knowledge before they go out on the sales floor, Monika said. With two managers from their store, the Clodiuses attended The Friedman Group’s Retail Management Camp, and Mark went to a regular Financially In Tune (FIT) Group meeting of retail jewelry peers for inspiration for Clodius College. Mark: Training will help employees see their jobs as careers. Monika: It will define everyone’s roles a help, since the staff has grown four-fold in the store’s six-year history. We’re going to be enabling our employees to step up to the plate without our input all the time, Monika says. 

A MOMENT OF SILENCE: A long-time employee passed away from cancer that had been in remission. With a small staff, Mark and Monika noted that it felt like losing a member of the family, and their work has been affected by the tragedy. 

CURVEBALL: A plastic surgeon friend who heard they were expanding their store asks:Got room for me? For five days, Mark and Monika explored a larger addition to house a doctor’s office possibly a benefit to their business. The change would require a zoning variance, setting back the project by two to three months. We like the idea, Mark said. While they won’t change course now, they will adjust the architect’s drawings to allow for a future addition down the road. 


TIME AWAY FROM RUNNING THE STORE: About 10 days for management seminars and the Midwest Jewelry Expo. 

TIME INVESTMENT: What’s a weekend, anyway? asks Mark. 

MARK’S TASK THIS MONTH: A lighting plan. While in Las Vegas for the management seminar, Mark and Monika were able to see some of the biggest-name jewelry stores and take home ideas. Mark left convinced that the latest trends in lighting do not necessarily do a better job than their current system. I’m going to try to improve the looks while keeping how it works.


THINGS THAT CONTINUE TO KEEP THEM AWAKE: Little details keep creeping into my brain in the middle of the night, says Mark.



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