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Selling Design: Sally Furrer September/October 2013



Selling Designs
Sally Furrer


Published in the September/October 2013 issue

HERE IS THE SCENARIO I OFTEN SEE:We go to a trade show, see a line we love, pick an assortment, put it in our showcases and do some marketing. Sales associates are excited and show the line to everyone who walks in the store. Sales are brisk and the line is off to a good start. Fast forward to one year later: Sales have dropped off, sales associates are excited by other new products, and you start to think about discontinuing the line by putting it on sale. This is a costly cycle, and there are things we can do about it:

Be committed When you bring in a new line or brand, be prepared to be committed to it. When a piece sells, reorder it without fail. You will never know the full potential of a line unless you keep the assortment strong. Also, continue to support it with marketing — not just for the launch.

Be proactive Every six months, contact the vendor to review the assortment and determine if SKUs need to be discontinued (not eligible for reorder) or stock balanced back for fresh product. If you have been filling in every week and paying your bills on time, they should be receptive. It is extremely important that the line is infused with fresh, new product. At the same time, find out if there are new displays, marketing initiatives, or collateral.

Develop a clientcentric culture It really should be all about our clients! Our role is to find the perfect piece of jewelry for them — their taste, their lifestyle. Our preferences and tastes are of little consequence. This neutrality should extend to our products and lines. There is no reason why a line cannot continue to flourish (given that it has been re-merchandised) for many years.


Sally Furrer is a merchandising consultant with 20-plus years of jewelry industry experience. (



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