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Snyder Jewelers

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Weymouth, MA

 

[dropcap cap=A]fter paying his dues in a 400-square-foot store for 18 years, Mark Snyder was more than ready for a change when the space he’d long coveted — a refurbished fire station — became available in 2009. [/dropcap]The move was an instant reminder of the power of location. With its new, bigger and more central address in Weymouth, MA, Snyder Jewelers quickly added hundreds of regular customers, saw sales surge and enjoyed its busiest Christmas ever at the end of 2010.

“It’s been an eye-opener,” Snyder says. “I never thought we’d see this kind of growth.”
The move wasn’t without its risks. Half of the eight independent jewelers that had been in business in Weymouth, a blue-collar-tinged town of 55,000, at the start of 2007 had fallen victim to the recession by late 2009. Snyder, however, was confident in his business model.

“It sounds cliché, but customer service is what we feel separates us from many other stores. I feel most jewelers are complacent. They don’t make that follow-up call, they don’t send the thank-you cards, they don’t support the local community as they should. They have seen tons of jewelry, so they may not realize their customers’ items are their most prized possessions in the world. I preach this to my staff.”

Becoming an integral part of the Weymouth community had been Snyder’s goal since taking over the business from his father in 1999. “I took an aggressive approach on being a ‘local’ jeweler. So instead of pushing only bridal, we really stressed being a full-service jeweler,” says Snyder, who estimates 40 percent of his sales come from repairs, redesigns and custom work.

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The local positioning is reinforced through a marketing approach that depends heavily on community involvement and a regular bulletin, mailed bulk first class, to nearly 1,000 customers and a further 650 via e-mail. “We put it in front of their noses so they will think of us when they need jewelry,” he says.

Snyder expects the prominent new location and character of the building with its bay windows, brass pole and flag mast out front will help cement that position and make the business something of a “local icon” regardless of the intrusion of the Internet into the retail market.

“Our target customer is a family person aged 30-50 that lives in our town or works at the (nearby community) hospital and wants a long-term jeweler who will treat them properly for the time they are in the area. We do not see a lot of ‘one-time’ customers.” — CHRIS BURSLEM 


[span class=note]This story is from the May 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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