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Abe Sherman: Super Spy

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Your mission, if you choose to accept it: check out rival jewelers to see what they sold. Abe Sherman has tips.THIS COMING MONDAY morning, the earlier the better, stop by the nearest mall and ?shop? the jewelry stores. For the past few years I’ve been visiting malls around the country to study how they put their selections together, what price-points, styles and manufacturers.  
 
However, recently I had a different experience. All of the items they sold over the weekend were still missing from the displays. Even though all of the majors fill in their sold items electronically, they still cannot get the goods replenished by Monday morning, so it will give you a very accurate snapshot of what actually sold in your marketplace over the past three or four days. If you do this in two or three of the majors in your town, you’ll get a fairly good look at what the customers in your town just bought. 
 
It was amazing. The price-points and styles we’ve always known, but paid little attention to because we think our customers are different from the customers who shop in the malls. Perhaps. But many Buyers International Group (B.I.G). members have had success with stocking the nation’s popular price-points and are beginning to put more significant amounts of inventory dollars into these goods to cover their bases. [Yes, it is boring inventory, but chances are, millions of dollars of it are being sold in your town each year.] 
 
Once you start these ?Monday missions?, you’ll know by category and price what’s going out the door each season. You could even make up a worksheet and have an employee do the research after they do an initial store visit with you. [I’d prefer that you store owners make at least one visit yourself ? so you can count the slots and get a feel for your own market.] 
 
How many gents’ diamond rings are missing this week? Do you have the current styles? What size and total weight diamond studs? How’s your backup inventory? How’s their bridal doing? Color? Pearls? 
 
You’ve done what you were going to do for this Christmas. People will come in to shop and shop hard, two weeks before Christmas. But this season’s planning is over. This information is for next year, but now is the time to do your homework and take notes to better plan what your inventory mix will look like going forward.

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