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The Best Last-Minute Strategies to Drive Holiday Sales, According to Our Brain Squad

Here’s what our brain squad found to be the most effective holiday sales strategies.




The Best Last-Minute Strategies to Drive Holiday Sales, According to Our Brain Squad

Phone calls, Facebook ads … networking! Hit some of the main holiday parties or hot spots in town. Nothing works as well as socializing and having someone “remember” they still need to come see you, or notice the jewelry you are wearing and start asking about it. — Alan Perry, Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC

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  • We go to six days a week in December. And seven days for the two weeks before Christmas. — Steve & Alice Wittels, Aljan Jewelers Ltd, Mahopac, NY
  • Stock up on low-end, last-minute items. — Cindy Fuller, Fuller Designs, Poplar Bluff, MO
  • I give a free gift with purchase of $450 or more. The free gift is always something young and fresh in styling. — Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers, Royersford, PA
  • Avoid staff fatigue by sending salespeople home whenever possible. With an average age of 66 on the floor, the last thing we want is one of our staff nodding off during a presentation. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • Last year we teamed up with Jewelex and Collected Concepts for their “Hot Deals of the Week.” This gave us video and excellent footage for online advertising … and best yet, they took care of organization and posting so we could continue to focus on our daily work and selling our jewelry! — Erika Godfrey, Hawthorne Jewelry, Kearney, NE
  • We designate one person to the telephone to call each customer with our special Christmas offer. We have a weekly email to each customer for the Deal of the Week, which we change to the Deal of the Day in December. — Ragnar Bertelsen, Ragnar Jewellers, Vancouver, BC
  • We partner with another local business to give our customers a special sweet treat thank-you! We have tried custom cookies, peanut brittle, and chocolates. This helps spread the news of another small business and makes our customers feel very special. — Linda McEathron, Design House, Waco, TX
  • For the first time ever, we put our ads in movie theaters in a great community, so before the movie, we are on previews! Great audiences and movies run five times a day in three theaters. — Teddie Gause, Gause and Son Jewelers, Ocala, FL
  • Make lists of best clients so you can reach out to them in December if they have not already contacted you. They never mind that you thought of them, even if they are not making jewelry a part of this year’s holiday giving. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • Clothing-optional shopping, small lizards roaming our showroom and we promise not to play christmas music in our store. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI
  • Phone sales; contacting those customers that are in the 20 percent bracket. — Daniel Rochricht, Wedgewood Jewelers, Woodbury, MN
  • Late hours for sure. We extend our hours and see a lot of evening shoppers. It’s really helped us to be extremely responsive to digital communications as well (i.e., answering Facebook messages, comments, email, etc. as soon as possible) — Chris Wattsson, Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, Marquette, MI
  • A sale case full of beautiful older stock, usually priced at 50 percent off. — Brenda Mitchell, Gleim Jewelers, Palo Alto, CA
  • We have found social media pushes targeting a specific category or price point to be most beneficial. Around Christmas Eve, we make an ad geared towards last-minute shoppers (i.e., husbands and boyfriends) and select the demographics that are more prone to find themselves in that category. — Morgan Bartel, Susann’s Custom Jewelers, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Increasing humorous Facebook posts to lighten the mood during this hectic season. Reminding everyone we see that you can never go wrong with a little box from us under the tree! — Andrew Russakoff, Russakoff Jewelers, Skowhegan, ME
  • Constant contact with your client base. Direct mail methods are best (and most economical) in my small community. — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • People want price cuts, so we give price cuts on specific days like Black Friday, an early December Friday flash sale and coupons to our top 20 percent of customers. It’s what they wait for and expect, so we give them several opportunities to shop with us early for a discount. — John Carom, Abby’s Gold & Gems, Uniontown, PA
  • We send a flyer to 10,000 households in our zip code 10-12 days before Christmas, extend our hours a bit and open the Sunday before Christmas. — Rosanne Kroen, Rosanne’s Diamonds & Gold, South Bend, IN
  • Events! There is nothing better than several events that are scheduled throughout the season to create momentum, excitement and a real “buzz” in the store. I believe that you can’t just do one. You need to do several events to capture your market share and keep people talking. — Rita Wade, Wade Designs Jewelry, Rocky Mount, NC
  • We try to keep our best sellers in stock. We picked our holiday catalog from a supplier who can fill our last-minute orders on the best sellers. — Donald Killelea, Killelea Jewelers, Midlothian, IL
  • I try not to do any last-minute strategies, as typically the last 10 days we are swamped with customers. I think the most important thing for my store (and my mental state) is to have a plan of hours, customer contacts and inventory finished way before the last days so all we have to do is focus on the customers walking through the door. — Kristin Cornwell, Cornwell Jewelers, Athens, OH

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at



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Wilkerson: “They Feel Like Family”

Newton’s Jewelers in Fort Smith, Ark., was a true institution. But after being at the helm for most of his life, owner (and descendent of the original founder) Kelly Newton decided it was time to retire. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale. “I’ve known the owners of Wilkerson for a long, long time. I felt at home with them,” he says. The final retirement sale was just a “blast” and the Wilkerson sales team made it so very simple and straightforward, says Newton. Would he recommend Wilkerson to others? Absolutely. “They’ve done incredible work,” says Newton. “They feel like family.”

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