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Commentary: The Business

Jeff Unger: A Sleighful of Memo

For those who’ve been not naughty but nice, your vendors are willing to help.




“YOU BETTER watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why …”

We all know the rest of the story. I even know the story, and that’s coming from a guy who lights eight candles. We all know that Santa comes to town every year. Are you ready?

A retailer in Hazelton, PA, and good friend once told me many years ago that Santa always comes down the chimney every year. Some years his bag is very full, and some years it’s a little smaller. But he comes every year. I’ve never forgotten those words and neither should you!

But are you ready for the guy in the red suit?

It’s been a tough year but an interesting one. Many of you have been very curious with your store buying. But he’s still coming.
Many of your vendors have been ready, but Santa did not arrive in the fall. So what does that mean for you? You are in a great position to fill your cases with inventory. I’ve talked with many vendors who are willing to make this your best holiday season with new merchandise without incurring the cost?

How, you ask? Well, I’m telling you why.


Vendors are sitting with vault-loads of product that are gathering dust. It’s better to be under the bright lights of your showcase instead of in the dark confines of a vault.

Have you been “naughty or nice” to your vendors the first 50 weeks of the year? If you have paid your bills on time and placed minimal stock and special orders, many vendors will be willing to send inventory at no cost to you this holiday season. We, the vendors, don’t like to use the word “memo,” but this is the right year to take advantage of what your vendors can offer you this holiday season.

But if you’ve been naughty, don’t expect the support. This is why you must support your vendors throughout the year.

With the upcoming season we the vendors will support you if you’ve taken care of us. Remember there are 52 weeks a year of selling opportunities. As soon as Santa returns to the North Pole, a thinner guy in red tights carrying a bow and arrow will be arriving.

Talk with your vendors and let us help you to make this the best holiday season and first quarter of 2014 the best in years. And take care of your vendors throughout the year and they will take care of you!

“Merry Christmas and a great holiday season to all, and to all a good night!”




When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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