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Terry Chandler: Cool Stores: A Definition

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The Business: Cool Stores: A Definition

It starts with an act of reaching, but not for a dusty old dictionary. 

BY TERRY W. CHANDLER 

Published in the August 2012 issue

As i set about writing this introduction to the INSTORE Coolest Stores issue, I, being the Baby Boomer I am, reached across my desk for my hard-bound Webster’s Dictionary seeking a definition for “cool” with which to open the article.

Before turning a page the thought struck me that my old and very worn dictionary was an anachronism. Certainly my Gen-X son would never reach for the dictionary I gave him when he went off to college. He would simply Google the word. I’m certain, too, that my millennial-aged grandson probably doesn’t own a dictionary, save for the app on his iPhone. Ah, technology!

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Thus, it occurred to me that the definition of a Cool Store was staring me in the face. Cool Stores are leaders and innovators. Cool Stores embrace the latest and best and are constantly reaching toward the future not being bound by or particularly enamored of the past. Cool Stores are leaders, not followers. Cool Store owners start with a vision and a dream, and they dream big! They never reach across their proverbial desks for dated or tired concepts. Rather, they peer over the edge into tomorrow with a keen sense of purpose and a steely conviction that their dream will certainly come true.

This year’s winners exemplify my definition of Cool Stores. Each has taken a dream, along with amazingly inventive ideas, and created a unique and exceptional retail jewelry environment. They are not bound by tradition or constrained by the tired adage: “That’s the way it’s always been done.” They have executed their dream with precision and passion.

So, I encourage the reader to put down your old “hard bound” concepts and beliefs and follow me into the exciting and wonderful world of Cool. The Cool Store landscape you are about to survey is lovely and the creativity stunning. Congratulations to all the winners. We count ourselves fortunate to have you in the jewelry industry and appreciate the generous way you share your dream with us that we may be inspired to follow.

Terry W. Chandler is president/CEO of Diamond Council of America and the moderator of numerous Cool Stores panels at The SMART Jewelry Show.

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