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Editor's Note

The New Luxury Engagement Jewelry Buying Experience Means Wowing Your Clients

Wining and dining is just the beginning.



WE’VE ALL USED the phrase “wined and dined” to describe an experience during which the subject was treated lavishly. But these days, “wining and dining” is just scratching the surface of what independent jewelry retailers are doing for their wedding jewelry clientele.

And it makes perfect sense. After all, you’re hoping to make a client for life. Why not wow them right out of the gate?

That’s the thought process behind what we’re calling “the elevated wedding jewelry experience,” as detailed in Eileen McClelland’s lead story. Some stores have integrated extravagant photo op spaces into their locations, including pergolas, winding staircases, wedding chapel gazebos, rose gardens and fireplaces. One includes a bridal party dressing room complete with mirrors and makeup stations. Another rings wedding bells for every engagement or anniversary celebrated in their store. Many give unexpected gifts to purchasers.

That’s the wining and dining portion. But there’s much more that goes into the luxury wedding jewelry experience these days, including custom design, appointment selling, alloy samples, wax models, photos and free appraisals. Not to mention services offered after the sale, including cleaning, checking of prongs, and free rhodium plating.


If you’re not going the extra mile for engagement customers, read our story and consider special touches that you can add to “wine and dine” your clients!

Now Introducing The INSTORE Show, Coming to the Chicago Area in 2023!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Ask the purchaser to write their budget on a piece of paper to head off price objections later. (The Big Story, p. 38)
  • Below your email signature, include a promotion that changes monthly. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 30)
  • Create a themed event based on relevant pop culture of the moment. (Best of the Best, p. 55)
  • Include a page on your website featuring reviews exclusively from engagement customers. (Andrea Hill, p. 70)
  • If a client likes multiple rings, ask her to rank them from “most favorite to least favorite.” (Peter Hannes, p. 60)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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