Commentary: The Business This Jeweler Says Brands Are Competing With Brick and Mortar Retailer says he’s heard this story before. Published 2 years ago on June 6, 2019 By David Blitt Instore June 2019 Issue Share Tweet IN THE MID-90’S to early 2000’s, I had a few brands that I felt were strongly changing how they did business. Even though they were built by the efforts of independent retailers, they decided they wanted a bigger share of the market and opened their own boutiques and brand stores. The rhetoric back then was how they would benefit my store by generating more brand awareness. These brands further “helped me out” by making special styles or special gift-with-purchases available only in the company brand stores. To compete, I had to offer a level of service or prices that was not sustainable. My store became a showroom for people to look and then buy from the company boutique. The final nail in the coffin? These brands told me that due to a decrease in the volume I was selling, I was no longer able to order all of the items the brand offered. JimmyCast Podcast: Jeffrey Samuels on How to Build a Business to Support a Lifestyle Podcasts Maximizing Your Business Potential Is Easier Than Ever With the Zing™ Platform by Jewelers Mutual® Group Sponsored Podcasts Find Out Why So Many American Jewelers Are Loving Thai Jewelry (and Gemstones) Fast forward 15 to 20 years, and brands are doing the same thing by moving direct to e-commerce. This year, two companies told me not to worry because there will be differences that make it more desirable to come to my store. I have heard this story before. There are two truths I feel these brands display. One, they want a larger piece of the market. Two, they want to turn brick-and-mortar stores into showrooms for their virtual product. It happens all the time: a young guy comes into the store alone or with his fiancée and wants to see some rings. They take their time, ask us for our expertise and suggestions. We show them product, and then they end the visit with accolades of how helpful we are and friendly to deal with, and, “Can you size my finger?” and “I want to look around at some styles online.” Speak to almost any supplier, manufacturer, brand, etc. in our business and ask them how the recent trade shows have been for them. I hear over and over how tough it is and how they are considering moving away from the trade show concept. Ask retailers about their buying habits, and there has been a shift to purchase less. Why? Because so many brands have carved up the pie to take a piece for themselves while still two-facedly saying they support the retailer. Then to condescendingly tell me your stats and opinions on how these new “initiatives” will move the industry forward and increase my sales makes me just a tiny bit pissy. Advertisement To quote the English poet John Donne, “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls — it tolls for thee.” Related Topics: Featured click to Comment(Comment) Up Next To Stand Out From the Crowd, Build a Real Marketing Plan Don't Miss Here’s How One Retailer Makes the Most of the Vegas Shows David Blitt David Blitt owns Troy Shoppe Jewellers in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Continue Reading Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Wilkerson Testimonials Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. 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