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Schedule A Girls-Only Party, Seven Is The Magic Number and More Business Tips

Make shopping fun!





If you’re like most jewelers you probably rarely grab your partner and head out the door to wander other retail stores just for the heck it. Which is partly why, according to the Diamond Promotion Service, that jewelers seem to be missing out on today’s biggest trend — making shopping fun! — and why they are losing market share to handbag and electronics makers. The most obvious example: The new Apple stores. You’ve read or heard about them, but without visiting you probably wouldn’t know that they have no checkout counters. Apple’s system lets salespeople wander the floor with wireless credit-card readers and ask, “Would you like to pay for that?” Remember that in the history of retail, the best ideas aren’t created, they’re stolen.


A friend of INSTOREpicked up a pair of diamond earrings wholesale at the Vegas show — you know, the kind that come at a greatly reduced price but in a small plastic bag — and was immediately confronted with the problem of how to gift-wrap them. To the rescue came Oregon jeweler Charles Beaudet who suggested buying a teddy bear and inserting the earrings in the toy’s ears. A cute a gift as any woman has ever received.

LUCKY SEVENForget Milestones

Another finding from those clever marketing boffins at DPS: The first seven years of marriage are the best period for anniversary gifts — so don’t hang on for that 10th anniversary, there’s a good chance your lovebirds would have split by then. DPS says it has found men don’t often wait for milestone anniversaries; they’re just as likely to buy a piece of celebratory jewelry because “It was a good year” or “Some extra cash came in.” If you set up an anniversary case, make sure it’s “male friendly.” That means well edited so hubby doesn’t have to think too much, DPS says.

ONE SIZE FITS ALLNever Pre-Qualify

Doug Meadows, owner of David Douglas Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in Marietta, GA, is a big convert to never pre-qualifying your customers. “In the past we would ask customers, ‘How much do you want to spend?’ That’s a stupid question. Now we show them more expensive pieces and let the customers qualify themselves,” he says. To open customers to the the joys of possibly owning big jewelry he created an oversized 3-carat showpiece diamond ring that will fit just about anyone.

TEE-OFF TIMEChannel Sports

Got a TV screen in your store tuned to a sports channel? So does the guy across the street. To really keep restless husbands occupied you need a putting green, like the one in the VIP rooms at Necker’s Jewelers in DeWitt and Davenport, IA. Business trainer Brad Sugars is another advocate of golf’s powers of distraction. He says he happily spends time trying to perfect his game in the office of his accountant, who had a $10,000 swing-analysis machine installed.

MAZEL TOVParty With The Girls

To kick off the launch of its Bat Mitzvah registry service, Bernie Robbins Fine Jewelry held an all-girls party at its Marlton, NJ, store at the end of April. The young guests enjoyed catered food, music and the chance to try on a large selection of bracelets, earrings and small pendants that were in the words of the store, “perfect for any Bat Mitzvah.” Pity the friends and relatives.


MINE TIMEGet That Data

A reader asked us last month for suggestions on ways to get customer data (see Do You Or Don’t You, page 86), and sure enough we immediately began seeing them everywhere, starting with the back of the receipt for the black-pepper beef dish we had at Pan-da Express. The pitch: Fill in the survey on and receive a free meal voucher. What offer could you come up with on the back of your receipts to spur customers to fill in those vital questionnaires?






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