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Tom Duma: Makeover Time

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Tom Duma: Makeover Time

Chances are, your store needs updating.

BY TOM DUMA

Published in the January 2013 issue

Ever walk into a store and say to yourself, “I can’t believe the colors in this store; they look like they came straight out the ’80s!” Why is it that we can be so critical of other stores but be so satisfied with the look of our own?

The rule of thumb is you should do a showroom makeover every five years. We did a major renovation (complete gut to the studs) in 2002 when I changed the business model, and then in 2007 when I changed the carpet as well as the interior and exterior color schemes. In 2011, we did a complete makeover of the in-case displays and floorboards, and in 2013, we are changing the carpet again and interior and exterior color schemes.

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Why? Because we want our customer to feel good about their purchase at our store and we want to appeal to Generation Y (the largest buying population ever). We are in the diamond and fashion business, and I feel that our showrooms should reflect the business we are in: Fashion!

It starts with an objective view of your showroom and asking yourself hard questions: When was the last time you painted the walls? Changed the carpet or flooring? Changed the case displays?

Once you have decided it’s time for a makeover, set a budget and make it happen. It is an investment in your facility. Don’t look at it as what it’s going to cost you, but rather how much you stand to profit as a result. There is an ROI on inventory, marketing, employees and facility maintenance.

If you need a major makeover like cases and lighting, plan for it, save for it, set a target date, and make it happen! Interest rates are at an all-time low, and it may make sense if it is a major makeover to talk to your bank to get a short-term loan.

Challenged in the creativity department? Consult with a local designer or ask your trendiest customer that shops with you. He or she will be delighted when you ask for their help, and you can pay him or her with a gift card to your store. Simply doing nothing because you don’t know where to start is no excuse!

If you need a major makeover, consult the pages here in this magazine; there are many experts in our industry that would love to help you bring your showroom into the realm of Cool Store.

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The beginning of the new year is a great time to consider a major change like this. Go stand in your showroom and take pictures with your phone. Then look at the pictures, or better yet, show them to someone who will not be afraid to tell you the truth.

The least you can do is remove all the clutter everywhere you see it! Start cleaning the paperwork and catalogs. In other words, clean up everything that your customer can see that detracts from the star of your showroom: the jewelry. Then start making a plan to start with the basics of painting and carpeting/flooring, and watch your sales increase!

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