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Turning Your Store Into An Experience? Here Are Some Ideas From Our Brain Squad

Here’s how to take things to the next level for your clients.




Turning Your Store Into An Experience? Here Are Some Ideas From Our Brain Squad
  • We redesigned our store nine years ago and included a wet bar and sitting area with a flat screen TV. We give anyone who buys an engagement ring a champagne bottle engraved with a heart-shaped tag with their names. We then give all the newly engaged couples shirts with different sayings, that all include the Rumanoff logo. — Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry and Design, Hamden, CT
  • We always show one of the new pieces we are designing so customers feel privy to something special. We also like to know everything about the customer: what they do, if it is their first time in the store, how they heard about us. Try to give them a story that relates to what they are wanting me to do. Always fun and entertaining! — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • We believe the customer experience begins when their car enters our parking lot. If it is raining, we go out with an umbrella. We check our parking lot every day to be certain it is clean. We greet every customer at the door as if they were coming to our home. Once they state what brought them in, we walk them to the appropriate area of the store. Then a bottle of water and a chocolate is presented on a small tray. We then ask if they would prefer coffee or a soft drink. When a customer inquires about repair work, we do not dictate a time it will be ready — we ask when would you like to pick this up. We do many same day or while you wait repairs. We also make deliveries of repairs and purchases. — Georgena Kincaid, Gold Casters Fine Jewelry, Bloomington, IN
  • I am the experience! You’d need to see me in action. — Bill Longnecker, Longnecker Jewelry, McCook, NE
  • Our customers who purchase rings in our store get a better experience because we offer ring sizing in the store with only having to wait a few minutes. I feel this is a better experience for the customer, because not many jewelry stores offer that. — James Stinson, Diamond Classics, McMinnville, TN
  • We have a policy of making prices easy to see in cases, as we find in this day and age that pricing transparency is a must. We also don’t stand behind cases, when possible, and stand side-by-side with customers to show pieces. We try to have in-store events that cater to specific needs — gemstone jewelry showing loose stones, custom consultations remaking “old” jewelry into something new and desired, etc. — Cathy Miller, Caleesi Designs Jewelers, Austin, TX
  • Working by appointment, I have discovered the joy of knowing who is coming to see me and why. This lets me prep in advance for the client, which they fully appreciate. And they get all my attention while they are with me. Also I have several in-office trunk-show type events per year, giving me a reason to reach out to existing and new clients. But the best thing continues to be Glitterature, my book club, which meets every other month. We discuss a book that is related to jewelry, I present a 15-minute Powerpoint on a category of jewelry with live samples, and everyone has a fun evening. The best thing is my book club girls are an army of my disciples. They feel special and they recommend me to their friends! — Laura Stanley, Stanley Jewelers Gemologist, North Little Rock, AR
  • We host many collaborative events with other local businesses. We’ve had a braid bar, DIY flower crowns, and even free mini-manicures. We also host trunk shows with our local artists. — Rachel Pfeiffer, Lane & Kate, Cincinnati, OH
  • In regards to bridal, we have a bridal appointment after he/she proposes. This consists of sizing their ring while they wait (if necessary), providing insurance, lifetime warranty and an appraisal for the ring, and a big bag of goodies that includes the following: bottle of champagne, ring holder, countertop ultrasonic, wine glasses, wedding planner, a diamond pen, and a cute mug. It is something that our competitors don’t come close to. — Erica Lorenz, Michael & Sons, Reno, NV
  • In-store events continue to be important to our business. They are generally small and specific, which allows us to interact with the customers more on a personal level. For example, gemstone roundtables create long-term relationships. Not only do you spend an evening together at the table, you get to continue working with them to custom design the jewelry for their gemstone. — Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA
  • If I notice someone trying to take a picture, I offer to take one for them and text it to them. I have a $60 attachment to my iPhone that has a loupe and a light. It takes an amazing picture and people love the extra service! — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • We change our store frequently to keep the jewelry looking fresh and new. Also we feature our one-of-a-kind creations and promote throughout our social media and videos. — Annette Kinzie, Leonard Jewelry, Stillwater, OK
  • One of our favorite things is an idea I got from a fellow IJO jeweler. When we clean and check customers jewelry we deliver the jewelry back to them arranged nicely on a fancy saucer with a piece of lace and we add a Hershey kiss for them as well. — Sue Parker, Nyman Jewelers, Excanaba, MI
  • We’re upgrading cases in our simulated mine to make them interactive and incorporate technology. Better staff training. I go on the floor more often, too, which makes it a special experience for the customer to “work with the jeweler.” — Chris Wattsson, Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, Marquette, MI
  • I added a large in-store sign that says “Custom Design Center” over a bar-top table that has a 42-inch TV on it where we custom design on the sales floor. If no one is designing at that time, it shows a slide show of past custom pieces. We added a flipbook by the front door and a second 20-inch TV with a slide show DVD of past custom pieces near the waiting area. Clients have told us we have a nice feeling environment, and ask us did we change things? New clients ask, “So, you do custom work?” — Josh Rider, Dylan Rings, Montgomery, AL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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