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Manager's To Do

Valentine’s Display Ideas, Lighting Advice and More Tips for the Month of February

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Jan. 29-Feb. 3

ONLINE Call a friend and tell them to go to your website and see how quickly they can find your business hours. Less than 10 seconds? Awesome. 20 seconds? OK, not bad, but could be better. 30 seconds or more? You should definitely make a change in your design to ensure this important information (and your contact details) are super-easy to find.

DISPLAY “Valentine cards are an easy prop option for your cases. Find some unique ones on eBay and set your store’s trim apart from the drugstore-card variety.” 

OUTREACH Ask everyone — repair customers, browsers, friends — what his or her plans are for the Day of Love. Maybe there’s something happening you can be a part of.

Feb. 5-10

SALES FLOOR If you hand out roses to customers, buy them this week. Roses bought from a florist won’t start to wilt for at least five to seven days if they’re properly cared for (a night in water helps). Prices for roses, however, will most definitely spike — often by as much as double — as Valentine’s Day nears.

STRATEGY Feb. 14 falls on a Wednesday in 2018. Prepare a shortlist of popular items at different price points for male customers. Review your “last-minute panic-buying” strategy and stock levels.

Feb. 12-17

MARKETING Buying season is on the way: it’s time to take a hard look at your inventory. Drill down into your data (GPM, brand performance, price points, markdowns) to weed out underperformers and identify any new category trends. Set targets and support plans for your emerging inventory stars.

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MERCHANDISING Schedule a meeting with staff to discuss merchandising based on what you discovered with your data mining. Brainstorm buying strategies that will enable you to achieve your 2018 goals (do you want to attract more female self-purchasers? Expand bridal offerings? Should you be pushing custom?).

Feb. 19-24

EDUCATION This is a good time to broaden your business and gemological skills. Check out what courses GIA and JA are offering. Can you send your jeweler somewhere to sharpen his skills?

STORE Bring in a lighting consultant for a day. With his help, you may be able to replace tungsten halogen bulbs with LEDs and make other changes to add sparkle to your showroom. The savings will soon pay back the fee, says Ruth Mellergaard of interior design firm GRID/3.

Feb 26-Mar. 3

SALES TRAINING Learn how to create “repair moments.” Are you simply handing repaired items to customers, or are you presenting them — perhaps in a beautiful case, or with an accessory?

FINANCES Do a manual backup of all your customer and financial records and store it offsite. Your system should be doing this automatically — it’s always good to check occasionally — but just in case of some catastrophe, it’s vital you have some sort of record to start rebuilding.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.

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Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”

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19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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