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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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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show Twenty Questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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Manager's To Do

Considering Store Layout, Guilt-Easing Gift Ideas, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for November

And here’s a key scheduling tip for your holiday email marketing.

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Nov 3-9

STORE LAYOUT Look out for store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. Fixtures that restrict visibility through the space kill the “spirit” of a store and the impulse to buy.

INVENTORY Investigate vendor spiffs. Your suppliers want their lines to succeed this season, so take advantage of the incentives they offer.

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Video: It’s Not My Problem When You Buy a $120 Ring and Your Wife Finds Out It’s ‘Fake’

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers
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Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers

ONLINE Mobile devices are expected to drive about 70 percent of all Christmas-related retail traffic this year. Test your website and any apps to ensure the customer experience on tablets and phones is working as well as on desktops. It often doesn’t.

Nov 10-16

MARKETING Post your advertising schedule in the back room. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what promotions will run when.

SALES Find “guilt-easing” gift ideas to go with gift cards or certificates. For bigger certificate amounts, have a “real” gift — like Belgian chocolates or a bottle of wine — close at hand that you can bundle in free.

Nov 17-23

MARKETING With only four weeks to go until Christmas, step up your email campaigns to twice per week. Schedule campaigns on Thursdays or Fridays to stimulate purchases over the weekend, when conversion rates typically peak.

MERCHANDISING Impulse buys can come in many price ranges and store locations. Rethink the way you normally position these items.

STAFF Show your team how much you appreciate their efforts. Take them out for an activity or nice meal. Team-building will make it easier to get through the weeks ahead.

Nov 24-30

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

OPERATIONS Starting today, hold a short staff meeting every morning, keeping everyone informed on progress. Single out a separate item each day and discuss the best way to present it. Keep the meetings short and make sure they end on an upbeat note.

TRAINING Coach your associates to steer more. Urge them to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings. Advise them to keep the number of recommendations limited.

MANAGEMENT You should now be in full holiday-season mode. For last-minute tips and promotional ideas, go to your own INSTORE archives (or our past issues at instoremag.com/digimag).

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Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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