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Tip Sheet

What to Stock in 2021 … and More Tips For January

Including advice on holding a “progressive sale” for Valentine’s.




diamond earrings and necklace set

inventoryOffer Comfort and Joy

Consumers are buying things that make them feel stable and secure. “In the grocery aisle, that means soup, but for a luxury business, that tends to translate into classics,” says jewelry industry consultant Andrea Hill. “Diamond studs, pearl earrings, straight line bracelets and simple diamond pendants are flying off the shelves and will likely continue in their popularity until after Mother’s Day,” she says, adding that a good guideline for 2021 is, “if Jackie O wore it, it’s likely to sell.”

MarketingInject Urgency

Want to build more urgency into your direct marketing ahead of a big jewelry date like Valentine’s Day? Take a tip from MADE Jewelry Boutique and Studio in West Reading, PA, and send “progressive sale” postcards. “The earlier they shop, the higher the discount. Last year was our first year to try it, and it worked great,” says owner Chrissy Cook.

ManagementSet Blackout Dates

Before the new year gets much older, lay out a calendar for your team of blackout dates for vacations. These can include days assigned for in-store events, holidays, and other dates when you need everyone present. “It is important to provide this in January to let your team know you are aware they have lives outside of work. And, it’s important you give them ample time to plan their personal vacations,” says Megan Crabtree, CEO of Crabtree Consulting.

ManagementTalk to Your Employees

Tony Hsieh, the popular tech entrepreneur who died last month, was probably as well known for his efforts to foster company culture (such as a $2,000 payout to get new hires to quit if they weren’t happy) as for the companies he founded (Zappos). To boost the happiness and the productivity of employees, he offered this simple prescription: “Just talk to your employees. Ask them what would make them happy.” It was a focus on worker welfare that helped build a billion-dollar company that is renowned for its exceptional customer service.

CommunicationChannel Your Fury Through Notepad

If you find yourself in a rage about a mistake a vendor or an employee has made or even about something a customer has said, draft your angry missive in Notes or Notepad so you can’t immediately send it. If possible, wait at least 12 hours before your next step. If you’re still angry and think it’s still the best option, go nuclear. We’re guessing most times you won’t.

ProductivityThe Golden Hour and a Half

Research shows how you start the day has an enormous positive effect on productivity. To actually get things done in the morning, The 4- Hour Work Week author Tim Ferriss suggests having the first 90 minutes of your workday vary as little as possible. “I think that a routine is necessary to feel in control and non-reactive, which reduces anxiety. It therefore also makes you more productive.”


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When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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