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Yes, the Holidays Are Stressful … but This Will Help

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(Our November print issue includes a feature story detailing “10 Steps to Last-Minute Holiday Success.” Today we bring you an excerpt explaining one of those steps: making work fun. Also check out yesterday’s excerpt on creating useful displays.)


One key to a successful holiday season for jewelers is making work fun.

Consultant Andrea Hill says it’s natural to feel stressed during a season that for many in the jewelry business is crucial. But when owners and staff are stressed, customers can feel it, too. “If your store is a calm oasis of happy campers tending to the needs of customers, you’ll have much greater success.”

One way to inject a little mirth into your operations this quarter is to offer staff incentives for the highest average retail sale or the most add-ons, says Darci Aslage, business mentor for the Edge Retail Academy.

“We created a bingo game, and if they complete the bingo squares, they win a prize,” she says.

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Or put gift cards or cash in a lot of different envelopes, and when you catch an employee doing something right, let them pick an envelope out of a Santa bag and win a prize — a $10 gift card to a local business or $50 in cash.

Britten Wolf, owner of BVW Jewelers in Reno, NV, says he takes in so many unusual repair items during the holidays — everything from candle holders and ornaments to shoes — that he offers the staff member who predicts the year’s oddest repair item a gift from Santa.

Also remember to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve as a team. Offer praise every time you see praiseworthy behaviors, be available to step in and help and be a calming, emotionally mature presence in the store. And if this isn’t you, then find a manager who is these things and step out of the way.

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Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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