01182017Wed
Last updateTue, 17 Jan 2017 8pm
Leading the state in estate jewelry

Leading the state in estate jewelry

Levy’s capitalizing on estate jewelry popularity

Es...

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

The Southern Jewelers Guild takes a look at the exp...

How will Trump’s election affect retail jewelers?

How will Trump’s election affect retail jewelers?

President-elect Donald Trump has been in the publi...

Greg Lynn discovers art in the midst of struggle

Greg Lynn discovers art in the midst of struggle

When Greg Lynn’s parents were transferred from Nor...

Retailer Roundtable: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?

Retailer Roundtable: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?

Q: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?  

“...

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Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

(NEW YORK) - Citizen Watch Company, Ltd., parent of Bulova Corporation and Citizen Watch Company of America has completed the integration of the two companies into one organization, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. The company will do business i...

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Industry Events

GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

Alumni party, colored stone services, unique exhibits, expert talks and more

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s not-to-miss activities and services will enrich the visitor experience at the 2017 Tucson Shows, including an out-of-this-world alumni event, show s...

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On The Move

JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

Jim Rosenheim receives Lifetime Achievement and Grace Fuller, Kay® Jewelers, Lucia Silvestri for BVLGARI and Patek Philippe win

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, h...

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What's New

New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

Voyager Brands’ new line targets customers from teens to grandmothers

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Something new, different, random, abstract - that’s Voyager Brands’ new Love Universe collection of earrings, rings, pendants, small necklaces and bracelets. It’s fu...

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Featured Articles

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

There are many paths to finding the right career. Most are predictable, but sometimes the path becomes clear only through adversity. Richard Branson, whose net worth of $4.9 billion makes him nearly 10 times wealthier than Queen Elizabeth II, dropped...

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Latest News

Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

16 HOURS AGO
Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

(NEW YORK) - Citizen Watch Company, Ltd., parent of Bulova Corporation and Citizen Watch Company of America has completed the integration of the two companies into one organization, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. The company will do business in the Trade as Citizen Watch America.

Readmore

Jewelers of Louisiana opens application for funds to benefit jewelers impacted by Louisiana floods

16 HOURS AGO
Jewelers of Louisiana opens application for funds to benefit jewelers impacted by Louisiana floods

(NEW ORLEANS) - Over 100 people employed in the jewelry industry were impacted by the August floods in South Louisiana. Jewelers of Louisiana, a statewide organization, representing over 1,500 employees has established a fund to help anyone in the jewelry industry affected by the floods. Over $3,700 ...

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GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

17 HOURS AGO
GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

Alumni party, colored stone services, unique exhibits, expert talks and more

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s not-to-miss activities and services will enrich the visitor experience at the 2017 Tucson Shows, including an out-of-this-world alumni event, show service laboratory, fascinating exhibits, expert ta...

Readmore

Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair coming in February

14 DAYS AGO
Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair coming in February

The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), the Ministry of Commerce of the Royal Thai government has extended an invitation for U.S. jewelers to visit the upcoming 59th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair 2017. The Fair will be held February 22-26, 2017 at the IMPACT Exhibition & Conven...

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JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

17 HOURS AGO
JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

Jim Rosenheim receives Lifetime Achievement and Grace Fuller, Kay® Jewelers, Lucia Silvestri for BVLGARI and Patek Philippe win

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, held their 15th annual GEM Awards on Friday, Januar...

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Stuller commits to promoting health and wellness in Louisiana

6 DAYS AGO
Stuller commits to promoting health and wellness in Louisiana

Company designated as a top-level WellSpot

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller is proud to announce that they have been named a level one WellSpot by Well-Ahead Louisiana, an initiative started by the Louisiana Department of Health.

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New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

17 HOURS AGO
New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

Voyager Brands’ new line targets customers from teens to grandmothers

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Something new, different, random, abstract - that’s Voyager Brands’ new Love Universe collection of earrings, rings, pendants, small necklaces and bracelets. It’s fun and enticing to women of all ages.

Retail prices ...

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MJSA launches Council of Custom Jewelers as part of new Custom Design program

6 DAYS AGO
MJSA launches Council of Custom Jewelers as part of new Custom Design program

MJSA, a trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has introduced the MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers as part of a wide-ranging program to advance the art and consumer appreciation of custom jewelry design.

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The Retailer’s Perspective: Location, Location, Location

About 3 years ago I made the biggest decision of my professional life and decided to shut down my retail store - the retail store that I planned on owning for the next 30 years. It had been in that location since 1947 and I was hoping to make it last till 2047. Then the unthinkable happened. It failed. S.L.O.W.L.Y!

There was no warning. No precipitating factor like the factory next door shutting down and laying off my entire customer base. I wasn't doing anything wrong. If anything, I was doing everything right, just like I'd been doing since I opened my first jewelry company in 1983.

I got up every morning and went to work and turned on my OPEN sign and people came in and did business with me. Until my location died.

It was a painful and expensive time (of course that pales in comparison to the last four months of 2008) to go through. Now I've just experienced my second Christmas season in my new location and my 31st as a jeweler. And, yes it was slow, but it wasn't dead. If I'd stayed in my old location the last year and a half, I'm certain I would be bankrupt by now. And I think I've learned some valuable lessons the last couple of years I'd like to share with you.

Moving your business is a lot like moving from one neighborhood to another. Yes, you'll miss your old routine. You'll miss your old friends. You'll miss your house. But most people don't move from their house to one in a really bad part of town that's crime ridden and in decay. Most people move to a better neighborhood with more to offer than their last.

The same is true of moving your business. When I was looking for a new home for my store I wasn't looking in crappy, crime ridden areas. I was only looking in the best areas that offered the most long term growth. It took me almost a year to find my new location. It was kind of like looking for a new house and not liking anything you've seen. Then the perfect house comes on the market, and you know it's perfect because you've seen everything else. Then the move is not so scary. In fact it's exciting. Heck, the hardest part was the decision just to move.

Back when I was going through the process, I talked to lots of other jewelers who were in the same situation I was. Some moved. Some didn't. Those that did move have new stores, new customers, new sales, and a positive outlook. Those that didn't move.. well, their situation hasn't changed.

In my new store, I average about 5 people a day I've never seen in my life coming in for something. Most times it's just a $10 watch battery, but they are in my store.

The hardest part about building a new business is getting people to physically walk through your front door, but once they're in you can do your dog and pony show and make them a long term customer. We all know that word-of-mouth is the best advertising, and I'm averaging 5 new people a day. I'm thrilled. This would have never happened if I hadn't moved.

With the tough economic situation the country is facing, being in a bad location is only going to get worse. I'm glad I made the move because I've at least got a shot at surviving this mess, whereas in my previous location I had no chance.

Oh yeah, one other thing about moving. Just like how you'll miss your friends from your old neighborhood if you sell your house, the neighbors you really liked will still be your friends and you'll still see each other. And the neighbors you didn't like will be out of your life. When you move your business it's a lot of the same. The customers I really liked come see me at my new store. The customers that didn't really like me (or me them) tend to find someone else. There's a few I still can't shake though.

So what's next? Retail is next!

A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Brad Lawrence. Brad owns Goldcasters Fine Jewelry in Bloomington, Indiana. If you've never been to Bloomington, it's an hour south of Indianapolis and an hour from any major interstate, and the home of the Indiana University Hoosiers.

A small quaint city in the middle of the country with one incredibly successful jewelry store. I was curious how someone could build a business of that magnitude in an out of the way place like Bloomington, so I went to check it out. Brad gave me a lesson or two on how to run a jewelry store.

First and foremost I learned that Brad was a retailer - not a jeweler. Yes, he's owned a jewelry store for over 25 years and has all the credentials and training available, but he doesn't see himself as a jeweler. He see's himself as a retailer.

Brad told me that most of his peers see themselves as jewelers. The difference is remarkable if you really think about it. Brad doesn't buy something because he likes it. He buys something be cause he thinks he can retail it, not just sell it.

How many of us have tons of dead stock in our cases and dead giftware that we thought was a sure fire seller? Most of us bought it because we liked it and never really thought about retailing it. Yeah, we gave it some thought, but did you really look at it like a retailer?

Ask yourself; Could you pull all of the cases out of your store and fill it with clothes and be successful? Brad Lawrence could. It's not the product you are selling that's important, it's your ability to retail that product.

Everyone reading this just happens to sell jewelry. So tell me, are you a retailer or a jeweler? For the last 30+ years I've answered that question "I'm a jeweler." In 2009 I'm going to become a retailer and damnit, I'm gonna buy a new private jet too - just like Brad!

Brad also made a statement that's stuck in my head: "If you're selling diamonds, you're doing okay in this business. If you're not selling diamonds, you're probably in trouble." That's pretty profound if you really analyze it.

Back in the day before Blue Nile and the Internet. I sold an average of 15-20 big diamonds a year. Considering at the time I was a small retail custom and repair shop, I was selling a big diamond about every 2-3 weeks, so I always had a couple of big sales in the pipeline and made a great living.

I don't think I've sold 20 big diamonds in the last 5 years, so how is Brad doing it and I'm not. It's relatively simple to explain, but it's going to be harder to put my new plan in place, but I'm gonna do it.

When I go back and really analyze those previous diamond sales, I realized I was just lucky. I never had a plan. I had something better - a jewelry store. It was just by default that I ever sold a diamond in the first place. Just pure luck.
I think a lot of jewelry store owners out there fall into this same category. You had a jewelry store and that was the only place to buy a diamond. Where else was someone going to go other than another jewelry store?

It was easy pickins back then. If I missed a sale, I had a couple of others in the works, so no big deal. Now the options are unlimited with the Internet. So since I never really had a plan, I had no ‘Plan B' if something like the Internet happened.
What I'm coming to realize is that the Internet is no different than any other competitor if you're actually in the business of selling diamonds.

There were a lot of stores that got killed when the Internet came along, and a few, like Goldcasters, that didn't. Simply because Brad was in the business of retailing diamonds, not selling diamonds - retailing them.

It took about a week for everything Brad and I talked about to soak into my thick skull, but once it got in there, it stuck. I encourage all the jewelry store owners out there to really think about what Brad has to say because it really works.
That being said, look out world, I'm about to become a retailer. God help the competition and the other airplanes up there!




Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. You can contact him at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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