03272017Mon
Last updateSun, 26 Mar 2017 4pm

Other News

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released its 2016 Annual Crime Report covering crime against the jewelry industry in the United States. The total number of crimes against the industry increased from 1,117 in 2015 to 1,245 in 2016, a...

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Industry Events

Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Leading Jewelers Guild visits global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller recently partnered with the Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG) to host a one-day conference at its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, giving members of the guild an entire...

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On The Move

Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Kirk as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board’s action comes with the fullest confidence that Kirk will be an excellent stew...

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What's New

ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI is excited to launch the 2017 Lovebright Collection Book for all of their retail partners to share with their customers. ASHI reports the positive feedback they have received from their retailers, and the overwhelming desire to ignite and promot...

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Featured Articles

Bill Spencer talks jewelry, family and the secret to a successful 3rd generation family business

Bill Spencer talks jewelry, family and the secret to a successful 3rd generation family business

Seventy three years and three generations is a long time to operate a jewelry store. Especially when, according to a Jewelers Board of Trade statistic, over 1,500 jewelry business owners ceased operating in 2016. Yes, that includes wholesalers, manuf...

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Latest News

Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

4 DAYS AGO
Crime against U.S. jewelers increases for first year since 2012

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) has released its 2016 Annual Crime Report covering crime against the jewelry industry in the United States. The total number of crimes against the industry increased from 1,117 in 2015 to 1,245 in 2016, an increase of 5.8%. Total dollar losses also incre...

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JA examines pending legislative issues most important to jewelry industry

4 DAYS AGO
JA examines pending legislative issues most important to jewelry industry

Jewelers of America’s (JA) latest Legislative Update covers some of the big policy initiatives - including comprehensive tax reform, a potential import tax and the FTC’s “Cultured Diamond” terminology - that are in play for 2017 and their impact on jewelry businesses.

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Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

4 DAYS AGO
Stuller hosts mini conference for jewelry group

Leading Jewelers Guild visits global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller recently partnered with the Leading Jewelers Guild (LJG) to host a one-day conference at its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, giving members of the guild an entire day of education and networking.

Readmore

GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

26 DAYS AGO
GJA, AJA announce 2017 Convention dates

The Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) and Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) have announced they will cohost their annual Convention on March 31- April 2. Now in its 9th year, the two state organizations will join forces at the Marriott Grand National Resort & Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in O...

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Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

26 DAYS AGO
Jane Kirk appointed Executive Director of NC Jewelers Association

(RALEIGH, N.C.) - The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Kirk as Executive Director, effective immediately. The Board’s action comes with the fullest confidence that Kirk will be an excellent steward of NCJA’s goals and an advocate for North Caro...

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Belair Time Corp. names Chuck Goedtke Southeastern Sales Manager

26 DAYS AGO

Belair Time Corporation has announced the appointment of long-time watch industry veteran Chuck Goedtke to Southeastern Regional Sales Manager. Chuck will be covering Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky for Belair.

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ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

12 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches 2017 Lovebright Collection Book

ASHI is excited to launch the 2017 Lovebright Collection Book for all of their retail partners to share with their customers. ASHI reports the positive feedback they have received from their retailers, and the overwhelming desire to ignite and promote their store’s diamond sales, has been extremely ...

Readmore

ASHI launches the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

18 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes

Announces winner of #LovebrightValentine Sweepstakes

(NEW YORK) - ASHI is excited to launch the I DO Bridal Sweepstakes, to kickoff the wedding season for its retail partners. Retailers will be able to attract bridal shoppers to their stores, through various social media platforms, and let every bride...

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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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