04222018Sun
Last updateTue, 17 Apr 2018 11pm
Estate jeweler starts foundation, jewelry collection for niece

Estate jeweler starts foundation, jewelry collection for niece

When a young life ends abruptly - especially a per...

Retail Roundtable: What’s the most unusual request you’ve had from a customer?

Retail Roundtable: What’s the most unusual request you’ve had from a customer?

“I started working in this business on September 1...

Bead it on down the line

Bead it on down the line

A girls’ day out can do a lot for a woman, from re...

Steady attendance, serious buyers welcome spring at Atlanta Jewelry Show

Steady attendance, serious buyers welcome spring at Atlanta Jewelry Show

(ATLANTA)  - Steady attendance numbers coupled with ...

Bill’s Jewelers thrives by staying true to a family promise

Bill’s Jewelers thrives by staying true to a family promise

Bill’s Jewelers in Thomasville, Ga., has three dri...

Other News

NRF/IBM study sheds light on what Gen Z shoppers really want

NRF/IBM study sheds light on what Gen Z shoppers really want

“What do Gen Z shoppers really want,” the third and final installment of a global study co-sponsored by the IBM Institute of Business Value and the National Retail Federation, examines what this youngest generation considers to be “retail essentials”...

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Industry Events

Innovative Musical Leadership Program to open GIA Symposium

Innovative Musical Leadership Program to open GIA Symposium

The Music Paradigm’s world-renowned music and learning program imparts leadership lessons of the symphony maestro

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) International Gemological Symposium, Oct. 7-9 in Carlsbad, CA, will includ...

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On The Move

Finalists and judges announced for 2018 Saul Bell Design Award

Finalists and judges announced for 2018 Saul Bell Design Award

Rio Grande, the organizer of the Saul Bell Design Award ( www.saulbellaward.com ), is pleased to announce the 45 finalists of the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award competition, as well as the two panels of experts tasked with judging the finalists’ work.

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What's New

GIA provides Melee Analysis Service

GIA provides Melee Analysis Service

Independently operated inside Stuller’s global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller, Inc. is pleased to announce a new strategic service arrangement with GIA (Gemological Institute of America) by offering GIA’S Melee Analysis Service inside its glob...

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Featured Articles

Medford Chason’s treasures

Medford Chason’s treasures

As the saying goes, “one man gathers what another man spills.” In his early teens, enterprising young Medford Chason and his boyhood buddy excavated a garbage dump near his family’s tobacco farm in Southwest, GA that was closed in the early 1900s. Ov...

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Latest News

NRF/IBM study sheds light on what Gen Z shoppers really want

4 DAYS AGO
NRF/IBM study sheds light on what Gen Z shoppers really want

“What do Gen Z shoppers really want,” the third and final installment of a global study co-sponsored by the IBM Institute of Business Value and the National Retail Federation, examines what this youngest generation considers to be “retail essentials” as well as what delights and engages them. The st...

Readmore

WJA announces free first-year memberships for students

4 DAYS AGO
WJA announces free first-year memberships for students

A Gemological Science International (GSI) sponsorship is underwriting the project

(POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.) - The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) announced that it’s offering the first year of student membership free to students during 2018, thanks to a new sponsorship from Gemological Science Internatio...

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Innovative Musical Leadership Program to open GIA Symposium

10 DAYS AGO
Innovative Musical Leadership Program to open GIA Symposium

The Music Paradigm’s world-renowned music and learning program imparts leadership lessons of the symphony maestro

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) International Gemological Symposium, Oct. 7-9 in Carlsbad, CA, will include the debut - for the gem and jewelry industry - o...

Readmore

Jewelers Vigilance Committee announces 2018 webinar series

10 DAYS AGO
Jewelers Vigilance Committee announces 2018 webinar series

(NEW YORK) - The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) will commence an important live webinar series beginning in May of 2018. This series is designed to help members of our industry avoid legal risks and implement legally compliant business practices. Mark your calendars now so you can catch each of t...

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Finalists and judges announced for 2018 Saul Bell Design Award

4 DAYS AGO
Finalists and judges announced for 2018 Saul Bell Design Award

Rio Grande, the organizer of the Saul Bell Design Award ( www.saulbellaward.com ), is pleased to announce the 45 finalists of the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award competition, as well as the two panels of experts tasked with judging the finalists’ work.

Readmore

Joel McFadden Appointed Director of MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers

4 DAYS AGO
Joel McFadden Appointed Director of MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers

MJSA, the trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has appointed Joel McFadden as director of the MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers.

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GIA provides Melee Analysis Service

4 DAYS AGO
GIA provides Melee Analysis Service

Independently operated inside Stuller’s global headquarters

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller, Inc. is pleased to announce a new strategic service arrangement with GIA (Gemological Institute of America) by offering GIA’S Melee Analysis Service inside its global headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana. Melee use...

Readmore

AGS Laboratories now offers independent diamond cutter services

10 DAYS AGO
AGS Laboratories now offers independent diamond cutter services

(LAS VEGAS) - AGS Laboratories has engaged Advanced Diamonds, a Las Vegas diamond cutting service, in an effort to further support the needs of clients and AGS members by offering laser inscription removal and recutting services.

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The Marketing Minute: Trend Spotting

6 MONTHS AGO

Marketing specialist George Prout produces a weekly marketing advice video for retail jewelers, The Monday Morning Marketing Minute. He’s generously agreed to let us share them with our eWeekly readers.

 

Click here  to see more of George Prout’s The Marketing Minute

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Marketing Minute: Pricing Strategy

6 MONTHS AGO

Marketing specialist George Prout produces a weekly marketing advice video for retail jewelers, The Monday Morning Marketing Minute. He’s generously agreed to let us share them with our eWeekly readers.

 

Click here  to see more of George Prout’s The Marketing Minute

 

 

 

 

 

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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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