08292016Mon
Last updateTue, 23 Aug 2016 8pm
Kentucky Jeweler identifies credit card scam

Kentucky Jeweler identifies credit card scam

One occurrence is an anomaly. Two instances of a p...

Jeweler helps staff with gun safety training

Jeweler helps staff with gun safety training

Sales and support staff in jewelry stores across t...

Retailers “ready to buy” at the Atlanta Jewelry Show

Retailers “ready to buy” at the Atlanta Jewelry Show

The doors of the Atlanta Jewelry Show opened to mo...

24K Club SEUS honors Mark & Rhonda Jacobson with 2016 Jeweler of the Year Award

24K Club SEUS honors Mark & Rhonda Jacobson with 2016 Jeweler of the Year Award

(SMYRNA, Ga.) - Mark and Rhonda Jacobson, owners of...

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Industry Events

JIS to relocate to Ft. Lauderdale during Miami Beach Convention Center renovation

(NORWALK, Conn.) - Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) provides the jewelry industry with three impressive buying and selling opportunities each year at the Miami Beach Convention Center - JIS Miami January, JIS Miami April and JIS Miami October (Oc...

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On The Move

24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States (24K Club SEUS) welcomed two new members at their Forty-Second Annual Banquet held at the Atlanta Country Club on August 6. The 24K Club Class of 2016 includes Stark Harbour, owner Southern Jewelry Insuran...

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What's New

HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

(NORWALK, Conn.) - HOLLIS BAHRINGER, a leading manufacturer of contemporary metal men’s jewelry is proud to announce the release of six new collections to its assortment. Adding both natural white diamonds and black diamonds, this season’s additions b...

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: What are the biggest challenges facing today’s independent retail jeweler?

Retailer Roundtable: What are the biggest challenges facing today’s independent retail jeweler?

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing today’s independent retail jeweler?

“As an independent retail jeweler we are constantly facing many challenges ranging from competing big box stores, other independent jewelers, a declining consumer interest i...

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Latest News

Lockheed Martin Files Patent to 3D-Print Diamonds

5 DAYS AGO
Lockheed Martin Files Patent to 3D-Print Diamonds

Aerospace company Lockheed Martin filed a patent for making synthetic diamonds from 3D printing.

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Digging underway in search for “Nazi Gold Train”

5 DAYS AGO
Digging underway in search for “Nazi Gold Train”

WALBRZYCH, Poland — A group of explorers has begun digging in southwestern Poland in a quixotic search for a buried Nazi train said to be filled with stolen gold, gems and artworks — despite experts’ doubts that the train even exists.

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JIS to relocate to Ft. Lauderdale during Miami Beach Convention Center renovation

5 DAYS AGO

(NORWALK, Conn.) - Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) provides the jewelry industry with three impressive buying and selling opportunities each year at the Miami Beach Convention Center - JIS Miami January, JIS Miami April and JIS Miami October (October being the 2nd largest jewelry trade show in ...

Readmore

Retailers “ready to buy” at the Atlanta Jewelry Show

19 DAYS AGO
Retailers “ready to buy” at the Atlanta Jewelry Show

The doors of the Atlanta Jewelry Show opened to models draped with pearls, welcoming buyers to a bright show floor brimming with new products and collections from first-time and long-time vendors. Held from August 6 to 8 at the Cobb Galleria Centre, the show’s robust agenda of events included educat...

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24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

12 DAYS AGO
24 Karat Club SEUS inducts new members

The 24 Karat Club Southeastern United States (24K Club SEUS) welcomed two new members at their Forty-Second Annual Banquet held at the Atlanta Country Club on August 6. The 24K Club Class of 2016 includes Stark Harbour, owner Southern Jewelry Insurance and Michael Lebowitz, Director of Jewelry White...

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IDD named Leading Jewelers Guild “Vendor of the Year”

12 DAYS AGO
IDD named Leading Jewelers Guild “Vendor of the Year”

IDD Jewelry of New York, an industry leader in basic diamond jewelry and bridal programs, was recently honored as the “2016 Vendor of the Year” by the Leading Jewelers Guild. As voted by the members of the group, the award recognizes excellence in customer service and innovative product. Already the...

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HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

5 DAYS AGO
HOLLIS BAHRINGER expands line of men’s designer jewelry

(NORWALK, Conn.) - HOLLIS BAHRINGER, a leading manufacturer of contemporary metal men’s jewelry is proud to announce the release of six new collections to its assortment. Adding both natural white diamonds and black diamonds, this season’s additions bring an ultra premium selection to the already exc...

Readmore

ASHI introduces Lovebright Essentials

5 DAYS AGO
ASHI introduces Lovebright Essentials

Offers big look, great price on diamond basics

Studies have shown that basic styles account for as much as 50% of a jewelry store’s total sales. ​ASHI presents Lovebright Essentials, a new ​POS ​program focused on helping you showcase and sell more ​of these ​basic, fast turning, full margin styles​....

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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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