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Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2018 4pm
Travis Piper, the $1 Million Man

Travis Piper, the $1 Million Man

In 1997, Travis Piper went off to college with an ...

Retailer Roundtable: What is your business outlook for 2018?

Retailer Roundtable: What is your business outlook for 2018?

“Based on our December 2017 sales, which were up 2...

Parker’s Karat Patch carves out big local niche

Parker’s Karat Patch carves out big local niche

It was an unlikely career for Kristin and Terrence...

Libby Brown, the perfect fit to lead the Atlanta Jewelry Show

Libby Brown, the perfect fit to lead the Atlanta Jewelry Show

My mom always said, “Raise a child in the way he s...

Southern Gates® Jewelry launches exclusive collection with Biltmore®

Southern Gates® Jewelry launches exclusive collection with Biltmore®

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) - Jewelry design and wholesale f...

Other News

January retail sales remain strong after holidays

January retail sales remain strong after holidays

Up 5.4 percent over last year

(WASHINGTON) - An improving economy kept January retail sales nearly as good as the holiday season’s strong showing - dropping only 0.26 percent seasonally adjusted from December - and fueled a healthy 5.4 percent increas...

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Industry Events

JIS Miami, Centurion South Beach Show to co-locate in October

JIS Miami, Centurion South Beach Show to co-locate in October

(NORWALK, Conn.) - This October, the 2018 JIS Miami October Show and the Centurion South Beach Show will be co-locating their events in the beautifully remodeled Miami Beach Convention Center in the heart of South Beach, Florida. The co-location follo...

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On The Move

Wilkerson and CH Hakimi join the Plumb Club

Wilkerson and CH Hakimi join the Plumb Club

The Plumb Club is pleased to announce the addition of two new members: Wilkerson and CH Hakimi.  These two companies will complement the Association’s nearly 50 members, representing over 100 brands and will join the other important and leading compa...

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What's New

Jewelers Mutual unveils nationwide JM Care Plan™ program

Jewelers Mutual unveils nationwide JM Care Plan™ program

Jewelry and watch plans generate additional revenue for retail jewelers

(NEENAH, Wis.) - In its latest move to support the prosperity of the jewelry industry, Jewelers Mutual Group introduces JM Care Plan™ to retail jewelers throughout the United State...

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: With repairs, what’s your response when asked about switching a diamond?

Retailer Roundtable: With repairs, what’s your response when asked about switching a diamond?

Q: With repairs, what’s your response when asked about switching a diamond?  

“I think the industry is still feeling the effects of that high profile [NBC] Dateline story from 2005 when a New York-based jeweler was caught and arrested for doing just th...

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Latest News

January retail sales remain strong after holidays

3 DAYS AGO
January retail sales remain strong after holidays

Up 5.4 percent over last year

(WASHINGTON) - An improving economy kept January retail sales nearly as good as the holiday season’s strong showing - dropping only 0.26 percent seasonally adjusted from December - and fueled a healthy 5.4 percent increase year-over year, the National Retail Federation (...

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Unique Settings offering completely free Custom CAD Designs in March

3 DAYS AGO
Unique Settings offering completely free Custom CAD Designs in March

(NEW YORK) - Unique Settings of New York, a premier bridal and fine jewelry manufacturer is proud to announce that all their Custom CAD Designs will be completely free throughout the month of March – “no gimmicks, no catches.” During March, all Custom CAD Designs are free including but not limited to, ...

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JIS Miami, Centurion South Beach Show to co-locate in October

1 DAY AGO
JIS Miami, Centurion South Beach Show to co-locate in October

(NORWALK, Conn.) - This October, the 2018 JIS Miami October Show and the Centurion South Beach Show will be co-locating their events in the beautifully remodeled Miami Beach Convention Center in the heart of South Beach, Florida. The co-location following a $620 million renovation of the venue, promi...

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Jewelers for Children announces annual Rings of Strength

10 DAYS AGO
Jewelers for Children announces annual Rings of Strength

The annual Jewelers for Children Rings of Strength will be held on Thursday, May 31, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The very popular event includes options for a 5K walk or run, a challenging bike ride in the scenic foothills of Red Rock Valley, or a less strenuous, street level bik...

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Wilkerson and CH Hakimi join the Plumb Club

17 DAYS AGO
Wilkerson and CH Hakimi join the Plumb Club

The Plumb Club is pleased to announce the addition of two new members: Wilkerson and CH Hakimi.  These two companies will complement the Association’s nearly 50 members, representing over 100 brands and will join the other important and leading companies that exhibit in the Plumb Club Pavilion at th...

Readmore

ASHI announces winner for latest Lovebright Sweepstakes

24 DAYS AGO
ASHI announces winner for latest Lovebright Sweepstakes

(NEW YORK) - ASHI Diamonds has announced the winner of their Lovebright Sweepstakes. Among all the retailers that participated in the Sweepstakes, Bohland Jewelers from Ashland, Ohio had the highest number of participant entries and the winner was randomly selected from their customer participation l...

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Jewelers Mutual unveils nationwide JM Care Plan™ program

3 DAYS AGO
Jewelers Mutual unveils nationwide JM Care Plan™ program

Jewelry and watch plans generate additional revenue for retail jewelers

(NEENAH, Wis.) - In its latest move to support the prosperity of the jewelry industry, Jewelers Mutual Group introduces JM Care Plan™ to retail jewelers throughout the United States. JM Care Plan is a program designed to increase ...

Readmore

Hoover & Strong, Polygon announce launch of online diamond auction service to Polygon Members

3 DAYS AGO
Hoover & Strong, Polygon announce launch of online diamond auction service to Polygon Members

Hoover & Strong announced February 14 a new partnership with Polygon to offer their Harmony Diamond Auctions to Polygon members directly through the Polygon platform. The auctions are ideal for retail jewelry and pawn brokers to sell secondary market/over the counter goods, or for any seller to ...

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Furry friends on the job: Jordyn of First Class Diamonds & Jewelry

3 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Jordyn of First Class Diamonds & Jewelry

This is Jordyn, the “furry daughter” of Joanne and Jim McGhee, owners of First Class Diamonds & Jewelry in Dothan, Alabama. The precious Maltese works as the store greeter. An avid fan of Alabama football, Jordyn loves to wear the team colors to work. She works every day except Football Saturdays wh...

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Furry friends on the job: Ned from Southern and Mid-America Jewelry News

10 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Ned from Southern and Mid-America Jewelry News

Say hello to Ned. He is the 3-year-old Australian Shepherd of Chris Smith, publisher of Southern and Mid-America Jewelry News . While Ned drops in at the office from time to time, he generally works from home. We’d love to have Ned come in every day, but we’ve already got a full time office dog here (Ho...

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The Marketing Minute: Trend Spotting

4 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

4 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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