01222018Mon
Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 10am
Floyd & Green Jewelers celebrating 25th anniversary

Floyd & Green Jewelers celebrating 25th anniversary

For Steve Floyd & Tom Williams, it seems like ...

Gem Star Imports offers cutting-edge concepts & loyal service to retailers

Gem Star Imports offers cutting-edge concepts & loyal service to retailers

Gem Star Imports, a leading diamond jewelry manufa...

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...

Travis Piper, the $1 Million Man

Travis Piper, the $1 Million Man

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

Other News

IDEX Online reports diamond-based cryptocurrencies to be unveiled at IDWI

IDEX Online reports diamond-based cryptocurrencies to be unveiled at IDWI

(IDEX Online) – The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) will unveil new diamond-based cryptocurrencies created by startup CARATS.IO during the February 5-7 International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI).

Readmore

Loading...

Industry Events

Select Show announces Dallas 2018 date

Select Show announces Dallas 2018 date

Date change moves Select Dallas to September

(NEW YORK) - On the heels of a successful 2017 Select Dallas Show, The Select Jewelry Show has announced a new date for 2018.

The 2018 Select Jewelry Show in Dallas will be held Sunday and Monday, September 1...

Readmore

Loading...

On The Move

IGI North and South America achieves re-certification by RJC

IGI North and South America achieves re-certification by RJC

(NEW YORK) - The International Gemological Institute (IGI) continues to promote the importance of upholding credibility and high industry standards through its submissions to independent external auditors. The Institute has announced that IGI - North ...

Readmore

Loading...

What's New

ASHI launches Valentine Sweepstakes

ASHI launches Valentine Sweepstakes

(NEW YORK) - ASHI has announced the launch its Valentine Sweepstakes, to kickoff the Valentine Season for its retail partners. Retailers will be able to attract shoppers to their stores through various Social Media platforms.  The Sweepstakes provides...

Readmore

Loading...

Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: What do you do when a customer breaks an important piece in your store?

Retailer Roundtable: What do you do when a customer breaks an important piece in your store?

Q: What do you do when a customer breaks an important piece in your store?

“We don’t have a set policy for this type of incident. Pretty much in all cases we’ll cover the cost of repairing the item to avoid any ill will with the client. This is especia...

Readmore

Loading...

Latest News

IDEX Online reports diamond-based cryptocurrencies to be unveiled at IDWI

4 DAYS AGO
IDEX Online reports diamond-based cryptocurrencies to be unveiled at IDWI

(IDEX Online) – The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) will unveil new diamond-based cryptocurrencies created by startup CARATS.IO during the February 5-7 International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI).

Readmore

JA applauds Supreme Court decision to hear Sales Tax Fairness case

4 DAYS AGO
JA applauds Supreme Court decision to hear Sales Tax Fairness case

(NEW YOR K) - Jewelers of America (JA), a national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, applauds the decision by the United States Supreme Court to take up South Dakota’s petition to the Court to re-consider the Quill decision from 1992. That decision established the...

Readmore

Select Show announces Dallas 2018 date

12 DAYS AGO
Select Show announces Dallas 2018 date

Date change moves Select Dallas to September

(NEW YORK) - On the heels of a successful 2017 Select Dallas Show, The Select Jewelry Show has announced a new date for 2018.

The 2018 Select Jewelry Show in Dallas will be held Sunday and Monday, September 16th and 17th. The location remains the same, the D...

Readmore

JA New York Spring Show preview

18 DAYS AGO
JA New York Spring Show preview

Once again, the JA New York Spring show will co-locate with the MJSA Expo March 11-13, 2018 at the Jacob Javits Center, to create a true, destination Jewelry Market Week in New York City. With JA New York’s emphasis on fine finished jewelry and MJSA Expo’s unique focus on supplies to the trade, atte...

Readmore

IGI North and South America achieves re-certification by RJC

4 DAYS AGO
IGI North and South America achieves re-certification by RJC

(NEW YORK) - The International Gemological Institute (IGI) continues to promote the importance of upholding credibility and high industry standards through its submissions to independent external auditors. The Institute has announced that IGI - North & South America has been granted re-certificat...

Readmore

GIA to open laboratory in Surat, India, expand facility in Antwerp, Belgium

12 DAYS AGO
GIA to open laboratory in Surat, India, expand facility in Antwerp, Belgium

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA will open a new laboratory in Surat, India and expand its long-term presence in Antwerp, Belgium in the second quarter of 2018 to meet the needs of the global gem and jewelry industry.

Readmore

ASHI launches Valentine Sweepstakes

4 DAYS AGO
ASHI launches Valentine Sweepstakes

(NEW YORK) - ASHI has announced the launch its Valentine Sweepstakes, to kickoff the Valentine Season for its retail partners. Retailers will be able to attract shoppers to their stores through various Social Media platforms.  The Sweepstakes provides ASHI retailers with a unique marketing opportunit...

Readmore

MJSA launches Jewelers Do It Better™

4 DAYS AGO
MJSA launches Jewelers Do It Better™

Consumer marketing campaign to drive jewelry sales

MJSA, the trade alliance dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has launched a new consumer marketing campaign, Jewelers Do It Better™, to generate enthusiasm for its members’ creations and drive retail sales. The campaign...

Readmore

Furry friends on the job: Chloe of Randall’s Jewelry in Oakland Park, Florida

4 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Chloe of Randall’s Jewelry in Oakland Park, Florida

This adorable little pup is Chloe. Chloe has been on the job at Randall’s Jewelry in Oakland Park, Florida every day of her 8 years. The only exception is Saturdays when she likes to stay home and watch her favorite show, Animal Planet! “She is a very important part of our team in every way,” says h...

Readmore

Furry friends on the job: Dax Shepard - International Gemological Institute (IGI)

11 DAYS AGO
Furry friends on the job: Dax Shepard - International Gemological Institute (IGI)

This big ole dog is Dax Shepard (his legal name is Vom Eichen Antrieb). Dax, who turned 4 years-old earlier this week, is the furry friend of International Gemological Institute (IGI) President/Chief Executive Officer Jerry Ehrenwald. I’d say the 100 lb black German Shepard would be quite effective ...

Readmore

The Marketing Minute: Trend Spotting

3 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readmore

The Marketing Minute: Pricing Strategy

3 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

 

 

 

 

 

Readmore

LeeBrant Jewelers’ new store on the cutting edge

(ATLANTA, Ga.) - When Lee Eskridge and Brant Bateman talk about LeeBrant Jewelers' new 15,000 square foot location, just opened in December, they are thrilled to describe the improvements the new location enjoys. Many are cutting edge in the jewelry business and some required research to find the suppliers to build or create different parts of the store. Today all the effort seems to be well worth the six plus years the project took from beginning to end.


LeeB-exterior-March
LeeBrant Jewelers' new 15,000 square foot location (just opened in December) is
aesthetically beautiful and contains technically advanced, cutting edge security features.

 

LeeBrant Jewelers is starting its fifteenth year in business with a brand new location in the popular Perimeter area of Atlanta. Just a few short miles from their previous location, Bateman and his business partner and long time friend Lee Eskridge, are proud of their new building and many of the security features they incorporated. The free standing building features showcases that each contain secure vaults to house the jewelry when the store is closed. "The showcases have a mechanism that in a single key swipe the floor board with displays and jewelry lowers into a steel vault, the show case light goes out and a steel door rolls in place to secure the vault. This saves countless hours of payroll for put out and take up of the jewelry, and also keeps the display elements and the jewelry in pristine shape for a long time," says Bateman. With these economies, Bateman says the cases will pay for themselves in about four years.


From a main key location all the cases can be emptied and secured simultaneously in 30 seconds. They use that method about once a week to ensure that all systems are go. A battery back up ensures that the cases can be secured in the event of a power outage. A card key system is used for opening the cases to show merchandise, and if an employee signals a case to open and then does not open the case, it automatically locks thirty seconds later. No showcase keys means no locks to change if someone loses a key card. The lost key card is simply deactivated.

 


The store's two diamond engagement ring cases feature a security system that notifies the store's computer system when an item is removed from the case. A chip on the tag alerts management which piece has been removed from the showcase. If a salesperson is working with a customer the system simultaneously displays a photo of the item and lists its characteristics on a video monitor behind the salesperson and tells the customer what other pieces come with the set. This aids in both security and sales. Additionally, a report can be generated to tell the diamond buyer which items are being shown and how often, and which pieces don't get pulled from the case at all. The store is working on this system and is excited about refining it and future uses.


A drive up window for customers with young children in the car, clients with disabilities or quick and easy repair pick up was constructed on one side of the building. "We want to get our clients and new customers in the store any time we can, but we realize that the drive through window is a convenience American consumers love. We hope that by providing that service we will build loyalty with our customers," said Bateman. The window is made with bullet proof glass.


The store also features plasma TVs and comfortable chairs near a bar area complete with wine cooler, dishwasher and ice maker. Men shopping with their wives won't need to rush out on Saturday afternoons to catch part of a game and can relax with a cold beverage.


The building is made almost entirely of steel and stone and features an impressive drive under portico entrance and an armed security doorman. The two story domed ceiling above the sales floor is painted sky blue with clouds to give a natural feeling. A beautiful T shaped double staircase leads to the upper level mezzanine and features the store logo on a soothing two story waterfall wall. The lower part of the staircase has removable railings and can be converted into a stage with sections stored in a closet under the stairs. They hope to use this and the upper level for special store events or for local community groups to hold meeting and events.

LeeB-interior-March


"All the showcases in the center islands on the sales floor can be taken upstairs via our elevator and stored for special events. The carpet in the islands on the sales floor can be rolled up and our beautiful granite floors can be used to seat 135 for dinner with another 75 seated upstairs," Bateman says. A kitchen area off the sales floor is configured to accommodate catering services and will soon feature a gas grill along with the full kitchen.


Plans for this move began years ago when the partners realized they were quickly out-growing the former strip center location they had been in since they opened LeeBrant Jewelers in 1994. They had expanded the original store from 1250 to 2500 square feet, but when that became too small and they could not convince their next door neighbor to move, started looking for land in 2001. Over the years they have put bids on several lots but encountered zoning problems. They did not want to move far from their original location, wanted good visibility and wanted to be at an intersection with a traffic signal. In April of 2007 they found the perfect corner lot and after six months of negotiations they began making plans to break ground in February, 2008.


Bateman comments: "With the current economic situation, the move may seem ill timed, but we were way into this project before the current conditions set in. We needed to move anyway and now we hope that our actions will bring us more visibility, traffic and new customers."


While Eskridge started out sweeping floors at the age of 12 or 13 in a jewelry store in Shelby, NC where his mother worked, Bateman grew up in Georgia thinking he would be a peach farmer after college. A call from Bateman's brother in 1978 about a job with a company that had just hired him brought Bateman, dressed in shirt and tie, to the Bailey, Banks and Biddle store in Perimeter Mall, just down the street from the new store's location. "I was just out of college. My brother said it was a good company and that they had a great training program. I guess they did because I'm still in the business 30 years later." This is where Bateman and Eskridge would meet and develop a friendship while learning the jewelry business. The decision to go into business together was made 16 years later. Bateman's brother is still in the jewelry business as well, working for Tiffany & Co. running their stores in Florida.


The team of employees the two partners have built is made up of experienced sales people with little turnover. Two gemologists are on staff as well as trained bench and watch repair staff. The owners value their staff and try hard to keep them. The new location has a large room closed off upstairs that will soon feature exercise equipment, showers and changing rooms for staff members who want to stay fit. Since LeeBrant's clientele is a higher end customer they work hard to keep them returning and happy. Each year they hold a customer appreciation evening with a full meal and bar service. In the beginning they would feature athletes to draw a crowd, but nowadays that is not necessary as their customers can't wait to attend. At the old location they would set up tents to hold all the customers, but at their new location that is a thing of the past.


LeeB-staff-MarchLeeBrant Jewelers does have one relationship with a spotlight personality that they hope never ends. Sean Hannity, the radio/television host, political commentator and author is often heard on his show talking about his friends Lee and Brant at LeeBrant Jewelers. He does ads about the store and mentions them frequently. He recently gave a Rolex watch he purchased from the store to his TV show co-host Alan Colmes when the pair ended their "Hannity & Colmes" show on January 9th. Hannity purchased the watch as he does everything else he gets from LeeBrant Jewelers and will not accept payment for the ads or discounted prices on merchandise. Both men say they appreciate very much what their customer and friend Sean has done and continues to do for them. The ads on talk radio have definitely helped the store's high end business and hence the majority of their advertising budget goes to other talk radio show spots. The store receives calls from consumers all over the US that have heard Sean mention the store and even some advertising people trying to sell ads as far away as NY call.


If you would like information about the cutting edge features at LeeBrant, Brant will be happy to direct other retail jewelers to the suppliers they worked with. The store's phone number is 770-551-8850 and Brant's e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The staff of LeeBrant Jewelers includes experienced salespersons, two gemologists and trained bench and watch repair personnel. (l-r) Ina Mavalyants, Paul Magnuson, Elizabeth Bateman, co-owner Brant Bateman, Co-owner Lee Eskridge, Ella Eskridge, Gary Brockmiller, Rachel Clark and Aline Ezquerra.

 


Columnists



Most Read

Columnist