Create a Watch Wardrobe

September 1998

For Your Staff:Selling Timepieces

Create a Watch Wardrobe

Develop multiple sales by matching style and time

By Paul White
Director of the Watch Division
Reis-Nichols Jewelers Indianapolis, IN

Watch lovers enjoy owning and wearing a variety of timepieces. But what about less watch-savvy customers? Can you persuade them they need more "time" in their lives?" It's a terrific opportunity to increase timepiece sales.

First, examine your store's "watch closet." With regard to brand name, style and price point, do you have enough styles to offer the first-time and repeat watch customers a genuine choice? You can't wardrobe customers until the buyers and owners of your store commit to adequate selection and services.

You can help your watch buyer by suggesting styles you've seen elsewhere. It's worth noting too that just because a watch is new or different won't make it an instant sales success. But it could become your future best-seller if you work at it. Often, the strongest sales occur when the staff is enthusiastic about a product. Like any jewelry decision, there are financial risks and rewards in pioneering a brand.

Suggest Watches to the Customer
Many customers buy three or four jewelry items from you each year. They've probably bought multiple bracelets, earrings and pendants, but only one watch. They may not even think of buying a second watch unless you suggest it.

Let's start with a customer you know well. You sold him a snazzy steel and gold bracelet watch that gets a lot of wear at work, on weekends and on casual workdays. Why not suggest an elegant, thin, round or rectangular watch on a strap? It looks dressy with business attire. Does he ever wear formal attire? A black strap watch is de rigueurfor black-tie events.

Your customer may wear a second watch infrequently, so be prepared to suggest watches at different prices. A modestly priced goldplated watch may be just the thing. The more expensive solid gold piece is a great goal, but remember the customer and not just the sale. He'll remember you for that.

Casual Change
If the customer already owns a dressy watch, suggest one for casual or sports wear, perhaps steel or steel with gold.

Suggest that having different watches to wear can prolong each one's life. Also note multiple watches give the customer something suitable to wear for vacations, working in the yard or taking kids to a ball game, not to mention casual office days. It's up to you to plant the seed and create the marketplace in your customer's mind.

Here are some more possibilities:

  1. Suggest a true dress watch as a gift for a woman. A gold bracelet watch, with or without diamonds, may be the perfect gift when she has a lot of other jewelry.
  2. For men and women, stress the fashion flexibility of multiple straps. Black is the most formal, but browns and cordovan provide a warm, everyday look. Bright colors are especially appealing to women and also are popular in men's sport watches.
  3. If a customer is loyal to a brand, never miss a chance to introduce him to new styles from that brand.
  4. Make watch fans aware of special editions and limited-production models and one-of-a-kind items.
  5. Make watches a "family affair." Find out about graduations and any other special occasions that could merit a second or new watch.
  6. Watches are fashion. Today's market is loaded with fashion timepieces for women at all price points. Let customers know this is a great opportunity to add new looks to their wardrobe without necessarily paying high prices. Consider having some fashionable lower-priced items to select from. Then be ready to upgrade this customer when the time is right.

Each month Paul White fills this column with sales tips for retailers who want to sell more watches. Please send suggestions for topics, questions for Paul or examples from your store to Professional Jeweler,1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102, e-mail




Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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