First Watch Sale: A Blueprint

January 1999

For Your Staff:Selling Timepieces

First Watch Sale: A Blueprint

You hear requests for watches. Pass them on to the store owner

By Paul White
Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN

Some jewelry store owners don't like watches and don't carry them. If you're in this situation, you've probably heard all the reasons. "Too complicated." "Too much support needed." "Too little interest."

At the same time, as a sales associate, you hear people ask for watches. If you're a "full service" jeweler, it will become increasingly difficult to explain to customers why you don't carry them.

This is precisely why your store's owner should consider the possibility. Just seven years ago, our store sold no watches. Now they play a major role in our growth and in a recent expansion. Here, based on our experience, are some steps you and your store's owner can take if you're ready to offer timepieces.

Watch Steps

  • Assess the interests of staff members. If one person is particularly keen on watches, he or she would be a good choice to head the venture into time.
  • With the assistance of the store owner or manager, assess what watch lines are available in your area. Ask your customers what they're interested in: dress, sport, both? Our store began with gold dress watches because, as jewelers, we understood a product that could be presented as jewelry. The watch was the next logical item after buying a ring, pendant and bracelet.
  • Contact retailers of similar size about their experiences with watch companies before you invest in a line.
  • Decide who will perform basic service. If you can't change batteries or size bracelets, be sure your store's jeweler can. Many brand representatives will train you in basic services. But more critically, arrange full-scale seminars conducted by manufacturers to learn about specific models, terminology and advice about how to sell a particular brand.
  • Ask what service center the brand uses, and be sure you and other staff members know exactly how to present these services to customers.

New Customers, New Business
After completing these steps, we introduced the watch line to customers with a trunk show and sale, with watch company representatives in attendance. While introducing the watch line, we also discovered the following:

  • Our staff really enjoys selling watches.
  • New watch brands attract new customers.
  • Watch customers go on to buy jewelry from us.
  • We've had to add more watch lines as customers start to consider us thestore for fine watches.
  • The self-propelling sales growth gave us confidence to increase watch inventory. Now we're selling more than ever – in a newly opened second store!

If you have suggestions for topics, questions for Paul or watch sales examples from your store, send them to Professional Jeweler,1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102; e-mail

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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