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November 1999

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HIDDEN PROFIT CENTERS: Filling in the GAPS

Add-on sales of non-jewelry items shore up your bottom line and create traffic

Though every jeweler covets big-ticket jewelry sales, most would acknowledge it's the steady stream of customers and smaller sales that underpin the health of a successful business. Along with reasonably priced starter jewelry, many jewelers are uncovering hidden profit centers in non-jewelry products that appeal mostly to fine jewelry and watch collectors.

Whether it's a wide selection of watchbands and batteries, a good jewelry cleaner, a decorative box or other add-on product that increases the pleasure of owning fine jewelry and timepieces, jewelers can register steady sales from these people-pleasing products. Here are some ideas for increasing sales of these items while generating extra foot traffic for your higher-priced fine jewelry collections.

Watch Lovers Unite

Most watch aficionados love gadgets – that's usually why they were interested in a fine watch anyway. But once they've bought the watch, how do you keep their interest and turn them into watch collectors? Getting them into the store is easy if you call periodically and offer a free watch check-up. After you've checked the battery, remind the customer of your quick and simple battery replacement service.

While the customer is in the store, show your latest watchband selection. The current band may be fine, but many customers like a change of pace.

Introduce the owners of automatic watches to watch winders, which protect and maintain the watches when they're off the wrist. Because they're designed to run all the time, automatic watches should not be allowed to wind down. Otherwise, internal wear and tear can result, say the experts at Chronotime, which distributes the Scatola del Tempo line of winding watch boxes.

For the Jewelry Collector

Collectors of fine jewelry love add-ons that enhance their treasure trove. Chances are many women haven't received a truly special jewelry box since childhood. Suggest an upgrade, either to the collector herself or as a gift idea to a spouse reluctant to spend more on another jewelry purchase. And don't forget a valet where men can keep their tie tacs, cuff links, studs and watches collected in one spot.

Sophisticated jewelry cleaning systems are another popular add-on for the collector who cares about regular maintenance. So are polishing clothes, fastening devices and items that make jewelry more comfortable to wear and take on and off. For example, a number of innovative ear lobe comfort systems are available.

Timing Is Everything

Though sales at your hidden profit centers occur all year, there may be peak opportunities to promote them in the store and through direct mail and media advertising. Among them:

  • Valentine's Day, Mothers' and Fathers' Days: These second-season holidays may be the perfect moment to suggest such gifts, especially to customers who made big purchases for Christmas and are looking for something smaller to complement the larger gift.
  • Bridal Season: Brides and grooms often look to jewelers for small gifts for their attendants.
  • Summer: Often slow for jewelers, summer may be the time to call in regular customers for repairs and show them add-ons. It's also when many companies hold thank-you picnics and outdoor celebrations where prizes and recognition awards are given. Suggesting items from your hidden profit centers is a good way to introduce your store to a company's entire staff.
  • Early Fall: Many charitable organizations hold fall auctions and other fund-raising events at which small donations are often as welcome as big ones. Make sure your add-ons are snugly wrapped in your store's boxes or add your logo to other gifts where appropriate so recipients remember your generosity.


Stuller's hand-finished leather watch straps for men and women are available in an assortment of colors. They come in widths from 10mm to 20mm and feature a nickel-free aluminum buckle plated in karat gold with the Stuller logo. Next-day delivery. Suggested retail, $14.95 for the straps shown.
Stuller, Lafayette, LA; (318) 837-4100, fax
(318) 837-2486.
Made of solid American mahogany, this jewelry box features a four-compartment well, drawers to accommodate necklaces and bracelets, a lift-out tray with two partitions and ring bars, antiqued brass-finish tray lifts and drawer pulls, and a solid brass nameplate. It measures 113/4 x 81/8 x 73/4 inches. Suggested retail, $150. Eureka, Division of Reed & Barton Corp.,
Norton, MA; (800) 376-8209 or (508) 285-9881, fax (508) 285-2205.

Miniature sculpted metal and leather attaché and briefcases are detailed with functioning fasteners and quality stitching and construction. They carry business cards, addresses, grooming accessories, a mini solar calculator or a pocket alarm clock. Suggested retail, $9.95-$34.95. Colibri, Providence, RI; (800) 556-7354, fax (401) 943-4230.
Scatola del Tempo has added a two-watch model to its line of luxury winding watch boxes. The model is the first in this line to accommodate owners of multiple watches. It's handcrafted in leather and lined in silver and has two trays to hold jewelry and other accessories. Suggested retail, $2,500.
Chronotime, Livingston, NJ; (800) 364-5441 or (973) 994-2422.

Eveready Energizer watch replacement batteries are $3 suggested retail. Energizer, St. Louis, MO; (314) 982-2000.
The Hourglass is an easy way for customers to clean jewelry without brushing by hand. Simply place the items to be cleaned in the top of the hourglass, cover and invert to start the scrubbing action. The kit includes jewelry tweezers and eight solution refills. Suggested retail, $19.95. Quantity discounts are available. Ultronics, Mahwah, NJ; (800) 262-6262, fax (201) 529-2178.

Leather link watch straps. Hadley-Roma, Largo, FL; (800) 800-7662, fax (888) 541-6946.
The Hooker, a patent-pending device, is designed to ease fastening bracelets, zipping zippers and buttoning buttons. L. Lawrence Products Inc., Huntingdon Valley, PA; (800) 355-6789 or (215) 355-1021, fax (215) 355-0037, www.comfees.com.

The Sunshine polishing cloth is a felt-like material impregnated with no-scratch microabrasives and a chemical cleansing agent for use on gold, silver, brass, copper, mirrors and glass. Made exclusively for Rio Grande, each cloth is individually packaged and is $4.95 suggested retail. A counter display holds 10 cloths. Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 545-6566, fax (800) 965-2329, www.riogrande.com, info@riogrande.com.
Comfees™ comfort kits contain an assortment of accessories, including comfort keys, earring cushions and stabilizers. Assortments are available in three sizes. Organizers can be customized with logo and contents. All kits come with illustrated instructions. L. Lawrence Products Inc., Huntingdon Valley, PA; (800) 355-6789 or (215)355-1021, fax (215) 355-0037, www.comfees.com.

Here is a variety of products by Hershell Inc. Sparkle jewelry cleaner is designed for use with diamonds, pearls, opals, fashion and colored gemstone jewelry. The Gold & Silver polishing cloth cleans and polishes in one step. Ring Ease is a European-formulated spray that allows rings to slip on and off freely, even if the fingers or knuckles are swollen. The opal moisturizing treatment helps restore luster and guard against chipping and breaking. Hershell Inc., Redding, CA; (800) 752-4557 or (530) 246-0822, fax (530) 246-7571.
The Jeweled Remembrances book allows customers to record the details of how a piece of jewelry came into their possession. The book contains five chapters, one each for necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and family heirlooms. When a piece of jewelry is received, the customer records the date, occasion, initial appraisal value, photo of the piece and sentimental notes. The hardback burgundy cover and spine are stamped with an intricate gold foil design. The pages are acid free, allowing the book to remain an integral part of any family history. Suggested retail, $19.95. Jeweled Remembrances, Martin, TN; (901) 558-0482, businfo@jeweled.com.


Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.



 

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