Professional Jeweler Archive: Spring Cleaning

April 2000

For Your Staff/Selling Timepieces


Spring Cleaning

Wipe the showcases, evaluate your sales and inventory


This time of year the baseball season is young, and even perennial also-rans can look like pennant contenders.

In the store, you’ve had a chance to fully recover from and analyze holiday and first-quarter sales.

If your store is anything like ours, it probably has an interesting blend of watches from the previous season. Some are also-rans, some are contenders and others are reorders of styles that sold well. Plus, don’t forget the anticipation of seeing what’s new in timepieces from the spring trade shows. Your supervisor may ask you to think ahead to the fall when the new pieces arrive.

Assessment Time

We always find spring to be a good time to look closely at our various inventories to see what was successful and what tanked. If something sold very well, obviously we’ll reorder. But if something had a less-than-stellar performance, we want to know why and discuss what we can do about it.

Here are some strategies for “spring cleaning “ in your watch department:

  • It’s time to clean and freshen your displays. This is an in-between time of year: we’ve started to receive a few new styles and have reordered some best-sellers, but our cases are a mix of old and new and may even be a bit light on merchandise.
  • Dust or clean the displays, but be careful because some cleaners may permanently damage certain display material. If you need new display elements to replace those that are shopworn, ask the watch company representatives. They’re always happy to have their watches seen in the best possible presentation.
  • Try rearranging your timepieces within the showcases. Yes, I know, it’s really convenient and easy to leave everything in the same spot so your customers and sales associates can always find them. But a big part of watches is the fashion sense they convey.

Fresh Looks

By rearranging, regrouping and adding new display and marketing elements to your cases, you may be able to make a not-quite-up-to-speed inventory look fresher and a lot more salable. If last year’s suit looks fresh with a new shirt and tie, the same concept can apply to your watch showcases.

The second kind of cleaning is more mental. You know full well what watches sold in the previous two quarters and what didn’t. Even if you don’t use a sophisticated method to analyze your inventory, simply looking at it will often do the trick. We’ll discuss how to do this necessary task, in detail, next month.

–by Paul White, Watch Division Director, Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN

Each month Paul White fills this column with sales tips for retailers who want to sell more watches. If you have suggestions for topics, questions for Paul or specific examples from your store, send them to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102; timepieces@professionaljeweler.com.


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