Professional Jeweler Archive: Time for the Fall Check-Up

September 2000

For Your Staff: Selling Timepieces

Time for the Fall Check-Up

With orders made, be sure the right watches will arrive when you need them

Each year it seems the retail industry prepares for the holidays earlier than ever. Which one of us hasn’t had the sensation that decorations are displayed in some stores about 15 minutes after Halloween?

Though we may not put the window dressing in our stores quite this early, now is the time to take a close look at preparations for the fourth quarter. In the wristwatch business, delivery and product availability is volatile. Careful planning is the key to reducing the “surprise” potential. Let’s look at a simple checklist for the fall season.

Check the Inventory

How well you’re prepared for fall has a lot to do with what you did in spring and summer.

Of course you want to make sure your showcases are full of the items you want in each of the timepiece lines you carry. It’s time to take a careful look.

Do You Have the Hot Styles?

Are you featuring the advertised products? Your store’s buyers probably attended one or more trade shows and ordered some products for fall delivery. But this may have occurred three to six months earlier in the year. The first step is to review the watches ordered.

Talk to Your Watch Reps

Find out exactly which timepieces are likely to make it on time for the fall selling season. What are the manufacturer’s drop-dead delivery date and cancellation agreements?

Which pieces are back-ordered? If these watches are not expected soon, are there alternative stock decisions you can make? Should you cancel some orders to free up open-to-buys in other areas?

Be Ready with Best-Sellers

Work with your reps to look at last year’s holiday orders. What were the best sell-through items?

Make sure you know what your best-sellers were and whether you’ll be able to get them again if you’ve sold out and you need more. Make sure the new versions of these models still have the features that made them best-sellers in the first place. If they do, make plenty of room for them in your showcase.

Some lines you carry will be ready very early in the season so you can receive them early. As mentioned, others may be on back-order. Be sure you know what is coming when. Also find out which companies can deliver special orders right up to the last minute.

Be Ready

You certainly can’t do everything at the last minute, but if you’ve managed your year properly to date, you’ll know what you have, what’s on the way, what’s hot, what’s available and what’s not.

Next Month: Advertising & Training

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

Each month Paul White fills this column with sales tips for sales associates 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.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications