Professional Jeweler Archive: Eventful Years

July 2001


Eventful Years

A jam-packed calendar propels sales and awareness

Hamilton Jewelers’ dance card is full. Events at its stores in New Jersey and Florida include an annual diamond event, a watch event and an off-site town-and-country event in which the family-owned business works with other luxury products retailers. Then, of course, there are the holiday parties.

Sparkling Attraction

Most important to Hamilton, founded in 1912, are the diamond events, says Mike Hopper, vice president of operations. Diamond events are held in November in one of Hamilton’s two New Jersey stores (Princeton and nearby Lawrenceville) and in March or April at one of its Florida locations (Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens). The peak buying season is before the year-end holidays up north and in the early spring in Florida’s luxury playground.

During these periods, inventory is tripled and presented “regally” says Hopper. Top vendors are invited to show their wares. The company sends announcements to its customers and places advertisements in local media. Sales associates get lists of their very best customers – each has a list of 50 or more – and write them personal invitations or phone them directly.

“It’s both a selling and an image event,” says Hopper. “It’s image in the sense that it shows our customers and the general public that we’re in the business of selling diamonds. It really makes us stand out in the marketplace.”

Day of Pampering

At this year’s diamond event in Palm Beach, Hamilton partnered with the Brazilian Court, a local spa. Consumers who bought diamonds were entered in a contest to win a Tropical Spa Adventure – basically, a day getting massaged, exfoliated, anointed, baked and all the other things luxury spas do.

Another highlight, says Hopper, was the participation of Lazare Kaplan International, a Diamond Trading Co. sightholder. Being able to buy from a source closer to diamond production is an exciting option for many customers. “In the past, we’ve had diamond cutting exhibits,” notes Hopper, adding that customers appreciate diamond jewelry more after seeing it progress from rough to finished pieces. “Once people know about and appreciate the long process of producing diamond jewelry, I believe they value it more. And that adds value to our products.”

Attendance at these events amounts to several hundred people over a couple of days. There’s seldom a crush in the stores, however, because sales associates focus on making appointments with their regular clients.

“There’s never any pressure to buy,” says Hopper, “but our clients seem to really enjoy the events and seeing what is going on in jewelry. And as their fashion awareness grows, so does our business.”

– by Mark E. Dixon

Sales consultant Julie Rutter meets with clients Martha and Tony Vellamo at a Hamilton Jewelers Diamond Event.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications