When traveling I always try to visit one or more jewelry stores. It might be an independent operation downtown or a suburban shopping mall with multiple jewelry stores. Usually, I browse a few minutes then a salesperson asks to help me. My introduction usually results in a meeting with the manager.
These meetings are always informative. The manager is usually an avid reader of Professional Jeweler and willing to discuss the industry. We often talk about the stores sales, plans and problems. Its interesting for me to match the personality of the store with the problems the managers are willing to discuss.
Every store has a personality, and its important to understand the elements that define yours. The products are part of it. Do they set you apart from your competition? Are there sufficient choices for consumers?
Displays are another element. Do your window displays attract passersby? Are your products displayed creatively and lighted properly?
The appearance of your store inside and outside is important also. Does the setting provide consumers with a sense of confidence in you and the purchases theyre about to make? Is your store easy to browse; does it have comfortable seating areas?
The product knowledge, tact and professionalism of the sales staff also affect your stores personality. Are your sales associates knowledgeable about the products they sell and competent in closing sales? Do customers who dont buy feel encouraged to return?
Case in Point
A short time back, I had the opportunity to visit a jeweler in an upscale mall that had five jewelry stores. The young manager offered to help me. When I introduced myself, he told me sales were weaker than in the previous year, that most of his sales were small and that most buyers of high-end merchandise went to another store in the mall. He seemed resigned to that fact.
As I looked around the store, I noticed it didnt display merchandise properly and didnt establish the confidence a consumer needs to feel before buying a major piece of jewelry.
Readers of Professional Jeweler can avoid these typical errors by studying the Image and For Your Staff sections of the magazine each month. In the Image sections, our editors discuss ideas to help you entice consumers with interesting merchandise, creative displays, good store design and effective promotion and advertising. In For Your Staff, they present information sales associates can use to win the confidence and respect of consumers by acting as knowledgeable consultants on jewelry design, quality and value.
We hope you find these sections useful, and we welcome your comments.