Professional Jeweler Archive: Attracting a Crowd

May 2001


Attracting a Crowd

Gift-with-purchase incentives and an updated customer list can help draw traffic to your watch event

When planning an in-store watch event, include details that can differentiate your store from others nearby. Short of holding a discount sale (a no-no for you and your watch suppliers) you can offer special incentives to help assure a successful event – and you may also help charities and reap public relations value from your efforts.

Trade-In Policy

Promote a liberal trade-in policy for the event weekend. This allows you to offer a break from the normal selling price of the new watch. And you can use the old watches for resale, as loaners while customers’ watches are being serviced or for donations to charity.

This last aspect can also be an advertising hook if you forward a portion of the proceeds to a charity. Consumers are often enticed by the consideration your store shows to charities.

Your watch representatives understand you must make special accommodations to your customers for your event to have meaning and success. But be sure to review your intentions ahead of time with your reps so they’re up to speed.

Let the Customers Know

If you plan to offer special incentives, be sure every customer who shops at your store in the weeks leading up to the big event knows about it. You don’t want a customer to think he or she might have received a better price by waiting a few days or even a few weeks.

Gifts Work

Spice up your event by offering gift-with-purchase incentives. Most watch vendors provide logo merchandise free to give as gifts-with-purchase. This merchandise includes hats, shirts, keepsake books and backpacks. Don’t forget to have these items in your store in time for the event. And advertise them as you promote the event.

Target Your Market

Know who you want to attend the event – your general customer list is important, as are your watch-buying and watch-repair customer lists. At a recent watch show, our store also made an extra effort to bring in our male engagement ring customers. So many of these young men paused to look at our watches during their engagement purchases that they were a logical target.

Press Relations

Get the word out to the local press. This is critically important when you have unique, expensive or rare watches to show or brands with a celebrity tie-in. Watch companies will help provide the press release and materials you need. You may get no more than a mention or a picture in the lifestyle section of your paper, but it all counts.

Be Patient

Balance your expectations for the event and the results realistically. Your first year may be a rousing success. It may not. Our show took a few tries to get off the ground and now is an established and anticipated annual event. Evaluate and get feedback from staff, reps and customers to help improve the event.

In summary, plan in advance, think through the details and find a good hook so your watch event turns out to be a great time for everyone involved.

– 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 manage their watch departments more intelligently. 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;

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications