Professional Jeweler Archive: Making Choices with New Timepieces

October 2002


Making Choices with New Timepieces

Review new lines with courage and the idea that your customers expect you to lead the way

Each time I attend a major watch and jewelry show, I think of the old joke, “I just flew in from Switzerland and, boy, are my arms tired.” My paraphrase of the joke ends with, “Boy, are my eyes and mind tired.” The shows are an assault on all senses – there’s so much to comprehend. I meet with representatives of all my existing brands, and I see as many new ones as I can.

That’s fundamental – most jewelers attend shows to see what’s new. But also you should know what you want to do differently at your store. Let’s say you’re strong in women’s fashion watches, but want to increase traffic for men’s watches. Know what brands are and aren’t represented in your region. If a brand is represented already, it may not be available to you. But just because a brand seems to be taken by a competitor, you never know until you ask. Things change.

Make Choices

Men are attracted by larger, multipurpose sport watches, which can be worn casually or for dress in a variety of activities. There may be limited possibilities for you. How do you choose?

Ask your network of industry colleagues. After hearing the pros and cons, see the line for yourself. For example, a particular line was recommended to me. But when I viewed the line, it seemed limited stylistically and prices were higher than I expected – a “no.” Other times I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the versatility of a line.

Don’t make a decision based entirely on the brand’s reputation or on a recommendation.

Courage Required

Courage plays a part in your decisions. It’s the conviction that a specific model or line can expand your customers’ horizons. At a recent show, I selected a very pricey limited-edition watch, one of the most expensive we will have ever carried. But I believe my customers expect me to feature timepieces of this stature, so that gave me the courage to go through with the deal.

Be the Leader

You have to show your market you’re the leader with new and interesting items. Your customers want you to show them the way.

Know what you want to accomplish. Rely on your sales data and make decisions that suit your makeup and market. But also know you must advance and change. This takes effort, conviction and a bit of courage. Hopefully, when you return from a show, the tiredness you feel in your arms, eyes and mind will disappear as your sales increase.

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

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

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications