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07 Feb

It’s good to see the color turquoise return to fashion’s runways—that means turquoise jewelry will also be resurrected. Not that turquoise jewelry ever really goes away, of course. But remember how huge it was a dozen years ago? There wasn’t a designer who could resist it (and coral, too, as I recall). I’ll admit, this comeback kind of crept up on me—while I was watching the purple palette, like everyone else, I suspect.

07 Feb

A story from last Sunday’s New York Times carried the headline: “The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World.” It could as easily have said, “Just Ask Jewelers.”

06 Feb

The revelation this week that General Motors’ new CEO Mary Barra is paid half of what her male predecessor received is sparking debate about the pay gap between men and women. This got me wondering if such a gap exists among independent jewelry store owners. In our 2013 Big Survey, we asked store owners what their total personal earnings were as well as their gender, so it took only a couple of minutes to come up with a graphic representation of any disparity in earnings between male and female store owners:

05 Feb

I'm currently reading "Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas To Boost Sales, Maximize Profits and Crush Your Competition".

04 Feb

Interviewing owners of jewelry stores in resort locations recently – (and no, sadly, the assignment did not involve a trip to Hawaii!) – led me to reflect again on the importance of offering unique merchandise and/or a unique selling proposition.

04 Feb

When Marie Helene Morrow , one of the most respected jewelry retailers in the industry and 2014 winner of the GEM Lifetime Achievement Award, invites you to visit one of her suppliers for a buying presentation, you don’t say no. In fact, you jump at the chance. So it was that I was able to sit in with Marie Helene (owner of Reinhold Jewelers, with three locations in Puerto Rico) as she shopped the collection of Phillips House, a designer out of south Florida who was exhibiting at Centurion.

31 Jan

When we ask jewelers what they’ve learned from their time in the business, one of the more frequent responses we get is to be grateful for what you have. And in the jewelry industry there is plenty to be thankful for – sharing in people’s good times, working with beautiful materials, and the chance to make a good living.

30 Jan

A New York Times column this week took on the subject of etiquette for customers and salespeople.

29 Jan

Two findings that leaped out at me in an interesting study in the latest edition of Harvard Business Review:

28 Jan

I had a strange and interesting shopping experience in recent weeks that made me think a lot about missed opportunities, customers who walk, and the importance of sales training and role playing, even with seasoned sales associates.

28 Jan

Over the past year or so, it’s occurred to me that, with all these futuristic fabrics flooding the runways, jewelry accessorizing may wind up being a less-is-more matter. And that’s exactly what happened Sunday at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. On the music industry’s big night--an event that often means “a night of a thousand fashion faux pas”—those who were best-dressed were wearing heavy metal designs . . . yet, they were light on the jewelry.

27 Jan

With the show season approaching, a lot of retailers are thinking about merchandising (at least in a general way, like, “What am I gonna buy and hopefully sell this year?”). It’s not just a part of what you do as a jewelry retailer, it’s integral to your business, weaving and wrapping through it so tightly that it’s inseparable from who you are as a company. That’s why we’ve made it the focus theme of The SMART Show education program this year, and it’s why we’re now working on a couple of big stories for both INDESIGN and INSTORE on the subject.

24 Jan

Invest in your people, they are your most important asset. Paul James had always believed in this adage of business and it had served him well in his two decades as a jewelry-store owner.

23 Jan

We know how it is: We and everyone else are all telling you that in this day and age you have to be active on social media. But unless you have (or you are!) a young tech whiz who really loves the stuff, you run out of steam after a week. So many accounts ... so many passwords ... so much to stay on top of.

22 Jan

Came across a nice parable while reading Michael Port's Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling. Review coming soon in the pages of INSTORE. Anyway, here goes:

21 Jan

Given that Radiant Orchid is the Color of the Year, was anyone surprised by all the red and blue we saw on the red carpet this past weekend at the Screen Actors Guild Awards? I wasn’t. Maybe that’s because Leatrice Eiseman of Pantone told me, just days after the color forecaster’s choice was announced, that we’ll be seeing a lot of all three colors this year. And that we did on Saturday at Hollywood’s 20th annual SAGSs. There was a lot of green, too—despite that 2013, the year of Emerald, has passed.

21 Jan

Retailers in vacation spots realize, perhaps more than most, the importance of shopping as entertainment, and the value of being a local business.

20 Jan

21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, Jeffrey Gitomer's latest book on the fundamentals of the sales process, updates the ideas and good sales-floor practices that he has advocated for the last 30 years. While some of the RULES of sales may have changed in recent years, Gitomer argues, the LAWS remain the same. Learn them and sales will become easier and more rewarding. Break them, and you'll be fighting on price.

16 Jan

Lately, I've been transfixed with a reality television show. It's not what you think. Doesn't involve long beards or anyone named Kardashian. It's a program not everyone's going to be able to get, but it ought to be required watching for nearly every jeweler and jewelry salesperson.

15 Jan

There are many different definitions of merchandising. Some are broad, others narrow.

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