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Ralf Kircher

Ralf Kircher

Ralf Kircher is Group Executive Editor for SmartWork Media, overseeing INSTORE and INDESIGN magazines. He thinks the perfect jewelry-store experience is one that doesn't make him feel like the bumbling romantic his wife knows him to be.

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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:

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

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.

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.

We don’t run many mentions of retirements, mainly because we don’t hear about them until long after the fact. But today, we just got word of one jeweler retiring who is of personal significance to me — and by association, INSTORE — although I’m sure he’s not aware of it.

Was driving in to work today and heard a story on American Public Media’s Marketplace radio show of a new way thieves are exploiting credit cards.

Word from Jewelers For Children this week is that they are hosting a Rings of Strength walk/run/bike ride in both Tucson and Las Vegas this year.

The folks at Pugh’s Diamond Jewelers in Zanesville, OH, got in touch this week to let us know about their latest holiday ad campaign. After their 2012 campaign that borrowed from Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and invited customers to “Pughville” for the holiday kick-off, we were wondering how they might top it.

Go Get ’Em!

Post: 28 November 2013

Last week, I wrote about a start-up company that looks to be a more constructive alternative to Yelp reviews. (See it here.) A couple of retailers commented about their own dissatisfaction with Yelp’s online reviews and found the news encouraging.

A California startup is betting on an app that, if it catches on, could be an alternative to Yelp. While it doesn’t come from the folks at Yahoo, the fact it actually encourages constructive private feedback from customers may have you yelping, “Yahoo!”

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