Chris Burslem is the group managing editor of INSTORE. He loves it when good ideas triumph.
As part of INSTORE’s mission to help independent jewelers, we try to focus on the big issues: How to improve your net margin? What constitutes a cool store design? How can you more efficiently close a sale?
But get a group of jewelry-store owners together and it’s often the little things like the lack of manners of modern customers that dominates the conversation.
While doing some reading for an upcoming story on merchandising I came across a terrific description of just what a fragile exercise it is to get customers to part with their money. It comes from Caitlyn Kelly in her 2011 book “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail:”
Our One Quick Question in the upcoming March edition of INSTORE focused on the old sales conundrum of whether as a store-owner you want your team trying to sell drills or holes.
Specifically, it asked: If you walked into your local hardware store and said, “I need a drill,” you’d be most impressed by the salesperson who replied:
Consulting firm McKinsey & Co has released an interesting look into the not-so-far-off future of jewelry retail, titled “A multifaceted future: The jewelry industry in 2020.”
The good news: It sees strong growth for the category, at 5-6 percent a year.
The bad news, or the fun news depending on how you view challenges, is that it sees a fast changing competitive landscape (as consulting firms are prone to do).
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.”
The Times story noted that while politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is deepening, there is no such debate in corporate America. “Across the country, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants are struggling, while fine-dining chains like Capital Grille are thriving,” it noted. Meanwhile, upscale Barneys stores are replacing branches of the bankrupt discounter Loehmann’s and at General Electric, “the increase in demand for high-end dishwashers and refrigerators dwarfs sales growth of mass-market models.”