The wheels continue spinning in Jay Klos’ energetic mind.
The owner of Florence, Ala.–based Grogan Jewelers is looking forward to celebrating his store’s centennial anniversary this June with a spirited event spotlighting the business’s longevity and community ties. He’s considering raffling off a car or staging a giveaway of ten 1 ct. diamonds.
“Whatever I do, I want to make a splash,” says Klos, who has owned Grogan Jewelers since 1985. “So few firms have been around 100 years. I want to grab people’s attention.”
Every year, jewelers across the country hit noteworthy milestones, marking the occasions with celebrations aimed at gaining attention, engaging customers, boosting traffic, and corralling sales. We’ve rounded up a number of jewelers who celebrated big birthdays in 2014 to glean some tips on how to recognize the enduring role an established store plays in its community.
A Day to Reminisce
Anfesa’s Jewelers during its 22nd anniversary sale
The 30th anniversary of Antero Jewelers in Salida, Colo., snuck up on owner Dave Morgan. “Employees had to remind me,” he admits.
Morgan’s employees, led by general manager Jenny Bousfield-Wright, also had to push their typically sheepish boss to trumpet the store’s three-decade run. The first step: redesigning the showroom in March. The remodel included a more contemporary chocolate and sage color scheme, plush seating, and a design center featuring a big-screen TV rotating images of Morgan’s handmade jewelry.
Antero hosted a one-day celebration on June 7, 2014. Morgan’s team sent handwritten invitations to their top 200 customers—nearly 100 of whom attended—and filled the 1,000-square-foot storefront with 250 balloons. A local radio station broadcast from the store, with longtime customers sharing stories of Morgan and his shop on air.
The Astrein’s team gathers before its Wags & Tags 40th anniversary promotion.
Though the event had no explicit sales focus, Antero did unveil its Impressions of Salida line, handcrafted jewelry inspired by the Colorado town’s compelling geography and sights. Amid the good vibes, the store captured sales nearly 25 percent higher than on the typical spring Saturday, about 60 percent of which came from the new line.
“The day was more emotional than I ever imagined,” Morgan says. “It put my career in perspective and brought me back to what I love about this business—creating things that touch people’s hearts. That alone was worth it.”
A Day to Give Thanks
To mark Roman Jewelers’ 25th anniversary in 2014, owner Sophie Shor wrapped her arms around the community.
Custom-designed sterling silver dog tags featuring the Astrein’s Creative Jewelers logo
Seeking a festive way to engage her clients and showcase neighboring businesses in Flemington, N.J., Roman Jewelers ran a Finders Keepers challenge Oct. 1–25. Each day, the store hid one of 25 gifts worth a total of $15,000 at a local business and dropped hints on social media.
“This definitely got people excited and connected to our store,” Shor says.
Roman Jewelers also made $1,000 donations to 25 local nonprofits chosen by store employees, and Shor and her staff hosted a luncheon for representatives from those charities. “So much kindness has been extended to us over the years that we wanted to say thank you,” Shor says. “Now, we hope our success is their success.”
Marketing director Kyle Astrein with furry friend Marshall
The multilayered celebration concluded with a Dec. 12 gala at a local restaurant attended by the store’s best customers, employees, community partners, and friends. “Our customers are part of who we are. They deserved to celebrate with us,” Shor says of the non-selling event.
While Roman Jewelers earned plenty of publicity for its 25th anniversary efforts, Shor says the hefty investment, which included a full-page ad in the local newspaper thanking the community for its patronage, was aimed at generating goodwill above all else.
“We wanted to mark this milestone with something people would remember, and a 25-percent-off sale just doesn’t create memories,” Shor says. “Though we gave a lot here, I believe we created special feelings that will come back to us tenfold.”
A Day to Engage
Sophie Shor and daughter Lucy Zimmerman holding one of the Finders Keepers prizes hidden around Flemington, N.J.
In the run-up to last year’s 40th anniversary of Astrein’s Creative Jewelers, owner Gary Astrein and his marketing director (and daughter), Kyle, considered ways to celebrate the milestone with a customer-centric social event.
“A sale felt like a tired idea,” he says. “We wanted something that would really engage our customers.”
Astrein’s teamed with the Michigan Humane Society to stage Wags & Tags outside of Astrein’s Birmingham, Mich., storefront on Sept. 13, where customers could purchase a custom sterling silver dog tag. The buzz created by the event—which also featured a photo booth for customers to take photos with each other and their pups—brought plenty of attention to the newly remodeled store and resulted in the sale of 75 dog tags. “It was a lighthearted and fun event that people really responded to, especially given how big of a dog town Birmingham is,” Astrein says.
Representatives of 25 local charities gather to celebrate with Roman Jewelers on its “Day of Giving.”
In view of its inaugural success, Astrein is considering making Wags & Tags an annual event, though he plans to better capitalize on the Michigan Humane Society’s database to drive additional traffic. “Because this was our first time, we intentionally held the reins on promotion,” he says. “We can be more aggressive in the future.”
With proceeds from the $30 tags going to the Humane Society, Astrein says profit was not the promotion’s primary goal. Customers did, however, have to return to the store to pick up their engraved tag, which Astrein’s staff manufactured, cleaned, and polished. “That did offer us the opportunity for follow-up sales and made plenty of people more familiar with us,” he says.
A Day to Energize
Challenging the notion that anniversary celebrations should be limited to years ending in 0 or 5, Anfesa’s Jewelers in Garner, N.C., hosted a 22nd anniversary blowout sale on Sept. 5. Opening its doors at 5 p.m., Anfesa’s discounted all in-stock jewelry 50 percent for 2 hours and 22 minutes.
Owner Anfesa Matthews marketed the event through radio ads, an e-mail blast to customers, and social media. On the day of the sale, a local radio station’s three-hour live broadcast from the store included a countdown to the 5 p.m. opening. With nine staff members on the floor, Matthews prioritized efficiency. She had six point-of-sale machines running and boxes and bags at the ready. “Nobody had to head into the back for anything,” Matthews says, adding that the sale did not include her newest inventory.
A sample of the Finders Keepers hint graphic Roman Jewelers posted for the first 25 days of October
By night’s end, Matthews had recorded the single largest revenue day in her store’s history, selling 289 pieces of jewelry ranging from diamond fashion and wedding bands to a $26,000 yellow diamond necklace. Though Matthews acknowledges “the typical margins weren’t there,” profits nevertheless hovered around 30 percent, while she also pushed languishing inventory out the door.
“The timing and rush of this event made it something very different than anything else I had ever experienced,” Matthews says. “I love action and this gave it to me.”