JCK queries retailers nationwide on a variety of topics

JON PARKE, G.G.,JK Jewelers, St. George, Utah

What new jewelry did you invest in last year? Two watch lines—Swiss Star and Fossil—because I never carried watches before.

How’s it selling? They’re working out as well as I thought they would. They have low margins … but they’re hot and they sell like crazy.

JOHN MICHAELS, Michaels Jewelers [regional chain], Waterbury, Conn.

What new jewelry did you invest in last year? We expanded our Hearts On Fire diamond selections, our multicolor or rainbow sapphires, and our enhanced or irradiated blue diamonds—we’re calling them “blue ice.”

How’s it selling? We bought in September, and sold three-quarters of the merchandise by Christmas.

KARIM MOHAMMAD, Robinson Jewelers, Arlington, Texas

What new jewelry did you invest in last year? Pearls, 18k white gold, and designer titanium bands, since we’re going after the bridal market.

How’s it selling? We’re up 9 percent over last year.

MARK THOMA, Williams Inc., Bloomington, Ind.

What new jewelry did you invest in last year? A low-end designer line—Frederick Duclos—with good price points and nice designs that aren’t too far out.

How’s it selling? It’s done very well for us, and it’s been very well received. We did a bunch of reorders within the year.

Pros

  • No lease restrictions

  • Less merchandise to stock

  • Flexibility of hours

  • Higher level of service

  • Lower overhead and expenses

  • Higher margins

  • Luxury-oriented clientele

  • Better quality of life

  • More secure environment

  • Fewer “tire-kickers”

  • Promotes doctor/lawyer image

  • No employee problems

Cons

  • Must have established clientele

  • Requires some cold calls

  • No walk-in traffic

  • Must rely on customers to schedule appointments

  • Risk losing customers who prefer hours of convenience

  • Portrays an elitist air

  • Risk overlapping appointments

  • May appear intimidating to some

  • Marketing dollars go further for a walk-in store

  • Walk-in stores make more money

  • Doesn’t work for stores in high-traffic areas