Since Mulloys Fine Jewelry opened its doors over 20 years ago, store owner Phillip Mulloy has always given soldiers 10% off any purchase. For years the discount for service men and women was an unwritten policy that was never promoted. All that changed in October when the jeweler ran a month-long “Honor Our Military” event.
Military personnel are a large part of the Carlsbad, CA-based jeweler’s demographic, with Camp Pendleton and MCAS Miramar bases close to the jewelry store. Marines from Pendleton and Air Force personnel from Miramar are Mulloy’s main military customers, with Pendleton bringing in the lion’s share of shoppers as the Marine base is closer to the store.
For the “Honor Our Military” event, Mulloy and his store manager Gaylene Taylor simply made the walk-in, in-store discount a promoted event. “October is a good month for this type of sale as many soldiers deploy for duty in late October to early November,” says Taylor. “Many like to get engagements or even weddings handled before a lengthy deployment.”
During the month-long event soldiers received the usual 10% discount. Additional discounts were given on a case-by-case basis. “Not all vendors allow us to discount,” says Taylor. Special financing was also made available to military personnel during the promotional event.
The Mulloy event was open to soldiers looking to purchase bridal jewelery and those celebrating anniversaries. Last month only soldiers getting married took advantage of the sale.
The event was advertised in local newspapers and radio, but in the end only 15 soldiers responded to the call. Mulloy and Taylor were hoping for more, but still consider the event a success.
“This is a tough economy on everyone, including soldiers,” says Taylor. “The soldiers that came in to take advantage of the discounts appreciated the intent behind the event. And, even non-military customers were very positive and thankful we did this for our country’s servicemen and women.”
Words of thanks and appreciation are welcome, but a handful of referrals from the “Honor Our Military” event helped tip the scales in calling the event a victory. “We’ll most likely get more referrals,” says Taylor. “Soon-to-be brides like to show off their rings at the base.”
Both Taylor and Mulloy are children of fathers who served in the military. But the walk-in discount, and the now annual “Honor Our Military” event, is more than just paying homage to a parent’s choice of serving the country. “It’s our way of giving back to the community,” says Taylor. “It’s about doing what we can for the men and women who fight for our way of life and our freedom.”
Given a young serviceman’s monthly salary, Taylor was impressed with the choices the men made during the month-long event. “Not one serviceman purchased yellow gold,” says Taylor. “It was either white gold or platinum.”
Popular designers during the event include Tacori, Simon G and Scott Kay jewelry set with center stones. “Many of our vendors were very supportive of the event,” says Taylor. “Tacori even rushed a job that would normally take up to four weeks to a two-and-half-week delivery date for a soldier’s ring.”
Mulloy and Taylor will most likely make October the event month for next year. On-base promotions might be a more lucrative part of the promotional mix and Taylor is considering a gift-with-purchase dynamic to next year’s event. “Perhaps a Swiss Army knife,” says Taylor. “Something that’s practical and useful for a soldier.”