Retail jewelers gave big box retailers a David and Goliath-like challenge on the biggest shopping day of the season. In this week’s Christmas Countdown, we highlight some of the more creative events retailers held to ring in the season and attract Black Friday customers.
Getting An Early Start
It was hard to top big box retailers opening their doors at the stroke of midnight on Black Friday, but Kristy Goodrich, owner of JK Jewelers in Saint George, Utah, managed. Yes, she actually held a two-hour event on Thanksgiving evening. From 9-11 p.m., the store owner and her staff handed out goody bags to the first 25 attendees, served complimentary beverages, and even offered free foot massages to shoppers. Goodrich also had gift-with-purchase and discount incentives at price points for just about every shopper.
You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play
Don Smith, co-owner of E. M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, took a page from the state lottery handbook with his store’s Black Friday weekend scratch-off cards. He and his staff sent out 2,500 scratch-off cards to customers from the store’s database, and handed out another 500 in the store. There was no purchase necessary for a chance to win top prizes including a $5,000 shopping spree, and $1,000, $500, and $250 gift certificates.
Photo courtesy of E.M. Smith
Making a Grand Entrance
Karen Bell and Dan Schuyler, co-owners of Lily & Co in Sanibel, Fla., used the occasion of Black Friday to host a grand opening party at their new store in nearby Fort Myers, Fla. The first 300 customer to shop on Black Friday received a Pandora jewelry box. Pandora and KC Designs reps were on hand that day to help shoppers. The next night the owners also hosted a Charles Krypell Christmas party at their original Sanibel location, complete with valet parking, food and refreshments, and live music.
Photo courtesy of Lily & Co.
Bridal customers that spent $2,000 or more on bridal jewelry at Sachs Jewelers in Shrewsbury, Mass. on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday won two tickets to see any regular season sporting event for any team of their choice in any city of their choice. The contest was aimed at couples looking to get engaged over the holidays, and to give the guys a little something for all their efforts in buying a ring from the store. The jewelry store was one of many merchants that got a little press for their Black Friday promotion.
Photo Courtesy of Sachs Jewelers
A Jeweler a Techie Would Love
Necker’s Jewelers of Davenport, Iowa, promoted iPads and high-definition TV gift-with-purchases in their Black Friday ads. On the big day, the 35 shoppers that qualified for the gift-with-purchase program could apply their Best Buy gift card to any item in the electronics store.
Another spin on the electronics gift-with-purchase program from David and D.J. Necker, co-owners of Necker’s, was giving qualified Best Buy gift card recipients 25 percent more purchasing power if they exchanged their Best Buy gift card for a Necker’s gift card. For example, those who spent $2,500 at the store could get a Best Buy gift for $500, or a Neckers’ gift card for $600. Customers that made purchases of $1,500 or more received a Best Buy gift for $300 (or store gift card for $375), and those that purchased $1,000 or more received a $100 Best Buy gift card (or a Necker’s gift card for $125).
“We converted 11 of those customers back to Necker’s and will save the Best Buy gift cards for future events,” says David.
Photo courtesy of Necker’s Jewelers
Angels for Animals
Collin Diamonds took a cause marketing approach to Black Friday by asking for donations to Angels for Animals, a local animal shelter. Staff members at the Liberal, Kan.-based store asked for donations ranging from cat and dog food to animal toys and other accessories.
Photo courtesy of Collin Diamonds
101 Chamilia Bracelets
Store owner John Carter and his staff at Jack Lewis Jewelers gave away 101 Chamilia bracelets during their Black Friday event. That morning on Facebook, the Bloomington, Ill.-based retailer posted on Facebook that most of the bracelets were gone by 10:30 a.m. (the store opened that day at 9 a.m.). Roughly 75 people lined up outside for the event before opening.
Photo courtesy of Jack Lewis Jewelers
Jewelers’ Black Friday Sales up 300 Percent
Koehn and Koehn Jewelers, of West Bend, Wis., had their best Black Friday on record with sales up 300 percent compared to the previous year, according to store owner Andy Koehn. How did they do it? With a promotional blitzkrieg that combined old and new media. The main push for the sale was discount prices for diamond stud earrings ($399), half-carat diamond solitaire rings ($999), and diamond keys ($49).
And there were gift-with-purchase incentives for every spending threshold. If a Koehn and Koehn Jewelers’ customer spent $2,499 or more, they received an iPad; $999 or more, a four-day cruise for two; $599, a Kindle reader; and $99 or more, a $10 iTunes gift card.
“We gave away 14 iPads, three cruises, seven Kindles, and 11 iTunes cards,” says Koehn.
Koehn uploaded his Black Friday cable TV commercial to YouTube.
He also had Gems One Corporation create a QR code that sent users to a mobile device enhanced Black Friday specials website. E-blasts, Facebook poss, Twitter updates, a newspaper stuffer the day before the sale, and good old fashioned face-to-face contact with customers was the promotional combination that made this year’s Black Friday the best ever.