Fox Fine Jewelry in Ventura, Calif., had a unique promotion this holiday season exclusively for customers looking to fix a relationship.
Parents, partners, coworkers, and friends—all were offered 80 percent off an aquamarine and sterling earrings and necklace set if they pledged they were using the gift to mend a broken relationship.
Fox set aside 100 sets for the promotion, which was available only in-store from Dec. 5 to Dec. 24. The set was priced at $25 if the customer was using it to mend a relationship; if purchased for a giftee with whom all was copacetic, the price was $125.
“The holiday season is a time to resolve differences, forgive, and begin again. It’s hard to do, but we want to encourage people to take the first step,” said Debbie Fox, owner of Fox Fine Jewelry.
Fox chose an aquamarine set for the offer because its properties are said to inspire “truth, trust, and letting go.”
In that spirit, Fox trusted in the honor system that customers partaking in the discount really were using it to smooth the edges of a relationship.
Fox tells JCK that she sold 60 of the sets at the discounted price.
“There were stories like the woman who hadn’t spoken to her best friend of 35 years for two years,” she says. “She cried telling us about it. There were quite a few sisters who were using the gift as an opportunity to begin talking to each other, and a smaller number of estranged spouses where the men were giving the gift to the woman. It was not up to us to judge what constituted an estrangement, or their method of reconciliation. It was based on the honor system, for them to do with as they pleased.”
One customer’s post on the store’s Facebook page showed how serious the promotion was: “You really have to have an enemy. I went in to get it as a gift for my aunt, and they wouldn’t sell it to me since she’s not an enemy! I honestly thought it was just a cute post.” Fox responded: “It’s true. We want to inspire people to reach out and reconnect/forgive/make up, especially since it’s the holiday season.”
Fox confirms that as many as half of the customers coming in for the promotion eventually admitted they were looking for a deal, not to mend a relationship. “We’d respond by saying that the intention was to mend relationships. For example, to give to people you haven’t spoken to in years. The people who really were intending to mend their relationships got either very quiet or tearful. The others caved and admitted that this wasn’t the case, or said that they understood.”
“Programs like this are about embodying the spirit of the holidays, helping because we are in a position to do so, and generating goodwill for our store,” she says.