The Jewelry District, Episode 16: Guest Sherry Smith

In this Episode
In this edition of The Jewelry District you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates interview Sherry Smith, director of business development at Edge Retail Academy, sister company to the Edge. Sherry gives tips and guidance for jewelry retailers on how to navigate owning a retail business during COVID-19.

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Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Editor: Olivia Briley
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet

Show Recap
00:30 Rob and Victoria introduce guest Sherry Smith
03:18 Rob asks what her clients have been asking most these past few weeks
10:30 Victoria asks what is the best course of action regarding employees
13:21 Rob asks about what retailer’s online and social media presence should look like
15:05 Rob and Sherry discuss the dangers of operating a business during this time
23:18 Victoria asks what our retail world will look like on the other side of this crisis

Show Recap

Sherry Smith, Director of Business Development
Rob and Victoria introduce their guest Sherry Smith, director of business development for Edge Retail Academy. She mentors around 200 companies about best retail practices, and she has received an increased volume of retailers who need help navigating their businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Before joining Edge Retail Academy, Sherry owned and operated a jewelry retail store and has hands-on experience running a store during both steady economic times and periods of recession.

What Should Companies Do Right Now?
Rob asks Sherry what the most common questions she has received from the companies she mentors are—and Sherry tells us she gets a lot of questions about what retailers should do with their employees and their bills. There is a little bit of nervousness during this time, and people are unsure of how to proceed. Victoria then asks what the most important things retailers should do right now, and Sherry weighs in about the best ways companies can be proactive.

What to Do About Your Employees?
Sherry reports that a minority of retailers have their employees on paid leave. That means many are either being laid off or furloughed—but being laid off means that employees can apply for unemployment benefits. Sherry reminds us that retailers must look at where they want to be on the other side of this crisis and at what actions can be taken to get them there.

Your Online and Social Presence Matters
Online presence always matters, whether it be on social media or a retailer’s website—but it matters now more than ever since face-to-face communications have slowed across the country. Sherry gives recommendations about how to keep up with your customer base during this time in a way that is authentic and helpful to your customers.

Security Risks
Many jewelers are conducting business out of their homes, and some are even going into their stores to keep up with business as best they can. There are security concerns with bringing jewelry home, as that could make jewelers’ homes a target for crime. The same applies for jewelers being alone in their store with jewelry when so few stores are open now. Sherry recommends checking with your insurance company to see how you’re covered during this time.

What Does the Future Hold?
Many of us are wondering what our world will look like when we come out of this. There is a lot of uncertainty. The question remains–will we come out of this running businesses as usual, or will business practices change post-COVID-19? Smith discusses the positives that could come out of all of this for retailers, while also giving a few resources for dealing with this difficult time.

(Image courtesy of Edge Retail Academy)

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