How do you prepare your store for the busy holiday sales season?
We get in all our Christmas orders from vendors by early fall so we can be on the ball when the holidays come. We have our annual sale in October so we have the money to pay invoices and go into the season not sweating December as much as maybe we would. We decorate for the Thanksgiving weekend and then take them down right after the new year, and we step up the frequency of our staff meetings.
—Melissa Booth, owner, Melissa Designer Jewelry, Hillsborough, N.C., melissadesignerjewelry.com
Starting the beginning of the fourth quarter, I send messages on a regular basis giving sales information, suggestions, and congratulations on a job well done, etc. We have regularly scheduled, proprietary, companywide in-house trainings. Marketing prepares the decorations for each store, and the staff sets it up. We don’t hire a seasonal staff. We’ve found that we’re unable to staff at the skill level we require on a seasonal basis.
—Harvey Rovinsky, owner, Bernie Robbins Jewelers, Somers Point, N.J., bernierobbins.com
The holidays are a special time at Montgomery Jewelers. We prepare for them by going over security steps and making sure new staff is trained and ready for any situation. We clean the inside of the cases before putting our decorations inside—we decorate with solid-colored ornaments and some Christmas pine, and silver and blue ornaments for Hanukkah. And ordering our boxes and wrapping supplies in September allows us to accommodate the early shopper.
—Bonnie Cornell, customer service manager, Montgomery Jewelers, Montgomery, Ohio, montgomeryjewelersinc.com
Our town has something called a Chocolate Walk—it’s a fun adult event that all retailers in the town participate in. That’s really the kickoff for our holiday season. We’re there and open and trying to get shoppers in the mood. We also at that time get people to fill out wish lists—we’ve really been pushing wish lists hard in recent years because they work well for us.
—Joanne Schilling, sales associate, Philip’s Diamond Shop, Marion, Iowa, philipsdiamonds.com