Retail Thoughts

Al Molina, of Molina in Phoenix, is confident, and with good reason. He converted his small, 20-year-old, by-appointment-only business into a well-recognized brand known for rare and exquisite jewels. He’s not concerned with how other jewelers run their businesses, but he’s not afraid to tell them how to stay competitive.

Competition “I have no problem with the guys down the street. I have colleagues, but not competitors.”

Strategy “[Molina] is opening 10 doors over the next 10 years. We’re doing what the Tiffanys and the Cartiers did. If all you do is sell jewelry, you must differentiate your store to keep growing. [Jewelers’] net profits should be in the double digits. If they can’t make that profit, then there’s no one to blame but themselves. [Jewelers] are their own worst enemies.”

Profi “We sell something that lasts forever, and we spend our lifetimes acquiring knowledge—so why are we embarrassed charging for our services? We as an industry think profit is a bad word. People should be happy to pay us for our services. I am one of the most expensive jewelers in the country, and I am proud of that. Fear of profit is a cancer in our industry, and education is the way out of fear.”