What are you doing different this fall as part of your holiday promotions?

"This year we’re adding a buyer’s trip to Antwerp to our fall promotions. We’ve already sent out direct mailers, are following up with phone calls, and mentioning it in sales presentations to get customer orders in before the October trip to Belgium. And, after shopping the SJTA and RJO shows in August, we’ve got our feelers out to add a new bridal line in time for Christmas engagements."

Jeff Alexander, Alexander’s of Atlanta Fine Diamonds, Atlanta

"We’re currently remodeling the store with the hopes of completing all the renovations by November. At that time we’re looking to have a remodeling and pre-Christmas event. The details haven’t been worked out, but the combination of events should be a strong start to the holiday season."

Howard Thompson, Thompson Jewelers, Tullahoma, Tenn.

"This year we’ve been taking in a lot of diamonds from customers, particularly quarters and halves. Whatever events we plan for Christmas, it will center on mounting up our many loose diamonds in fashionable, mainly earring, settings that will retail from $600 to $3,000. This is the price-point range that has really sold well for us."

Charles Cleves, Cleves & Lonneman Jewelers, Bellevue, Ky.

"In October we’re going to introduce customers to our new CNC [computer numerical control] milling machine named Buzz. This new CAD/CAM technology will really beef up our custom work. We won’t be doing an in-store event as we’re a small custom jeweler. To promote Buzz we will be doing mostly print ads, e-mail notifications, and our Web site. The heart of our promotions will be to kick off the Christmas season with discounts and giveaways in announcing the new technology. The e-mail campaign will begin this fall and go through the end of the year in promoting our expanded custom design services."

Sterling VanDerwerker, Royal Diadem, Greensboro, N.C.

"We have many events going on this fall, leading with the first custom catalog in our store’s 60-year history. In October we’ll also have a 60th anniversary sale. Last year we did a series of progressive weekly discounts in the lead-up to Christmas to celebrate my brother’s retirement. At this time we’re not sure how we can duplicate this type of event, but it was hugely successful for us. In November, Marketing Momentum is working with us to send out direct mailers for an in-store holiday Do Not Open scratch-off event. Customers can only open the scratch-off direct mailer in the store during Thanksgiving Day weekend. There’s a guarantee of at least a $25 gift card with the top prize a $10,000 shopping spree. We’ll also be hosting a Pandora event over Thanksgiving Day weekend."

Patrick Pugh, Pugh’s Diamond Jewelers, Zanesville, Ohio