February 2010

Jewelers and Fair Trade

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2009 Holiday Was Better, Jewelers Say

overall, christmas 2009 was better than 2008, but it wasn’t strong across the board, and low price point items reigned supreme, said retailers surveyed by jck. most jewelers told jck they ended the year up but said consumers remained frugal, and they had to work for every sale. “it was a better year than last year,” said mary beth fritsch, owner, semir, cincinnati, ohio.

Zale Tried Too Much?

too much, too soon: that’s what some former zale insiders are saying about chief executive officer neal goldberg’s plans last holiday. shortly before the christmas season, on a conference call with investors, goldberg, who has often expressed dissatisfaction with conventional jewelry marketing, confidently announced his holiday strategy: zale’s stores would stock more proprietary products, inc…

Jewelers Give Back

an operation that helps when ken lauhoff, owner of lauhoff jewelry, in chillicothe, mo., read that operation help, a charity that lends financial support to “people just having hard time getting by,” would exhaust its annual funds at the start of november—right as the weather turned frosty—he knew he had to help.

Lee Krombholz, Owner of Krombholz Jewelers

What one advertisement elicited the most response and why did it work? For over three years we’ve been advertising on CitySearch.com. The Web site has the look and feel of an online entertainment magazine where users can find whatever type of service provider they’re after such as a jeweler. Advertisers are charged by the click,…

From the JCKOnline.com Comments

the [international diamond board] is desperately needed in the u.s. market. we are losing market share to other luxury goods, and we need promotion of the diamond category. other diamond promotions such as everlon are not serving the diamond category as a whole but rather the interests of individual companies.

Undersung Heroes

for most people, new year’s day marks the end of the holiday season and the start of a new year. for the jewelry industry, it’s more like a pause in the festivities, for the second weekend in january heralds the real kickoff of our new year. the weekend surrounding the annual banquet of the twenty-four karat clubof the city of new yorkdraws industry leaders fromall sectors to almost three soli…

Develop a Strategic Approach to Visual Merchandising

pop—powerful optical presence—applies to visual merchandising that compels shoppers to look at a jewelry display or piece of jewelry. every visual display should make jewelry pop. in general, colorless diamonds and white gold jewelry pop more off a blue fixture than a white one. a display that uses all-white props, fixtures, backgrounds, and decking doesn’t have enough contrast to …

Keep Your Ca$h Flow Flowing

every business owner wants to avoid cash shortages, especially in a rough economy. in the following interview, management consultant and lecturer dr. david j. mckinney offers practical advice on what jewelers should—and shouldn’t—do for a healthy cash flow. dr. mckinney, what is cash flow? is it profit? cash flow is simply movement of money in and out of a business during any …

Reduce Waste and Expenses

a recent contest at small business trends encouraged readers to share their best green small business tips. the end result is a list of 100 eco-friendly business management tips—most of them incredibly simple—that, in many cases, can save you money. thrive by implementing these cost-saving ideas in your business: for more tips from jewelers of america, sign up to receive the &#8220…

Competitive Opportunities

the demise of the independent retail jeweler has been forecast pretty much on an annual basis during the 30 some years i’ve been associated with the business. the competitive challenges to independents include department stores, discount stores, credit jewelers, catalog showrooms, chain jewelers, wal-mart, sam’s club, costco, tv direct marketers to the consumer, and lately internet sellers of j…

The Eyes Have It!

when you try to convince a friend to read a book you couldn’t put down or go to a restaurant that had great cuisine, you probably talk to their eyes and use your smile and enthusiasm. it’s especially important to do this when quoting a price or a diamond grade to your customer. most salespeople look down and quote it to the merchandise.

How Jewelers Can Reach Out to Socially Conscious Consumers

for jeff corey, the jewelry industry’s image problems hit home on what should have been a relaxing ski trip. “i was sitting next to a woman as we were going up on the lift,” remembers the owner of day’s jewelers, an eight-store chain based in waterville, maine. “i mentioned i was the owner of day’s jewelers, and she said, ‘my family had been doing business with you for years’…

Santa Campaign Helps Brand Houston Jewelry

coming from a fourth-generation family business, rex solomon, executive vice president of houston jewelry & fine gifts, has many mentors. but when it comes to promoting his store, solomon’s hero is mattress mack, the furniture outlet owner and philanthropist who has become a houston television-advertising legend for his loud, obnoxious, but always funny commercials.

Hometown Heroes Jewelers Who Volunteer

paws for a cause david craig and debbi rotenberg and the first family share a love of dogs, portuguese water dogs in particular. but the rotenbergs, owners of david craig jewelers, in newtown, pa., had been breeding and training the pooches for therapy work long before the obamas made the breed a household name.

Leon Finker The Man With a Trillion Stories

leon finker remembers the moment he named the diamond that he’ll always be associated with. he had just discovered a way to cut triangular diamonds with more brilliance. one duly impressed friend told him, “this will make you a billionaire.” finker responded, “no. it will make me a trillionaire.

Welcome to the Conscience Issue

philanthropy has long played a role in jewelry, but now it—along with efforts to make businesses greener and more ethical—may be more important than ever before. that’s because with consumers’ new mindset of spending less, companies that offer to benefit the charities and causes that consumers care about position themselves for future gains and new customers.

4 Ways Your Store Can Take Advantage of Good Corporate Citizenship

every day, jewelers, manufacturers, designers, and retailers are asked to donate to good causes. so how do you determine what events you sponsor and what organizations you give to? freelance consultant susan w. morgan has been crafting public relations programs and marketing plans for retail jewelers and luxury retail businesses and brands for over 15 years.

Gem Pricing Report

the colored stone market is stable. current research indicates that consumption continues to be largely limited to fine-quality gem materials, while demand for good and commercial qualities is slow. consumers also are buying a broader range of gem materials. initially this was linked to episodes of color substitution inspired by price point.

Dirty, Dirty Gold

i watched the 60 minutes piece on the abusive conditions surrounding artisanal gold mining in the democratic republic of congo. it was a typical tv exposé: show the dangerous conditions at hand-dug excavations along a river; the toxic and primitive extraction of tiny amounts of gold from its natural matrix, particularly mercury pollution; and the exploitative methods of local bosses.

Duct Tape

my father-in-law was notorious for always having a roll of duct tape handy. he believed that with duct tape, a hammer, and a screwdriver you could fix anything. he had a roll of duct tape in his car, tool shed, and junk drawer, at his workbench, and in his basement. he would duct tape a radiator hose, a rake handle, his lawnmower, cracked windows, the wheel on the barbeque, electric wires, the …

Hobbs Jewelers Moves to Huntsville

hobbs jewelers recently opened a new store in huntsville, ala. owner steve hobbs, whose original store is in athens, ala., notes that fortune small business recently named huntsville a high-technology hub and the no. 1 medium-size city in which to launch a business. in addition, 17,000 troops are being reassigned there.

Trademark Battles Rage Over Everlon

the everlon diamond knot made noise—as well as sales—after it was introduced by de beers last summer. but it’s also providing a nice income for copyright and trademark lawyers. everlon is different from past de beers–advertised products, because it’s meant to be a proprietary product sold exclusively by de beers’ retailer and manufacturer partners.

Industry

companies lunt silversmiths, a venerable flatware and tableware manufacturer that also produced silver jewelry, filed for chapter 11 in mid-december and is selling its assets. reed and barton, a massachusetts company that also manufactures flatware, was listed as “proposed purchaser” of the company.

Rising to the Occasion

cathy fleck, of occasions fine jewelry, in midland, texas, squeezed as much promotional potential a jeweler could possibly get out of her sixth annual november girl’s night out party. it was not only a holiday get-together for women to complete wish lists but also a gold-buying event to benefit a local nonprofit clinic.

People

coming + going yuval kemp has left dalumi after six years as head of marketing and business development. liora borosky-chayu will take over dalumi’s marketing and business development. i.b. goodman co. appointed greg winokur vice president of sales for its independent jewelers division. he has more than 30 years of jewelry experience.

Stores Ordered to Stop GOB Sales

international diamond and gold is now really going out of business. after conducting “going out of business” sales for over six months, the company has been ordered by an ohio court to stop. a local judge this week granted ohio attorney general richard cordray’s request that international diamond and gold company, an eight-store chain based in columbus, stop conducting its going-ou…

RJC Launches Certification System

the responsible jewellery council recently launched its certification system. under the system, rjc-approved independent auditors will examine members for compliance with its code of ethical, social, and environmental practices. members, with the exception of miners, now have until the end of 2011 to have their businesses certified by rjc’s chosen auditors.

Wade Watson

location and contact ruff&cut, new york; (866) 920-7898; www.ruffandcut.com. signature style and inspiration rough-cut and polished diamonds set in recycled gold and silver from hoover & strong’s harmony metals or a. herschlag. some styles are made by guest designers like me&ro, tracy matthews, and todd reed, while others—skulls—are designed by watson.

Jewelers and Fair Trade

a great idea for david and ann henderson, owners of henderson & co. jewelers, mechanicsburg, pa., fair trade plays a small but growing role in their business. when the hendersons started carrying stones from columbia gem house, vancouver, wash., david thought more customers would appreciate what they represented—laborers paid honest wages and with fair working conditions.

Stores

east wayne ruder, 56, owner for 20 years of the ruder and co. jewelry and antiques, in baltimore, was shot and killed in his store in december, according to a local news report. police found no signs of forced entry or missing merchandise and are calling the killing a mystery. northeastern fine jewelry, a four-store chain based in albany, n.

Know Your Local Editors

you can put together the most exciting press release in the world, but if you don’t know who to send it to, you’re not going to get anywhere. investing time in internet research and making a few phone calls is an essential first step in any pr program. here are some basic steps to build your pr distribution list: tony seideman is a public relations and marketing consultant who specializes in wo…

Claters Jewelers Celebrates 60 Years

clater jewelers in louisville, ky., oct. 1, 1949. after his release from the navy, william clater got some watchmaking and repair experience before deciding to open his own business. the owner of a local drugstore made one merchandise case available for clater, which he filled with watchbands and a few rings.

Book Smarts

this book was published in 1982 and was no. 1 on the new york times best-seller list for many weeks. this is one of the best books on managing people. for those of you who have read it, dust it off and read it again. it has a wealth of practical management techniques. this is one you can apply right away: “help people reach their full potential, catch them doing something right.

Jeweler Gives Thanks

most jewelers make thanksgiving a target day to have their christmas greetings ready to be mailed in the first part of december. but nancy schuring does things a little differently. veterans’ day is her mark on the calendar to put the finishing touches on her thanksgiving day greeting letter and mailing list [above].

7 Publicity Myths That Can Hurt Your Business

every business needs a cost-effective way to keep their name, their products or their services in front of their prospects and customers. for many business owners, publicity is the key to such recognition and awareness. when done correctly, publicity develops your name recognition, gives your business instant credibility, and ultimately leads to increased sales.

Local Color

jewelry retailers need to know what colors are in fashion and how they complement other colors. they need to understand which gems look good in daylight (cool colors) and in the evening (warm colors). be the gemstone authority in your town. instead of asking customers their birth month, ask: “what colors look good on you?” the most popular gems at last october’s intergem exhibit…