January 2010

Welcome to a New Year

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Matthew Rosenheim, Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, D. C.

1. what was your most successful ad? it was a magazine ad with a three-stone platinum ring set with cushion-cut diamonds on top of a cupcake. the idea came from our marketing consultant who sold us on the idea with the opening of a sprinkles cupcake store in beverly hills. we thought a great juxtaposition of cupcakes and jewelry would be an effective ad for women and approached the four seasons…

Create Compelling PR Themes

don’t be intimidated by the media. they all have a huge appetite for stories. if you can provide them with good copy, chances are great you’ll get some exposure. here’s a hint: forget about sales. everybody has them. think drama, creativity, innovation, and excitement. here are some steps to figure out the special things you’re doing: look at your custom jewelry projects.

Understand E-mail Marketing: Good Content and Design

e-mail is the preferred method of communication for many consumers. in terms of reaching your customers, it’s also cost effective, immediate, and measurable, says david peters, jewelers of america’s resident education and management expert. rather than being intimidated by the technology, he says, you must use e-mail marketing effectively to reach out—through newsletters, invitations, and…

$uccess in Succession Planning

business experts agree that a good succession plan is a key component of a larger business plan written at the company’s inception or when a new owner takes the helm. the key is not to confuse a succession plan with an estate plan or a death contingency strategy that’s needed only in an emergency. an effective plan should result in a seamless transition, regardless of the store owner’s exit st…

Go Viral!

you may have seen the youtube commercial (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnoymsewnts) or heard about it on cnn. production company rhett and link, of raleigh, n.c., decided to create a parody that would not only bewilder people, but would make creatives in advertising agencies jump at the opportunity to wear a red house t-shirt.

Book Smarts

what if—these two words strike fear in the hearts of many in our trade. we operate in an industry in which “the way we’ve always done it” and “the practices that have made us successful for 50 years” have framed our view for as long as most of us can remember. effective? maybe—back then, back when our business and our customers were predictable, back when eve…

Industry

associations the theme of the american gem society’s april conclave in boston will be “revolution,” and speakers will discuss the revolutionary thinking today’s economic climate demands. speakers include guy kawasaki [pictured], founder of alltop.com, who will speak at the opening breakfast on social networking; george whalin, founder of retail management consultants, who will addre…

Stores

northeast mills jewelers in lockport, new york, recently celebrated its 80th anniversary. direct mail invitations and robo-calls to 4,000 customers brought 200 guests to a gala celebration, including 30 vip clients who were allowed to wear pieces of jewelry from the store to the anniversary party. george fritz [pictured], who once delivered newspapers to the store and then became a store employ…

Scoring Points With Super Bowl Parties

jewelers looking to clear out some inventory before valentine’s day might borrow a page from the playbook of sandra brown, owner of tena’s fine jewelry & gifts, in elberton, ga., who last year sold $50,000 during a super bowl sale. super bowl xliv (that’s 44 for non-romans) will mark the third football-themed sale for brown, who got the idea from the independent jewelers organization’s mem…

CA Jeweler Salutes Military Personnel

since mulloys fine jewelry opened its doors over 20 years ago, store owner phillip mulloy has always given soldiers 10 percent off any purchase. for years the discount for service men and women was an unwritten policy that was never promoted. that changed in october when the jeweler ran a month-long “honor our military” event.

The Retail Strategic Outlook

last fall i attended the 2009 strategic outlook conference in new york, held by retail forward. i took away four key insights. sheldon marks is president of skm branding insights (www.skmbranding.com). he can be reached at shelly@skmbranding.com.

Bear’s Choice

jason rollene, the store manager of jensen’s jewelers, in pocatello, idaho, has always been a strong supporter of the local zoo with its emphasis on exhibits of animals indigenous to the northern states. as an active member of the town’s chamber of commerce, rollene became aware of opportunities to help build a habitat and interpretive center for grizzly bear several years ago.

Clerks vs. Sales Pros

as we head into a new year, a brief look at the past may give us a vision for the future. the jewelry industry has been through many changes and will face many more. i remember getting on a boeing 727 and flying to the first jck las vegas. i know it was a 727 because it broke shortly after takeoff, and we had to make an emergency landing.

Welcome to a New Year

luxury retailers have ample opportunities for success in 2010. in fact, jewelers with whom luxury spoke at press time already have shared tales of brisk (and big) recent sales, thanks in part to store owners’ own resourcefulness. for example, wayne a. addessi, president of addessi jewelers inc., in ridgefield, conn.

Book Drive

a book drive went into overdrive when alson jewelers, of cleveland, ohio, helped a local high school student with a book drive for the cleveland clinic children’s hospital. with the jeweler’s centrally located and convenient access parking lot, josh bass was able to surpass his goal of 2,00 to 3,000 books.

The Dismal Science

a new year begins. at this writing, economic reports indicate that the retail business is somewhat better than last year. that sounds to me like damning with faint praise! the past 12 months have been the most difficult that many of us can remember, particularly in the jewelry business. the so-called luxury business has all but vanished.

At Last

a healthcare manager loves oversize beaded necklaces and pearls, and isn’t opposed to treating herself to something new for a job well done. who is your favorite jewelry designer and why? i like alexandra webb, who is local to my area. i am a big fan of her necklaces. her signature pieces are big beaded and multistrand pearl necklaces.

The JCK 2010 It List

custom design jewelers are doing more custom design work, and the trend will continue. many factors are contributing, especially volatility in precious metal and diamond prices. custom work is also a way to appeal to younger generations of jewelry customers who want to be involved in the jewelry-making process.

From the JCKonline.com Blogs

rio tinto and the natural color diamond association recently hosted a champagne diamond jewelry preview for editors. natural-color diamond designs, from light champagne hues to dark cognac colors, were on display from numerous jewelry houses. in addition, most of the winners of the champagne diamond design competition sponsored by rio tinto were also on display … —jennifer heebner, …

Jewelers Opens New Store—and Store Within a Store

brian franklin and his father, kelly, recently opened their third generation jewelers in peoria, ariz. the 2,300-square-foot store incorporates an innovative store within a store, called the glitz boutique. with its own name, identity and even business cards, the glitz boutique offers a variety of fashion accessory items that complement or are add-ons to a jewelry purchase, ranging from purses …

Carlyle, Congress Owners Buy Stores Back

it’s back to the future for the carlyle and congress jewelers chains, as their former owners purchased the company’s intellectual property and some stores at the recent auction of finlay assets. adamas partners, a group that sources said is spearheaded by russell cohen, who formerly headed carlyle and co.

Arizona Jewelers Moves to ‘Hip’ New Locale

pierini designer jewelry recently relocated to the la encantada shopping center in tucson, ariz. the store is now in a tony shopping center with brands like cole haan and louis vuitton, thanks to a deal struck with nationwide developer macerich westcor. “we were in a location that was on a downswing, with a lack of marketing and general maintenance, and that always reflects on your reput…

10 Do’s & Don’ts for 2010

rick bannerot is a luxury goods and jewelry marketing consultant in stamford, conn. he has held key advertising and marketing positions with world gold council, mayors jewelers, hill & knowlton public relations, rolexwatch usa inc., and kenyon & eckhardt advertising.

Make Your Store a Romance Destination

want your store to be the go-to romance source for consumers? heed the wise counsel of your peers. get physical “give couples something physical, a gift they can hold on to that reminds them of where they purchased their engagement ring. we have an old-time photo booth with new electronic digital file features in our new store.

Changes at Winston and Cartier

harry winston diamond corp. has appointed frederic de narp (above) to the position of president and chief executive officer of harry winston, its new york–based jewelry arm. de narp joins harry winston from cartier international, where he recently served as president and chief executive officer of cartier north america.

Signs Point to Mixed Holiday

at press time, the industry was in the midst of the christmas selling season, and it was too early to get a full read on it. but there were some early indicators, mostly positive:

Henry Dunay Co. Closes

henry dunay designs plans to dissolve, the famed designer told jck. dunay had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in june. “the business is going to be closed, and we are going to start all over in a different way,” he said. the company’s assets were sold at a dec. 16 auction for $3.

People

coming + going platinum guild international said that its president, huw daniel [pictured]; senior vice president, jenny luker; manager of retail relations, kristyn beausoleil; and chief financial officer, roger quigley, will relocate to new york. jewelry and style expert michael o’connor will leave pgi but continue to consult on a limited project basis.

O.C. Tanner Converts Library to Store

o.c. tanner, a top supplier of corporate service awards and other award programs, is playing a leading role in salt lake city’s downtown rising, a five-year, $1.5 billion downtown revitalization project in a 10-block area of the city’s business and shopping district. the company’s biggest contribution was purchasing the packard library building and converting it into a 20,000-square-foot luxury…

Retailer Soundoff

“what are your best-selling diamond engagement ring and remount styles, brands, and price points?” leo anglo vincent jewelers, st. louis our store is not about brands, but in terms of styles, our most popular semi-mount is the micropavé halo. the selling price generally starts around $1,000 for mountings, though it used to be $2,200.

2009 Bridal Jewelry Survey

in the hardest hit economies, there is one category of fine jewelry that retailers rely on to prop up flagging sales of others: bridal. most view diamond engagement rings and wedding bands as a perennial seller (since when does love take a holiday?). in fact, diamond engagement rings alone, according to the results of this survey, total 33 percent of retailers’ business.

Branding in 2010

perhaps the smartest thing jewelry marketers can do in 2010 is to learn how to properly market their brand. develop informative and memorable brand messages, which will require more content than most ads deliver. educate customers and don’t rely so heavily on graphics to convey brand messages. here are six brand-building strategies to help you make the most of 2010.

Where to Now?

at this moment, in mid december, anyone connected with retail is wondering how the final two weeks of the 2009 christmas season will turn out. some retailers report progress, with the last month or two up a bit over the disastrous 2008 figures. while we cannot draw broad conclusions from anecdotal tales, we sense some stability.

New Charles and Colvard CEO Promises ‘More Moissanite’

randy mccullough, the new ceo of charles and colvard, the main marketer and distributor of moissanite, recently spoke with jck about his company’s plans for the future. mccullough comes to charles and colvard from samuels jewelers, where he was chairman. what are your priorities as ceo? my first priority is to determine the right approach to the consumer as far as pricing, the positioning, ever…

Robbins Diamonds Goes Chapter 11

leo robbins and sons, the four-store chain based in philadelphia better known as robbins diamonds, has filed for chapter 11, two weeks after five of its creditors filed an involuntary chapter 7 petition against it. according to court papers, the company does “not intend to liquidate [its] business,” but will use chapter 11 to “restructure [its] obligations and reorganize [its]…

Kimberley Process Decision on Zimbabwe Stirs Controversy

earlier this year, a human rights watch report said it had uncovered evidence of mass murder, rape, and other atrocities in the marange diamond fields in zimbabwe. shortly after, a kimberley process monitoring mission visited zimbabwe and found evidence of “noncompliance” with kp standards.

Megan Thorne

location and contact fort worth, texas; (817) 731-4374; www.meganthorne.com. signature style and inspiration clean geometric lines blended with feminine silhouettes inspired by fabric and lace, in 18k gold and precious stones. fun fact a failed post as a lingerie designer led thorne back to school.

Zale: New Procedures Slowing Payments

with rumors that zale corp. has stopped paying some of its vendors, zale is countering that the delays simply result from a new procedure. spokesman david sternblitz notes that the company now has certain challenges, since most of its vendors cannot get credit insurance because of restrictions from their financial institutions, so they are selling on c.

The Good-News Pendulum

there is good news to celebrate. by most measures, the great recession is over, although the national bureau of economic research—the official arbiter of economic cycles—hasn’t posted an end date yet. nber’s definition of a recession is complex, but the commonly accepted definition is two consecutive quarters of negative gdp growth.

Romancing the Jewelry Shopper

great love makes a good story (think romeo and juliet, odysseus and penelope, lady and the tramp), and fine jewelry frequently plays a role in making romantic relationships even sweeter. what romantic tale doesn’t involve some sort of jewelry gift? from the hollywood elite to the neighbor next door, love drives sales of many a diamond pendant, pair of earrings, strand of pearls, and every diamo…

Gem Pricing Report

the colored stone market has turned attention toward the february tucson gem fair. dealers are expressing cautious optimism that the show will indicate an uptick in retail demand. currently, market demand is focused on finer-quality as well as unusual gems but has been generally weak. demand for mid-grade material is still soft.

Jewelers Speak: How I Won My Spouse’s Heart

there’s a little-known criterion for anyone selling diamond engagement rings: your own personal proposal story has got to be good! how else can you dispense advice to others about to pop the question? if you don’t have a good tale, relax. we won’t tell. but to inspire future awesome engagement stories, jck queried your peers nationwide to give you a glimpse into how other jewelers have made the…

The Rock Hounds

the tanjeloff family has prospecting, mineralogy, and entrepreneurialism in their blood. grandfather julio emigrated from argentina around 1960, fleeing the perón regime, but not before investing in gemstones and minerals, including a rhodochrosite mine. once in the states, the tanjeloff clan—including julio, son edgar, and grandsons dennis and marc—traveled the world in the hu…

Hiring Top-Level Execs: Don’t Be Deterred by Salary History

with unemployment at 10 percent, some executives who once earned $100,000 or more are willing to work for less. but many jewelers worry that they’ll leave for higher-paying jobs once the market improves. but if you don’t hire such a candidate, your competitor might. below are issues to consider when interviewing these execs: discuss your fears relating to their salary history.