October 2009

Dishing Up Pearls in a Buyer's Market

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.

Speidel Purchased

rhode island-based cerce capital has purchased the assets of watch band manufacturer speidel for $1.65 million, after the company filed for receivership in june. cerce capital is headed by jerry cerce, a veteran of the jewelry and optical industries. day-to-day management of the company will be handled by cerce’s children: lynn-marie, 34, who has a background in consumer products at proctor and…

Silver Lining: Retail Jewelers Discover Affordable Jewelry

as sales of diamond pendant necklaces and midrange inventory continue to soften, jewelers are bringing on more affordable products. but it isn’t just less-expensive inventory that’s new. fashion jewelry for female self-purchases is ushering in fundamental changes in the way jewelers buy inventory, display jewelry, and manage their staffs.

Jewelry Markup On Trial

jeweler jim jackson’s biggest sale, the sale that almost put him out of business, started, as most jewelry sales do, with a romantic gesture. in 2005, robinson brown jr., whose family company, brown-forman, in louisville, ky., is known for alcohol brands like jack daniel’s, saw a picture of an emerald necklace that richard burton gave to elizabeth taylor.

New Lead Law Won’t Effect Most Jewelry

in a ruling jewelry organizations hailed as a victory, precious metal and gemstone jewelry have been exempted from new laws on lead use. “this is really good news,” says peggy jo donahue, acting spokeswoman for manufacturing jewelers and suppliers of america. “previous metal jewelry needed to be exempted because lead is rarely used in it, since it distorts the manufacturing process.

JCK Las Vegas to Mandalay Bay in 2011

jck las vegas will move to mandalay bay in 2011 in what is described as a “reinvention” that will include additional programming, education, and opportunities for networking and socializing. jck events, the shows’ organizer, said the american gem trade association, hong kong jewelry manufacturers association, luxury, plumb club, prestige promenade, swiss watch, and vicenza oro italian pavilion …

Tsavorite Pioneer Murdered

the industry recently mourned the death of scottish geologist campbell bridges, 71, the discoverer of tsavorite, who was murdered in a dispute over mining rights in southeastern kenya. according to the associated press, a mob armed with arrows, spears, and machetes attacked bridges after he stopped to remove a log from the road.

Dishing Up Pearls in a Buyer’s Market

in the volatile international pearl market, conditions and prices change almost daily. for american retail jewelers, the market’s turbulence generally means good values, and right now there are ample opportunities to offer new looks or stock up on best sellers as pearl producers struggle to keep prices from sinking any lower.

Gem Pricing Report

cash flow remains a concern for many gem industry participants. the consensus is that business in the u.s. market, although very slow, has improved. manufacturers report that retail jewelers stopped buying for stock in late 2008. although this remains largely unchanged, custom work and special orders have picked up.

Five to Follow on Twitter

now that you know that twitter is a way to introduce your store brand to other twitter users, you may want to follow some jewelry-specific folks who really “get it.” the jewelry companies discussed below understand how to use twitter—they talk to followers about personal as well as professional details to get them interested in their brands.

JCK Shows, Magazine Team Up

reed exhibitions, which produces the jck show and associated events, will assume management of jck magazine and jckonline.com, the company announced. the two groups previously had been in separate divisions under parent company reed elsevier. “jck has more than a century of history in the jewelry industry, and the brand is among the strongest in the world,” reed expo americas president chet bur…

Top 5: Mistakes of Social Media Marketing

if you’re engaged in social media marketing, or considering it, you need to be aware of the top mistakes businesses make with this pr tool. 1. having more than one face on the internet. when you engage in social media marketing, you build your image from the ground up. the goal is to virally spread parts of your image across the internet.

Book Smarts

selling the invisible: a field guide to modern marketing, by harry beckwith, warner books (252 pages) why focus on what is invisible when you sell sparkling diamonds, vibrant colored gemstones, and precious metals? jewelry consumers are willing to pay a premium to buy visible beauty plus more. beckwith shares techniques that work to improve service quality, but his book primarily offers a way t…

Employee Handbooks: Some Important Considerations

it’s important to know what should be included in an employee handbook or company manual. there are three factors to consider. first, you need a legal component that dictates certain policies, which can vary by state. federal laws apply to everyone but vary based on the size of the company. the family medical leave act (fmla) is a good example.

Lou Goldberg, Lou Goldberg Jeweller, Montreal

1. what was your most memorable sale? in 2000, i went to a customer’s home to buy some jewelry she wanted to sell. while i was there inspecting her jewelry, i saw a cartier mystery clock. in 1912 cartier began making one mystery clock a year; these days i understand they only make one every other year, with prices averaging from $1 million to $1.

New Frontiers in Jewelry Retailing

can brass + glass = class? there is a lot about the concept of “brass and glass”—which lets jewelers hold down inventory costs by only showing replicas—that is controversial, starting with the name. spence diamonds, a canadian jeweler that recently bought three stores in houston, features nothing but replicas and proudly uses the term “brass and glass” on its web site.

A Retail Road Trip

summer is a time for vacations. but fred hakimeh, owner of outrageous gallery, combined pleasure with business last month when he drove 4,500 miles and visited six states to find a new city where he can reside and expand his retail jewelry store. hakimeh calls scottsdale, ariz., home. for nearly 20 years he has been able to conduct a lucrative living in a store where fine jewelry is sold alongs…

Existential Thoughts From Buckaroo Banzai

the jewelry business is in the midst of a paradigm shift. the old paradigm is gone, and the transition to a new one is still in progress. so, where does that leave you? in the immortal words of buckaroo banzai, “no matter where you go, there you are!” to succeed in today’s hypercompetitive, e-commerce-enabled, flat-earth business environment, you have to constantly reinvent yourself.

I Believe in People!

i believe in people, and i will go to the grave believing that, in general, people are good and want to do the right things. sure, you will always have some that go the other way, but that’s life. when it comes to sales, i believe people are good and want to do a great job. i don’t think anyone takes a job wanting to fail.


coming + going movado group has appointed alex grinbergworldwide president of concord. he was previously the president of concord, americas. ed viens has joined midas chain inc. in the role of vice president of sales. viens has more than 30 years of experience in the jewelry industry. paul deasy, author, gem expert, and tv shopping veteran, will guest host shopnbc’s new series the gem insider.


southeast retail jeweler lily & co. of sanibel, fla., recently celebrated its three-year anniversary. owners dan schuyler and karen bell hosted a party that featured a charitable component, raising some $1,550 for friends in service, a local nonprofit. old northeast jewelers, st. petersburg, fla.

Analyze Your Store’s Strengths and Weaknesses

to ensure your business not only survives but also thrives today and tomorrow, it is important to take a close look at your swot (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). david peters, jewelers of america’s resident education and management expert, says a thorough evaluation of all four positions should be done at least annually or whenever a major shift (such as the current economy)…


i recently had a conversation with a friend in the trade who owns and has run a profitable business for the past 30 years. like almost everyone in the industry, he’s having a difficult year. his bank is unhappy that his sales, receivables, and inventory are out of compliance with his loan agreement. as a result, the bank wants to call his loan and end their 25-year relationship with his firm.

Give Back With a Holiday Campaign

the holiday season is a good time for a community campaign. it demonstrates your awareness of what’s going on in the lives of your clients and your commitment to improving them. it also allows you to emphasize the personal connection the community has with your store. following are some key pointers for a successful campaign.

Do You Know Where the Kids Are? Vol. II

last month we discussed a significant shift in the american consumer marketplace. in short, it’s getting younger. the u.s. population curve looks like an upside-down bell. at the front end is the big baby boom generation—primary customers for most retail jewelers—and at the back end is gen y, or the millennial generation, children of the boomers.

Write It

you have genuine news to share, and you’re ready to write a release, which should answer the questions who? what? when? where? why? here are five more tips: 1. use the active voice (the subject performs the action). many amateur writers overuse the passive voice, which they think sounds more formal: “a charity auction will be hosted by smith jewelers.

Jewelry Creations Celebrates Pets

an early august parade marked the end of a unique store event for linda hagan and her staff at jewelry creations, in dover, n.h. “a celebration of pets and their people” was not only the first monthlong event in her 28 years as a jewelry store owner but also her first benefit for the cocheco valley humane society (cvhs).

Jeweler Looks Both Ways Before Crossing the Street

tucked away in the back of a strip mall, chris graham’s options for renovating and expanding wouldn’t solve an even bigger problem: visibility. so when a fellow member of the local chamber of commerce approached graham about renting his store across the street, the jeweler jumped at the opportunity. staying in downtown wayzata, a wealthy suburb of minneapolis, was essential.

De Beers to Tout Everlon Diamond Knot

de beers has announced the new “big idea” that it will tout in the fourth quarter: the everlon diamond knot. everlon knot jewelry will feature designs based on a hercules knot, with two metal loops held together by a diamond. “the proposition of the campaign is the only thing stronger than a diamond is love itself,” says sally morrison, interim director in charge of the de beers account for jwt.

Kimberley Chaos

i attended the jewelers of america show in new york, as i have for decades. the show bore all the scars of the industry’s fight to survive and rebuild in today’s transformed economy. my conversations with retailers and suppliers sounded like those in previous recessions, only worse. suppliers spoke of low levels of business, cutbacks in overhead and personnel, inventory reduction, and careful m…

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