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Chain jewelry stores customer traffic


#1

I was working in the store at the mall, where we have some cases of
our work, and noticed the traffic in the chain jewelry stores was a
lot more brisk than the independent store I was in. In fact they
were swamped at times. I can’t say how many sales they were
generating but they definitely were busy. Do you think it’s name
recognition or advertising that has them flocking in?

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#2

Yes, Rick, that is some of it…Plus-CREDIT PROGRAMS…I used to
work for a small time jewelry store and these issues really hurt the
owner…Even when I let the customer that we could do a short term
layaway and save him the finance charges–it could still be a
hard/tough sell.

Well, back to the grind-just bought a new steamer and have to pay
for it…

Take care & happy holidays…


#3
Do you think it's name recognition or advertising that has them
flocking in? 

I don’t know about your area, Rick, but around here, radio,
television and print media are flooded with ads. The coupon sections
of papers and mail flyers are also full of ads. And the bigger
companies have apparently paid a fair amount for internet
advertising.

So it’s both. Name recognition bought and paid for with a tsunami of
advertising. I was noticing that on some of the prime time TV shows,
it seems that Kay jewelers had an ad, sometimes two, at virtually
every ad break in the show, and the other chains around here are
doing much the same, from what I can see. Finding the ads for the
independents is a lot harder, though they’re doing what they can as
well.

Peter


#4

Rick- Back in the late 70’s early 80’s when metal prices were really
high and the economy was in trouble the same phenomenon happened. The
only jewelers who were busy were the really high end and the really
low end. I remember seeing lines out the door of the cheapest store
in town when metals and diamonds were at their highest. In tough
economic times the really really rich will always have money to spend
and the really poor will often spend their money foolishly.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#5

In-store credit and heavy advertising seems to be bringing them in.
Kay Jewelers were especially swamped and you can’t watch TV without
being bombarded by their ads. Thankfully I have a DVR so I can record
the programs I want to watch and fast forward through the ads.

Also, since we have a large military presence here in Colorado
Springs some stores offer military allotments service which I think
is like a payroll deduction for the military. Any way they can pry a
dollar out of the consumers grasp they are doing it…

Rick Copeland
rockymountainwonders.com


#6

in australia chain stores do good business because of the advertised
PRICE reductions. an example a chain store here charges $140au (old
gold price) a gram for 9kt myself and colleagues charge $48au the
cost to us at the time was $24au. so when the chain store advertsies
a half price sale they are still $22au a gram more expensive, but the
customers at the chain store think they are getting a bargain.

advertise your business’s qualities e.g. hand made, limited edition,
made to order etc. and the price per gram. go into the chain store
with your scales and see the reaction lol. i also had a chain store
tell me there is no copper in 9kt. i know that 9kt is very low
quality and does not look like gold, but it is the entry level
standard in austrlaia. my customers when i explain the qualities and
value always go to 18kt.

richard


#7

Those throngs are mostly what I call “onesies”. These people are good
for one sale. That’s why they go to the place with occasion ads that
get their attention. They don’t really know where else to go. They
are by and large not frequent flyers. So yeah, Zales and whatever
will pull them in in December. But just because Zales etc have that
strategy does not mean its a good one for small independants.
Relying on December to get you through the year is risky business,
and it makes for white knuckles come February.

Now you take an iffy economy like this one. To get that heavy Xmas
traffic takes big ad money and big inventory investment. When things
are a bit dicey, if Xmas falls on its face its going to hurt. Last
year comes to mind. For the small guy I believe a better strategy is
to concentrate your efforts on repeat business throughout the year.
Train them to come to you. It costs you less, things are more
predictable, and you have fewer crappy months. When the economy is on
the up, then sure, venture a few more bucks for occasion ads.

Of course, every store has its own dynamic and that should outweigh
most other considerations, as long as that dynamic is still working.
Something to be said for inertia.


#8

Richard,

go into the chain store with your scales and see the reaction lol. 

Ya must have gold plated cahonies :slight_smile: I get dirty questioning looks
for examining the back before the front. Loupe comes out of the
pocket if there is anything of possible interest. Scales and I’d
probably get shot. I know what stuff should weigh, crude test is
pennies in one hand jewellery in the other and see which way you
tilt. Selling jewellery by the gram is an abomination. Lets see, a
120 kg runt (but good) jeweller is worth how much per gram/minute ???

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#9
Selling jewellery by the gram is an abomination. 

Nope. just another unit of measure. Personally, I kind of wish
everything just went Metric, including the gold market. Everything in
grams, kilos, etc. Things would be simpler for everyone.

By the way, there’s some justification for selling gold by the gram.
The practice seems most prevalant with chains, much of which come
from Italy. And last I checked, the Italians sell their chains in
bulk by the kilo or gram, so retailers doing the same are simply
keeping the same units for their sales as were used when the bought
the stuff. Logical enough, and maybe simplifies book keeping.

Now, with the prices of gold and platinum these days, perhaps we
should just sell all jewelry, stones and metal both, by the carat.
“The diamond is a carat in weight priced at 1500 per carat, and this
ring mounting weighs 50 carats (10 grams), and is priced at 16
dollars per carat…” Pricing gold and platinum by the carat instead
of by the gram would bring the unit price back down to what people
might remember from when gold was in the mid 300s per ounce… That
might make them not think they were paying so much, and the large
number of units (carats instead of grams) might make them think they
were getting OH So Much More for their money… (grin. But don’t
laugh. Somewhere in Orchidland, there might be someone reading this
going “hey, an idea…” )

Peter Rowe


#10
... i know that 9kt is very low quality and does not look like
gold, but it is the entry level standard in austrlaia. my customers
when i explain the qualities and value always go to 18kt. 

I don’t understand why 9kt seems to get a bad rap. Over 20 years ago,
I bought a 9kt. gold pinkie ring, with a lapis cab set in it, and I
have worn it 24/7 ever since. It looks exactly like gold, never
tarnishes, and only now is beginning to look a little worn. Recently
I had the cab replaced because it had cracked. I don’t know what
more one could ask of a ring. I’d recommend 9kt gold
enthusiastically.

Judy Bjorkman


#11

Peter,

Nope. just another unit of measure. Personally, I kind of wish
everything just went Metric, including the gold market. Everything
in grams, kilos, etc. Things would be simpler for everyone. 

Still an abomination.

That Italian chain costs you more than spot, damned expensive
machines which made it have to be paid for, shipping and handling add
more. You chop off a piece and add loops and a finding adds the cost
of you touching it even if just in a quick and minor way.

That 5 gram ring with a days worth of fabrication is going to have a
very much different price/gram than a piece of Italian chain. Of
course I disclose what a piece weighs (gram scales are sold to any
one cheap :slight_smile: but the costs /gram are for my books only and usually
mean nothing even to me.

Grams are what I work with but the old british unit of stones has
its appeal :slight_smile: Yes sir, that ring has 0.00079 stone of 14 K gold in
it. HeHe

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand