How big should the shop be compared to the showroom?
This question was recently asked of me and I’ve seen it over and
over again when I visit stores.
There really are two types of “jewelers” out there:
Usually male, he starts out working at the bench and as business
and money grows, adds showcases and buys inventory. Or might expand
or move into larger quarters and adds more showcases but all the
while keeping the shop area a goodly size.
The owner opens a store and adds a shop because they have hired a
jeweler and the shop increases traffic and is a needed, viable part
of the store. The shop is a must have for customer service.
Many stores need more showroom space. The showroom is small and that
being the case inventory is crammed into showcases. On the other
side I’ve seen stores with a small showroom have nicely laid out
cases but they don’t have enough inventory. More inventory equals
more showcases needed.
But let’s add in another bump in the equation. Many stores have a
large administrative area. Offices, lots of storage space. Too much
Most stores would do better to dedicate more space to the showroom.
But how many showcases? One jeweler told me his formula and it seems
to work well. He doesn’t put more than 10 pieces per linear foot in
the cases. A 6 foot showcase doesn’t have more than 60 pieces of
He told me that when he “uncluttered” his cases this way that
"average dollar sale increased and the time to sell a customer
What would happen if you enlarged your showroom?
a. It would force you to redecorate a showroom that was probably old
and drab looking.
b. A larger store looks more successful. You want to step away from
looking like a “mom and pop” jewelry store, even if you are one.
c. One important thing you’d remodel is the ceiling.
Office tiles in the ceiling grid looks like an office. Sofits that
drop down look better. New lighting is a must. One store I visited
had old fashion drop lights and they were turned OFF because it made
the showroom hot! The only lights illuminating the jewelry were
fluorescent tubes. Yuk!
d. You could dedicate some area to a kids play area, seating for
hubby and a sit down area to help customers with custom design along
with a refreshment area. We always had available in the showroom:
lemonade, coffee and Girl scout cookies.
Speaking of the admin area, many jewelers think they need more sales
staff when truthfully most stores could use more administrative
help. Too many jewelers wear too many hats. In many stores the owner
sells the majority of the store sales. The sales staff that’s there
takes care of the smaller sales, repairs, batteries. So if you are
the owner and sell the most, you could use a “personal butler”.
Administrative people, who’d help you do some of your work in the
back, go get you diamonds from the vault for Mrs. Jones to see, call
in daily orders, type up your appraisals (you speak them into a
Back to the shop, I’d definitely have it visible to the customers
with a large glass window. Being visible builds trust in the
customers’ eyes. If you’re going to have it visible, jewelers should
be nicely dressed. I’d suggest logo shirts, kaki pants, nice shoes,
not traditional tennis shoes. If you need logo shirts, go to
[http://www.queensboro.com/] www.queensboro.com. I use them even
today for my logo and polo style dress shirts.
Is there a magic formula for showroom to shop space? I can’t give
you one, it depends upon the space you have available. But always
lean on the idea of more showroom area. I would recommend having the
polish room a completely separate area from the jeweler’s bench area.
Noise is a big distraction in doing fine work as well as cleanliness.
Lastly many jewelers told me a fresh new look increased sales.
Director of Profits