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How are you Promoting Christmas this Year?

By Phyllis Schiller





Colette




The 4Cs are not the only things that make a piece of diamond jewelry a sales winner. In an ongoing series, Rapaport Magazine explores the “3Ws” — what’s selling, what’s not and why — by going straight to the people who really know — jewelry retailers. Each month, we ask a sampling of retailers to comment on the important issues that are facing the industry today. Here is what they had to say when asked at the end of October: “What are you doing to drive holiday sales this year? Are you sticking to what you’ve done in the past or trying something different?”

BRIAN LEVINE, OWNER
BRIAN MICHAEL’S JEWELERS
TONAWANDA, NEW YORK
“We are introducing some of the sliced jewelry — diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, all handmade and a little bit different. We’re trying hard to make sure we have the right price points on basics, like diamond earrings and diamond fashion. We’re doing trunk shows with two of our vendors, Charles Krypell and Kir, which is a silver Balinese design line and part of our buying group, Continental Buying Group. We are not doing a formal catalog, we haven’t for a couple of years. But we’ll introduce some of the fashion pieces with mailings — we do a lot of emailing. And we do television and we’re thinking about doing radio, if we can negotiate a good price. We also do Facebook and Pinterest.”

MICHAEL BRYANT, PRESIDENT
BRYANT & SONS LTD.
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
“We’re not doing anything particularly different. We have our direct mailers and we’re doing a little bit more on Facebook and that type of thing. We are planning some holiday parties with vendors coming in and we’ll have champagne and hors d’oeuvres and music. I normally do that in December. We do two catalogs that we send by mail. We’re just getting ready to send one out now and then the other will go out around Thanksgiving. We also do some email blasts.”

MICHAEL FINN, MANAGER
E.B. HORN
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
“This year, we’re going much more heavily into social media, social networking.
We’ve hired a full-time social media coordinator and we’re focusing on Facebook, Pinterest and some Twitter. We’re doing some special events and we’re going to do some promotions. We always have one or two trunk shows. We’re doing a catalog, by mail and on the website.”

VICKI HAUSER, CO-OWNER
HAUSER’S JEWELERS
NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA
“We always do a ladies’ night where they come in to see the new showcased jewelry that we’ve gotten in for the holidays. We try to hold back showing it until then, so they have the first edge. And this year, we’re going to do a trunk show in December, something we’ve never done before. We do a catalog that we mail out. We try to have something in it so people will want to keep it. Last year, we did some family recipes. We also do Facebook and we let customers know about events by email. We stay proactive, because that’s what you do now. Because we do have a few new things out, people are starting to think and look and make lists.”

CHARLES LASKER, OWNER
LASKER JEWELERS
EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN
“We’re planning on doing the same thing we did last year, which is sending gift cards
to our 500 best customers, no strings attached, $100 off any purchase. We’re in Packers land, so on December 23, which is a Sunday, when they’re playing, we’re having a men’s day, with TV, refreshments, snacks, whoopla, etc. — an all-day event. We have a ladies night scheduled on Thursday, December 13, with refreshments, and they can make their wish lists.”

JAY MITCHELL
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
CLARKES JEWELERS
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
“We carry a lot of couture designers, so we’ll be doing in-store trunk shows; we always like to use those to drive customer traffic. And these days, I think jewelers need to get on board with the cost-effectiveness of digital media to reach a broad customer base. We continually update our Facebook page, which is a great way to stay in customers’ minds.

“We’re doing a Passport promotion for the first time this year. The Passport is sent out to everyone on our client list, as well as given to new in-store customers. Every event that they attend, they receive a visa stamp from our store and at the end of the holidays, we’ll do a drawing and give away a trip to Sonoma Valley. The Passport is also on our website so people can use a flipbook to see all of our events listed. We put it into place for our September events and we’ve had a great response.”

KEN SHELTON, OWNER
KENNETH EDWARDS FINE JEWELERS
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS
“We’re using the same media outlets we’ve used in the past but maybe less TV and a
little more direct mail. We’ll send a promotional mailer in conjunction with Lx Magazine, which is part of our marketing plan for this Christmas. And that has several elements, including an eight-page mailer that has a special offer in it. We had a pretty good response to it last year and so we’re doing it again. And independent of that, we may do a punch-out card mailer that looks almost like a credit card. It’s something we’re considering but I haven’t decided yet. And we do have a presence in social media. We have a Facebook page and we are fairly active in posting to that and we do seem to get some response. In-store, as always, we’ll have several trunk shows. As a matter of fact, we have five different events scheduled.”

SUSAN PURNELL, OWNER
KUHN’S JEWELERS
SALISBURY, MARYLAND
“We’re doing all kinds of things. We’re really big in social media; we’re doing Facebook contests, we’re tweeting and sending email newsletters out every month. We’re inviting people to come in and fill out their wish lists and they get a free tote bag and a $50 gift certificate that can be used toward anything on their wish list. And we’ve had women coming in and spending a lot of time with us and trying on things and telling us what they like. I’ve called several of the men and they’ve said, ‘Great, put it away.’ We have a new Christmas ad campaign on TV and in magazines. I’m going all out.

“We’ll be a part of every nonprofit organization’s Christmas fundraiser; we’ll give a significant gift that will put us in the limelight so people know we’re giving back to the community. I’m excited. My fiscal year ended September and we started a new year October 1 and we’re up 48 percent. We’re feeling very good and very positive. And I think it’s going to be a great year.”

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - November 2012. To subscribe click here.

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