Retailer Roundtable: What will you be doing in September to prepare your store for a successful 4th quarter?

RR Steel“We use our annual Charles Krypell event in September as the big event to kick off our preparations for the Q4 season. Normally that is our only event in September, but this year we’re adding a wedding band event, which will be supported by Jocalio, our new digital marketing company. We also use the month of September to firm up our stock on hand. This year, Steel’s will have buyers at the new Diplomat Show to fill in with orders placed at the CBG, Couture and Luxury shows in Vegas. Two of our generations will be meeting in September with our Jewelry Research Group to plan and collaborate details for a successful 4th Quarter.”

Chuck & Susan Steel, Owners
Steel’s Jewelry
Valdosta, Georgia

 

RR Nelson“September is our last chance to clear out all the little details that can hamper a wonderful 4th quarter. We make sure all of the last buying for the season is finished. Then we review all inventory for errors and matching photos (We’ve found that adding photos on invoices has made us many add on sales later). September is also the time that we look through the jewelry cases and check for worn and discolored displays and elements, and replace them as needed. We inventory all of our packaging supplies, and  make our final box orders for the holidays, and use this time to decide on what our Christmas colors will be for the season. We check to make sure we have ample holiday decorations, and replace anything that is broken or worn. Every year we send approximately 3000 Christmas cards to our loyal customers. That project starts in June, but it is timed to be finished up in September, so we know it is done and can check that off the list. In addition, we use the month of September to physically check each item of jewelry in our inventory to make sure all pieces still have a new finish, that all earrings have matching backs and all chains on necklaces are not kinked or knotted. Anything that needs repair or a replacement part is pulled and taken care of, so it can be back in stock by the end of the month. Our staff knows that all requests for vacation time during the holiday season must be turned in by the end of September. Once we’ve completed these items, we know that we are ready to face the fall rush free of any small concerns.”

Mark Nelson, Owner
Jewelry By Design
Auburn, Alabama

 

RR Blaha“Our business is based on Biblical principles; keeping God as the cornerstone of everything we do, so the Christmas selling season is really important to us, because our merchandise is Christ-centered and faith-based. We are proud to be licensed manufacturers of True Love Waits jewelry by LifeWay Ministries, founders of True Love Waits. We also produce our own original designs, so we use the month of September to create inventory that will be sold during the holiday season. September is a great month for us to re-invent our slow selling merchandise as well. If there is something in our inventory that hasn’t sold by September, then we know it is time for us to turn it into something that has a better chance of selling in the upcoming months. Because much of our work is done on the manufacturing side, it’s important for us to make sure we always keep the shop organized. September is a great month for us to do some deep cleaning and reevaluate the way the shops are organized, to see if anything can be done more efficiently. Because we were recently hit by thieves, security is top of mind for us. We’re developing a more intense security plan, and will be having additional conversations about security in September. Interestingly enough for us, we are unusually busy in the summertime and stay pretty steady into September and October. Our slowest months for business tend to be November and January. We like to consistently challenge everyone in our store on learning. The more educated we are in the business, the more people will come to us for our knowledge and avoid the big box stores. September is a great month to brush up on education in areas we may find some of our staff are lacking in.”

Bryan Blaha, Owner
Cornerstone Jewelry & Engraving
Palos Park, Illinois

 

RR Kluh“We’ve got a pretty specific punch list for September here at Kluh Jewelers. First, we evaluate all of our over the counter purchases to make sure they are showcase ready for our estate department. It’s important for us to know going into the holiday season that we have the right merchandise at the right price points, so we use September to review our Edge reports and go through each category to see if our stock levels are where they need to be for the holiday season. Since holiday and seasonal trends aren’t always easily identifiable earlier in the year, we research the latest trends in September, and place our holiday orders with vendors. September is a great month for us to double check our current stock of bags, boxes, gift wrap, bows, tissue paper, etc., and replenish those items as necessary. And last, but not least, every September we schedule a wine tasting trip for late October so we can relax and unwind a little bit before the craziness of the holiday season really begins!”

Matt & Suzanne Kluh, Owners
Kluh Jewelers
Lacey, Washington


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