Q: How do you wish customers happy holidays?
“Starting in the first week of November we try to do a little something interesting each week. This year we’re starting things off with a pearl jewelry trunk show with Mastoloni. Following that, we’ll host events with Heather Moore, Lagos and others. In the first week of December, we host a customer appreciation party featuring select vendors. We’re primarily a bridal store, so this event allows us to put bridal and non-bridal vendors in front of our best customers and serve up foods and drinks. This event allows us to showcase color and diamond fashion, bridal of course, and even watches with TAG Heuer our primary watch brand. For our top customers we usually send out some sort of Christmas basket or flower arrangement. The flower arrangements typically last a few weeks serving as a centerpiece through the holidays. We try to shake things up with the Christmas holiday baskets. This year we’re assembling an array of products from small local businesses that people can enjoy snacking on, like jams and chocolates. We give back year-round, but in November and December more so. This November watch battery proceeds will benefit Harvest Texarkana and in December we’ll find another local charity to support.”
Shane Woodruff, owner and president
Crocker’s Fine Jewelry
“Each holiday season starting in October and November we get involved with many charities. Items are donated for auctions at these charities. Auction donations are very nice pieces of jewelry with retail values of $1,000-3,000 on up. Each item comes with a detailed appraisal, a nice jewelry box and our signature bag – it’s a nice package. We have regular charities we work with including the HeartBright Foundation, Susan G Komen, Jewelers for Children, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Toys for Tots and many more. For the past few holiday seasons, we’ve done very well in collecting toys and donations for Toys for Tots. This year’s proceeds from our December 8 customer appreciation holiday party will only go to this U.S. Marine Corps-supported charity. We’re based in a large shopping center, so we approach other merchants to supply donations for a raffle that will bring in more money for Toys for Tots. People are always amazed at the number of toys we bring in. Last year we filled 10 large boxes of toys and collected over $1,400 from raffles. They had to make weekly visits to keep up with our donations. Also, we quadrupled our showroom space compared to last year’s holiday season. We’re hoping for a bigger, better holiday season this year with bigger donations now that we have more space to host our events. We feel very blessed to be expanding our business while other businesses are cutting back and it’s all thanks to the people that support us and their generosity that we are able to give back to those in need.”
Assad Malak, owner
“We usually host Swarovski and PANDORA events. These popular product lines sell well for us throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season. Swarovski not only has jewelry, but holiday ornaments. And, with regards to Swarovski, once again this year their bracelets, which run from $65 to $90, will be solid sellers for us. PANDORA is always helpful with seasonal sales support with media-ready images for print, e-blasts, websites and social media, so we leverage that to help with Christmas sales. But with PANDORA the holiday season officially kicks off with their Black Friday sales events. In early December, we also host a VIP night for our best customers. We serve wine, hors d’oeuvres, small cakes and other holiday treats. New merchandise and some high-end memo goods are also put out that night to close some sales or to get people thinking about purchases in time for the holidays. Our store is located in a downtown area so we’re always part of the Downtown Business Council’s holiday events at some level of participation, be it the Fudge Walk or the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. It’s important to be part of these events during other parts of the year, but especially the Christmas season.”
Kevin Schreiber, general manager
“Our main event for the holiday season is our Ladies’ Night. We used to host it in late October, but in recent years, we decided to host it the Wednesday or Thursday before Thanksgiving Day. We want the event to compete more effectively with Black Friday sales events from big box retailers. The goal is to get as many people as possible in the store and to get more holiday dollars spent on jewelry early on instead of having big items like electronics replacing or significantly biting into jewelry budgets. Quincy has a population of approximately 45,000 people, so we not only invite our top 400 customers, we also make it open to the public. It’s perhaps our biggest event of the year that has brought big returns for us. We promote the event with direct mailers, flyers, online with the website and social media to get ladies in here to see existing, new and memo merchandise. We serve up wine, drinks, food and sweets as part of the event and invite ladies to complete wish lists for their husbands and boyfriends. We even have “I have a wish list at Sturhahn Jewelers” refrigerator door magnets to help men get the hint. The week of Thanksgiving we also deliver our top-100 customers a bottle of wine and a card thanking them for their business. It’s our way of saying thank you and to make sure we’re top of mind during this important gift-giving holiday. Holiday season advertising typically mentions our 100-plus years in business, that my sister and I represent four generations serving Quincy, and that as a family-owned business the buck stops with us in terms of quality merchandise and customer service.”
Jeff Sturhahn, co-owner
“Each year for Christmas we really decorate our two stores up very nicely with lots of fancy decorations from garlands everywhere to tall Christmas trees. One store has a 28-foot ceiling, so we take advantage of that with real dramatic decorations. Our stores have a German, Bavarian shoppe house look and feel to them, so Christmas decorations tend to have those inspirations. And, each year we decide on a theme for all of our seasonal promotions. This year the Christmas season theme is family. We think it’s time to return to the basics that bring people together and think family is very important, now more than ever for so many societal and cultural reasons. Before December 10, we try to schedule our holiday open house. The invites go heavily to the 3,000 people in our Premier Card database. We serve up wine, coffee and hors d’oeuvres. Each hour we have drawings with jewelry giveaways ranging from $50 – $100 on one end to $500 – $1,000 on the high end. People have a lot of fun with the drawings. During the holidays, we really step up advertising as well, most on cable TV with an emphasis on sports channels. We have our own in-house TV studio and photo studio. We emphasize incredible product shots and quality video production with quick turnaround. This works especially well for us with holiday promotions.”
Oscar R. Droste, president/owner
Droste’s Jewelry Shoppes
Two stores in Evansville, IN
SJN wants your opinion for our Retailer Roundtable. To participate simply e-mail your name, store name and location, and a picture of yourself to email@example.com. We’ll e-mail you a question and you e-mail us your response.