Q: What are the major goals/objectives for your business in 2016?
“We have a lot going on in 2016 starting with our website. More product images will be added as well as more detailed content to offer customers more information on us, our jewelry and watches and our services. Chain stores are promoting two-stone rings. Our plan is to approach our vendor partners to find finished pieces so we can service customers asking for this product. In the fall months, we were getting some questions from customers on this ring style based on ads seen on TV. For products, we brought on a new vendor in 2015 to help with finished and custom jewelry. That relationship will definitely continue into the new year. Gabriel & Co. of New York and Citizen are two brands that have been selling very well for us, so we’ll most likely look at adding to these brands next year. For 2016 we’ll also be adding CounterSketch from Stuller. We’ll have to make some adjustments to our store’s interior to accommodate the technology and displays that come with that change. New Stuller showcases are also coming soon, which will give us a fresh look. And, we might even put in some new carpeting.”
Caroline Grant, store manager
Solid Gold, Inc.
“Our main goals for 2016 are online, starting with e-commerce. Roughly 20 percent of jewelry is purchased online, and we want to catch up on the times. The store is looking to have an online shopping cart – putting more of our products, from valued vendors to our own designs produced in-house, on the website. People viewing the website will be directed to contact the store for orders. With our website more geared toward online purchases, we want to improve our social media websites to drive more online traffic to our website for sales conversions. Also, from the manufacturing side, we’d like to do more in-house designs, which is the way most bridal is going these days. Our shop has been doing 3D printing for a few years now, but we’ve been steadily increasing the number of units produced each day. Doing more 3D printing of custom designs and a new induction vacuum casting machine for 2016, should help increase in-house production nicely. In our area, the oil business is down, but our sales continue to go up. For 2016, we think these objectives will keep us on track for improving sales, which were up 30 percent going into the fourth quarter of 2015.”
Glenn Lewis, president
“In the fall of 2015, we brought in CounterSketch from Stuller. Part of our goal in 2016 is to continue to perfect and fine-tune our approach to custom jewelry making using CounterSketch. In the fourth quarter of 2015 we started promoting the store’s new custom jewelry making capabilities. This includes showing high school students touring our store for career options with custom jewelry production, but also showing them another part of their future – what it would be like to create your own bridal jewelry when they’re ready to get married. And, during the holiday season’s Ladies’ Night we demonstrated CounterSketch to a number of event attendees. Another big goal for 2016 is succession planning. I’ll be retiring in two years and my son will be taking over the business. We’ll be assessing each department in the store, selling down and reducing inventory – especially non-performing watch brands – so that he can afford to buy the store from me. We will, however, be investing more in solid gold earrings and necklaces, which are fast sellers for our store. Also, bridal jewelry will be an important investment as new bridal jewelry purchases in 2016 will be mostly based on my son’s decisions, and that of younger members of the store, as we transition to the next generation.”
Richard McIntosh, owner
“As a personal jeweler to three generations of customers, in 2016 I’ll continue to explore the possibility of merging with a retail jeweler with a storefront that is trying to break into doing business in our small town. We’ve already tested these waters in the fourth quarter of 2015 by having him exhibit and sell jewelry at my holiday season customer party. We’ve been using Matrix on the production end of it [custom jewelry designing and fabrication] but recently added Stuller’s CounterSketch Studio for the customization portion. Getting to know CounterSketch better and improving work with Matrix will also be a big focus for 2016 as part of the proposed merger. Then we’ll seek to better promote the custom jewelry services on social media websites, advertising and even in the store, by making the custom jewelry technology easy for customers to see.”
Kris Purcell, owner
Gold Works, LLC
Fort Wayne, IN