“My expectation for the upcoming holiday season is people will continue to want to celebrate. This will be a more meaningful season for most. People have been stuck in, not able to visit family and friends, not able to travel to their far away getaways, some got sick or saw someone they love get sick. Most got better, but some lost their lives. We have seen hatred displayed in violence for a country we all love. Everyone’s emotions are taxed to the limit, but deep down, we all want peace, happiness, health and we want to share that feeling with those we love. We are going to celebrate with those we love, share in birthdays, anniversaries and successes. We will be marking those moments with something special. It will be in jewelry. Purchases for ourselves, a reward for how we have all been trying to do the right thing, and purchases for those we love, thankful that we have each other. It is our time to take advantage of all those celebrations and offer all that we can to our customers. What will be important is customer service. Many people have less patience, while others, interestingly, have more. They realize sweating the small stuff is not worth it. This is the time to look close at our inventory and sell what we have, create what we don’t and make the best of what is hidden in the back of our safes. Think out of the box and become what we always wanted to but were afraid to try. Now is the time. Close on Mondays if you didn’t before. Buy lunches for your staff, one more time than before. Let them know you are appreciative of what they are to you. Keep up, boost up and diversify your online presence with more formats than you have in the past. Get your face out there and be real. That is what people really want. They want to know you are human, you too were affected by the pandemic, and they want you to stay in business. Give them what they want, and you will have a customers for life. Let go of the tight prices, move items out, and redefine who you are in your community and how you are to your customers. This year is going to be epic. Sorry for the chain stores, this is the time for the little guy, so get your running shoes ready, its going to be a fun ride.”
“2020 has certainly been a crazy year! However, I feel that there are silver linings to be found. For example, because of the pandemic and resulting quarantines, people are spending more time with family and loved ones. The many unknowns in life have highlighted what is truly important to us. Canceled travel plans may free up funds and I believe people will want to seize the day and celebrate the people and relationships that are important to them during this holiday season. Jewelry is a wonderful way to tell our personal stories and show the people we love the most just how much they mean to us. It’s the best way to close out 2020 and ‘RING’ in the new year! Our expectations are nothing but hopeful for this holiday season!”
Michael Wilson (with wife, Amanda)
State Street Jewelers
Greensboro, North Carolina
“Living in a small town in rural Kansas, I am blessed that we do not have the social unrest many cities do. Our frustrations do not boil over into riots, destruction or looting. We are small enough that we look at each other and recognize each other. There are sometimes heated discussions, but fights are usually the result of too much alcohol at the bar, not fueled by greed or jealousy of position or social class. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our store. We were completely closed for a little over a month, and functionally for two months. Customer traffic is still down. And I have spoken with customers who commented they went to a different store out of town rather than coming to Colby because we have many more cases of the virus than any town in our area. We also have a greater population. We are not yet selling online with ecommerce, but we are looking at the possibility. It’s a way of maintaining social distance. I expect our numbers to continue to climb, and we will deal with that the best we can. We do require masks in our store. I do not expect the elections to impact sales. Certainly people have strong opinions, but I don’t think the winner or loser will affect sales. My expectation for the holiday season is that it will be… different. We are doing more and more custom work, and I think that will continue into Christmas. Therefore, I expect the holiday shopping to expand on the calendar rather than be shrinking. Christmas Eve has been less and less important to us. I think people will be shopping earlier, and we are seeing more interest in bigger ticket items.”
“I am optimistic about the holiday season. We are prepared for anything short of a complete shutdown. That could happen with school returning with full classrooms, which started late August. We have a mask order, in Alabama, which seems to be bringing numbers down. We have Plexiglas up in the store, markers on the floor 6 feet apart with chairs. We stay behind the Plexiglas and wear masks. We have masks to give to customers if they forget theirs. We were closed for 2 and half months and business has been good in a normally slow part of the year for us. We are ready for a robust holiday selling season.”
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