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“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” ~ Mary Ellen Chase
People in the industry who know me know that I am a huge proponent of in-store events. Keeping your marketing calendar fresh and full are among the first recommendations I give to stores who call me looking for new ideas.
What better way to heat up sales in the slow summer months than to celebrate with a Christmas in July event? So pull out the decorations, serve up some frozen hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies, team up with your financing company on special financing offers, and get in the holiday spirit with some of these tried and true promotional events!
Since the summer is considered “off-season” for our industry, it’s an excellent time to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with events and lines that you might not normally have in your store during the “busy season.” There is much less pressure to make every sale, advertising rates across the board are generally cheaper, and it’s a great time to take advantage of marketing opportunities you might not have tried, such as the USPS Every Door Direct program, which is an easy, cost-effective way to reach potential customers near your business.
Recently I had an opportunity to produce a series of in-store events that I’d like to share with you to consider. The events were rotated out on a weekly basis, each designed to connect with a different target market, and were definitely events that I would recommend to any of my clients in the future.
So if you’re ready to deck the halls, and your Santa hat, and hold a Christmas in July event, here are some great ideas to get you started:
1) Dedicate a week to a Stocking-Stuffer event. Look for price-point items that retail between $25 and $75, and consider giving your customers a discount based on the amount of items they buy. An excellent partner for these types of events is Natalie Ziegler Designs out of Clarksville, Maryland. Natalie carries a wide variety of inexpensive, natural colored stone jewelry, as well as promotional pearl items, that would work perfect for a stocking stuffer event.
2) Take your store image and your sales to a new level by hosting 3-day, pre-owned Rolex event. With the proper marketing, this type of event can bring upwards of 100 new customers into your store. Pair it with a great financing offer, and you’ll be amazed at the results! Just keep in mind that you’ve got to keep your margins slim (10% – 20%) on pre-owned Rolexes, but the amount of customers, new and existing, that it can bring into your store, makes it well worth it. Remember, once they are in your store, even if they don’t end up buying a Rolex, you have the chance to capture their information for your database, and potentially sell them on a different piece of jewelry during their visit.
If you’re interested in exploring your options on this kind of event, I recommend you call Robert Loving at Time Delay in Dallas, Texas. For 35 years, Time Delay has provided the industry with the finest custom diamond dials and bezels, dial refinishing and Italian replacement bracelets. In addition, Time Delay also offers service for Rolex timepieces and custom diamond enhancements for most luxury timepieces. They also proudly offer the best quality available in pre-owned Rolex watches, backed by a one-year warranty.
3) Bring a little red carpet razzle-dazzle to your Christmas in July event by hosting a trunk show and showcasing goods created by celebrity jewelry designer Priyanka Murthy, founder and chief designer of Arya Esha. Jewelry designed by Priyanka Murthy embodies wearable glamour, distinguished by cosmopolitan chic. Arya Esha jewelry is crafted in recycled, precious metals and uses ethically sourced gemstones as well as conflict and devastation free diamonds. Each jewel is handcrafted and one-of-a-kind, which make for great talking and selling points for the Millennial customers you serve. The Arya Esha brand won a 2014 Commendation Award from the Cultured Pearl Association, and a 2015 JCK Rising Star Award.
In addition to widespread industry acclaim, Arya Esha pieces have been featured in national and regional fashion and lifestyle media, and the line has a large celebrity following, including Julia Roberts, Claire Danes, Jordana Brewster and Ming-Na Wen.
4) Reach out to companies that can help deliver fresh merchandise to your showcases with margins that will make you smile! I recently had the opportunity to work with my friend Michael Lebowitz, jewelry director White Pine Trading, to create a fill-in package for a client of mine. Michael was kind enough to tailor a package specifically in price points that my client was missing, and the margins on all of the goods, even with discounts of up to 70% off MSRP, were fabulous.
The merchandise styles were fresh, the quality was excellent, and it all came into the store priced to sell. This type of merchandise works great for a “Manufacturer Liquidation” event, and gives you the chance to create a sense of urgency around the sale since it really does have to go back to the supplier once the sale is over. If you are going to work with an outside company to create an event such as this, I highly encourage you to experiment with price points and merchandise that you normally might not carry. Freshening up your store with new merchandise and price points, even on a temporary basis, is a great way to see how receptive your customers might be to new trends or items, without having to make a huge financial commitment (or mistake!) on your part.
Need some help getting your Christmas in July event started? Have a great Christmas in July story you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject! E-mail me at Ann@SouthernJewelersGuild.com or call me at 504-615-1191.