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Charles Krypell: Insights from a $4 Million Covid-19 Season on the Road-Part I January 30, 2021 (1 comment)


New York, NY--Charles and Brian Krypell looked COVID-19 in the eye last fall and made this decision: "COVID, you're not going to beat Charles Krypell or the retailers who want to work with us for Holiday 2020 Trunk Shows." 

They then proceeded to travel on more than 50 flights to more than 30 retail jewelry stores starting the beginning of October 2020 and returning just after Christmas to make this decision a successful reality. Fortunately, neither of them contracted the virus.

This is the first of a three-part series in the words of designer Charles Krypell and  his nephew Brian Krypell. The series provides critical context into what it was like to sell at Trunk Shows through the worsening Pandemic, why people were out shopping, plenty of advice on how to succeed at Trunk Shows in general, and an outlook for 2021.

A young Charles Krypell above as a sculptor around the time he started his jewelry company in the '70s.

Improved Margins Via Higher MSRP an Important First Step

We improved the retailer’s margins this past season by increasing our MSRP retail on all gold and diamond products, without increasing our wholesale prices to the retailer. Even with gold surging, we wanted the retailer to have the ability to sell at a higher MSRP despite the increase in labor, raw materials, diamonds, metals, etc., we experience. This enabled them to maintain margins that work for them. Our retailers were extraordinarily pleased with our new MSRP approach. 

The Importance of Personal Appearance Trunk Shows

Likewise, many of our retail partners recognize the importance of personal appearance trunk shows two-three times a year because these events offer their consumers an in-store experience which is necessary for the retailer to stand out in their community.  Their customers are wanting to interact one-on-one with the designer/owners at events so they can touch, feel, converse, and view an extraordinarily romanceable collection – This is the in store experience you need to provide in these ever changing retail times so you do not lose your customer to a click of a button purchasing direct online or to your competitor.

Inside this Past Season’s Trunk Show Road Trip

This past season, the consumer was pent up and quarantined for many months, so they were eager to get out in town and support their local jeweler by attending events they had.  We noticed that the consumer was very focused and determined to create an individual balance and style that they can call their own, while being definitive in their purchases. 

While there was not nearly the usual foot traffic as in past trunk shows, those that did come into the events were qualified and serious shoppers. We especially made sure the clientele knew that safety protocols were in place in terms of us getting tested very often, masks worn, social distancing in the store at events (curated appointments from sales staff), and we clean the jewelry every day especially after an appointment. 

We were fortunate to generate close to $4 million dollars for the retail trade at our trunk shows during a year of insanity with the pandemic! 

This is not to impress you, but to impress upon you that there were many retailers willing to have trunk shows as their clientele wanted to feel “normal” again by attending (safe) events.  No other jewelry designer brings the array of products to trunk shows, to the tune of $10 million dollars in products, and we have earned a reputation throughout as focused, observant, listening intently to the customer’s needs, and masters of the art of the sale behind the counter. 

This is derived out of decades of experience and opportunity to perform behind the counter.  We bring an array of items priced from $1,500 up to over $1 Million+. We set up as if at a trade show, organized, disciplined on displays (we bring with us), and sectioned off in terms of collections so as to showcase a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing set up. 

Next week, Part II covers What Was Selling During Holiday '20 and provides insights on better understanding the consumer walking into the store.

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Comments (1):

Quite an effort. Amazing.
I wonder what the JSA would think about the details discussed here.
Stay safe everyone, on the road, in the store and at home.

By Jeffrey B. Bilgore (E-mail) on Feb 6th, 2021 at 2:08pm

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