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Getting ready for JCK: The Four Prong Approach to Merchandising |  May 06, 2023 (0 comments)


Encinitas, CA--Jewelers should be commended for good business practices over the last few years.  By staying focused on keeping expenses under control and inventory in line - our industry remains strong unlike many retailers nationwide.

Retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning, Bath & Body Works, Foot Locker, Gap, Banana Republic, Best Buy and more are closing stores across the county with several filing bankruptcy. Due to improved business practices in the jewelry industry, our niche of the market has not had to take such drastic measures. As the economy continues to fluctuate, jewelers remain profitable and enjoy growth in key areas of business.However, continued volatility in the economy calls for a conservative and strategic plan for inventory levels. Not to belabor the obvious, but interest rates continue to increase, inflation remains high, and consumers are more cautionary with their spending than three years ago. The jewelry industry remains strong despite these ongoing trends. Merchandising a store is so much more than attending JCK or another trade show. As we see it, there is a four-pronged approach to merchandising.If any of the prongs are missing, so is the success of your merchandising.

Four Prongs of Merchandising --- Otherwise known as running LAPS around the competition

  1. Locate: Find the right product
  2. Acquire: Partner with vendors and receive merchandise into your store
  3. Promote: Advertise, get the staff excited and tell a story
  4. Sell:  It only counts when a happy customer takes it home

Trade shows like Centurion and the upcoming JCK provide the opportunity to pause, take a detailed look at your business, regroup, and plan ahead for another Christmas selling season. 

The best way to acquire the right inventory to positively impact your business is to create a precalculated plan to locate the best merchandise mix, instead of simply purchasing random pieces you come across as you shop the aisles of the trade shows.

We recommend you do an analysis to determine:

 This analysis will serve as a guide for the pre-planned merchandise you should locate at the show. Returning from a buying trip to find you didn’t come back with anything new or you overcommitted to something you shouldn’t have is frustrating and counterproductive.

Remember the importance of vendor partnerships. Before packing for JCK take a moment to prepare for each vendor appointment.  Prepare an open-to-buy to keep your merchandise acquisitions within the   predetermined boundaries you have set.  Excessive inventory leads to slow turn which causes  bad cash flow.

Commit to relationship building at each meeting by recapping what makes your partnership worth investing in.  It is certainly worth a few minutes of time and a great way to kick off your time together.

No matter how fantastic a line or a piece is, if your staff is not informed and excited, it is likely to sit.Every new line and item coming into your store deserves a special welcome accompanied by a story or at least an announcement of its features and benefits.

Promotion comes in a wide range of options, whether traditional advertising or through social media - a story needs to be told.Ask your vendors to help.

No matter how attracted you are to a line or an individual piece it doesn’t help your cash flow until it leaves your store with a happy customer.It’s easy these days to offer exceptional customer service and stand out from all the rest. We encourage you to help your staff delight your customers and boost their sales all at the same time.

Working a trade show with a plan is imperative to you reaching your goals.  A buying plan will help you stay within the parameters you have set for yourself, keep your inventory in control and generate positive cash flow.  Invest in your merchandising this year with planning on the front end and follow through each of the Four Prongs / LAPS to grow your sales higher and leave your competition behind.

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