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Pandemic Sparks Permanent Business Model Change For North Dakota Jeweler April 12, 2021 (0 comments)


Grand Forks, ND—As Americans collectively look forward to a return to more normal activities, some folks have found they prefer the changes forced by the pandemic shutdowns. For jeweler Nancy Marchell (image), owner of Signature Jewelers in Grand Forks, ND, the pandemic helped her realize not only what she loved most about her business, but also what has been highly profitable: one-on-one selling by appointment. Her local newspaper recently featured Marchell in its "Five Questions" business column.

Almost two decades old, Signature Jewelers is the longest-serving independent jeweler in the Grand Forks area, says the store’s Facebook page. In the article in the Grand Forks HeraldMarchell explains how, while watching other businesses close at the height of the pandemic lockdowns, she forwarded her phone, put a note on the door, and became a personal jeweler by default. It’s worked so well that she’s keeping the new business model.

“So many customers love one-on-one attention. It's just more personal. I've always worked as a personal jeweler meeting people by appointment, in the evenings, on weekends, out of town. It's just something I love to do, and it makes people feel special. I think the big thing is for people to realize why I did the change I did, and to understand the personal service side of it. All my customers that I asked just loved the idea. Everybody enjoyed that one-on-one time, knowing they wouldn't be interrupted,” she told the paper.

Marchell recently moved to a smaller, more intimate space, and limited regular store hours to Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Of course, she’s available by appointment any time, and during the holidays the store is open Monday through Saturday.

Has Marchell tapped into a cultural zeitgeist? It’s possible. While jewelry has performed extremely well during the pandemic, the way people shop for it may change permanently, along with other shifts, because not everybody is anxious to return to the hectic pace of their pre-pandemic life. For instance, journalist Emily Ramshaw, founder of The 19th and a former Texas Monthly reporter, tweeted, “I don’t want to travel endlessly for work. I don’t want my weekends to be over-committed with activities. I don’t want to miss bedtime with my kid. I don’t want to wear blazers — or, hell, even shoes.”

Marchell, however, seems to have found a perfect balance for her business. She is planning a series of monthly special events for customers, including jewelry spotlights, repair clinics, trunk shows, and more. It's just enough to encourage customers to want to get dressed and put on shoes—and, of course, jewelry.

Read the full article here.

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