Merrick, NY—As rules around retail closings differ across the nation, The Centurion reached out to find out how better jewelers are conducting business—or not—in this crisis. Yesterday we visited Cathy Eastham Fine Jewelry, Hands Jewelers, Spicer Greene Jewelers, and Alter’s Gem Jewelry.
Today, more of your peers across the nation present their strategies as of press time. Read on:
Skibell, Dallas, TX, sent this note to customers, with a cheery picture of Sassy, the store’s golden retriever mascot (above left):
“As the coronavirus Covid-19 situation continues to spread throughout our communities, here at Skibell, starting March 18th, we will be limiting visitor access to the showroom in an effort to keep our staff and customers that we love healthy. The situation is ever changing, and until further notice the following ways are how we can attend to you at this time.
Customers may be seen by appointment in the store.
Customers may also be seen through virtual formats like FaceTime or Skype for purchases and repairs. Please call the store to set up your virtual shopping experience.
Call us at 214.691.5123 today to schedule your appointment!”
New store hours for the jeweler are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and closed on Sunday and Monday. The jeweler also reimagined its “Women In Jewelry” tea party:
“Our 'Women in Jewelry Tea Party' has been reimagined! Instead of having the tea party at the store we are creating a page on www.skibellfinejewelry.com showcasing our female designers. It will be ready to view on Saturday March 21st! Every purchase will receive a complimentary gift of Feral Majesty teas.”
Saul Sanchez, Carats Fine Jewelry, McAllen Texas
We are working reduced hours, 11am - 3pm. It is only Carlos and I delivering to customers.A few customers do stop in. I do not let more than two people at time inside the store.
We are using Podium to communicate with our customers. We are offering contact-free options for payments as well. We use Facebook and Instagram to create promotions and raffles.
Jim Rosenheim, Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC
We are in our second week of being closed to the public. We have a small team of staff working to arrange deliveries for repairs, custom orders or special orders. At the same time, we have been contacting clients who have been looking for special items that we have received while closed.
We are in the final stages of working out extended health care and compensation issues. We are hopeful of Congress coming up with a plan that will help us reopen and keep our staff on board.
Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry Watches Art & Appraiser, El Paso, TX
We are open now by appointment. We are trying to handle only the important things that cannot wait until later.
I am obsessed with making my store germ free. Luckily, I did not wait until the last minute, and two weeks ago loaded up on Lysol, antibacterial wipes, alcohol, cotton, paper items, Purell, soap etc. We are making sure everything is treated after a customer comes in and each of my staff is washing their hands when they come in and staying six feet away. It is a real experience trying to do jewelry this way!
We communicate by text, email and chat and have been for many months now, so that part feels very comfortable.
I am using the time to catch up on things that were left undone by staff, critiquing my website and making lists of additions we need to make and concentrated more on social media. I love every part of this business and want to know it all! I am realizing now how the stress of constant interruptions during the day has affected my quality of work. I hope it does not last too much longer because the fear of “what if it does” can be all consuming and depressing. I am staying positive, drawing new designs, dreaming of how I want to change my business and what I want my store to look like soon. Also, I’m catching up on reading articles on websites such as GIA, AGTA, etc. about gemstones that I never have time to do and researching all the projects I want to finish that have had to wait.
Olivia Cornell, Cornell’s Jewelers, Rochester, NY
We have been closed since Monday, 3/16, with only door delivery and keeping appointments and accepting packages. Our traffic is a few people in store on delivering special orders – no online orders. We reach out to our customers mostly by phone and some email this past week to deliver engagement and wedding rings.
We are working behind the scenes with key personnel with respect to financials, marketing, and connecting with customers as needed. Our city has pretty much closed up except for restaurants that deliver, grocery stores, and medical facilities.
We have been keeping in touch with all of our staff via phone, email and text daily. In fact, we are going to have a contest when we return for the best recipe for a Quarantini! I think they are testing recipes as I type.
Ronda Daily, Bremer Jewelry, Bloomington and Peoria, IL
We are currently closed to in-store business. I made the decision to close in advance of the State of Illinois’ shelter-in-place declaration. We can fulfill online orders and have been the entire time. We have been delivering (safely) repairs and special orders for our guests via curbside pickup, using gloves and shipping. Due to Illinois restrictions, we will have to rethink the curbside pickup as of today (Editor’s note: Tuesday).
Our traffic is through online web chats, Podium communications, and phone calls (we are able to forward our instore calls).
We have used social media in a very comprehensive way, and done several direct emails. We try to reach out socially almost every day. We are also reaching out to our employees via text and emails to keep them included in our plans and thoughts.
Our employees have been very understanding during this difficult time. We are all going to be fine once we come out on the other side.