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Jimmy DeGroot: If Pilots do it, Perhaps We Should Too June 20, 2024 (0 comments)


Green Bay, WI--We’ve been opening and closing the jewelry store for 20 years without incident. However, one summer evening as I was enjoying a Friday night fish fry in Wisconsin, my phone went off and it was the alarm company letting me know there had been a door alarm activation.

I had to leave my family at the table as I drove to the store to find out that a customer triggered the alarm because the door was unlocked. Now I had an embarrassed customer and the next morning an angry conversation with my closing team.

Trying to calm down, I called (retail training consultant) Brad Huisken for advice on how to not have this happen again. This was a team that had been opening and closing the store for over a decade.

Brad asked me the following questions: “Are you ever going to hire a new person?” “Do you ever have bad days?” “Do you think your staff members had something they were excited about to get to immediately after the store closes?” “Does your schedule ever take you away from the store during opening and closing?” My answer was “Yes” to all his questions. Then he told me I needed an opening and closing checklist with the proper procedure on one sheet of paper in two columns for each day. On the top was the date. There was a checkbox beside each task and there was a line for initials at the bottom of each column.

We stored the list for each day in a folder for a month, then shredded them.

Pilots who have flown thousands of hours are required to do have a checklist before and after every flight and we’re all so grateful for it. When we have countless hours of time and money invested, as well as a staff we couldn’t live without, having a checklist at the start of each day is a must for our security and peace-of-mind. And by-the-way, if your answer was “no” to all of Brad’s questions, then you don’t need one.

James (Jimmy) DeGroot is a professional jewelry sales and operations trainer from the jeweler’s side of the counter. Having been in management and the jewelry business for over 20 years, Jimmy offers weekly training to jewelers nationwide via the Train Retail website. Jimmy is an AGS titleholder and specializes in training relevant and timely methods for jewelry teams. He can do a full training on making Bridal Presentations the best they can be, among many other regular training options. Contact Jimmy at or call 920-492-1191.

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