Friday, 3 June 2011

Color in Vegas

As we looked around the Couture show and Luxury show at JCK Las Vegas a comment was made about colored gemstones.  Is that a new trend?  I replied, "not so much in Canada; we're just seeing a lot of designers showing off, and it's really not that strong in our "meat and potatoes" market back home.

Now when I say a lot of color, I'm referring to a lot of these heavily included diamonds in browns and yellows, many different varieties of solid color quartz pieces and large inexpensive gemstones, many accented by medium brown or grey diamonds.  There were also the "big four" sapphire, ruby, emerald and tanzanite.

My reflection on color is this:  If you develop a strategy for selling more color, you can have a bright, shiny, happy future.  If you begin to sew seeds of diversity into a client's jewellery wardrobe, you can sell them all sorts of jewellery for life.  A ruby ring leads to ruby earrings, ruby pendant, ruby bracelet, and "hey, what if I'm wearing green?"  If they only ever buy diamonds from you, they will run into "the wall" at some point and stop desiring more.

Also, don't look at white gold versus yellow gold as a defining trend one-way or another.  They are also components of a jewellery wardrobe.  If you encourage wearing yellow gold with earth-tone gemstones over earth-tone clothing for Fall fund-raisers; and white gold with bright jewel-tones for summer weddings, you're going to become a fashion consultant, rather than a sales clerk.  For inspiration on how to talk to people on these terms, watch "Say Yes to the Dress".  The senior staff (the closers) always relate the appropriateness of the dress to the qualities of the client.

Colored stone jewellery is harder to sell than diamonds or certainly than those soon to be extinct beaded bracelets, but it's worth the effort.  It takes stocking inspiring designs with amazing colored gemstones, highlighting them in your feature cases, including them in your advertising and working with clients to find their favorite colors and expanding on them.  If you don't carry much color, start building an assortment.  When's the best time to plant a tree? -- Ten years ago.  Talk to your staff about colored gems.  Throw the gem guides on the table on your lunch area.  Join the AGTA.

Don't ever, ever, ever, ever, ever forget that when a person walks into your store, you can do what's easy and make a quick-sale today, or you can do what's more challenging and dig deeper into their lives, wants and desires and plant the seeds of future purchases 1,3, 5, 10 and 20 years down the road.

From Las Vegas,

TW :)

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