Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Jewellery Vending Machines??? Come on!!!

If you’ve traveled through major airports you might have seen vending machines selling iPods, DVDs, premium brand headphones and the like.  Warren Buffet’s Richline Group are launching vending machines for jewellery.  Mark Hanna, an executive from Richline explains:
“As we toured stores, we got the distinct feeling that there was very little service in some stores. And in the stores where there was service, it wasn’t really oriented toward the price-point goods. So this was a culmination of that process.” Read more… (JCK Online)

My conclusion about Richline’s plans may not be what you expect.  Good for them.  It’s about time.  Let’s take all of the beaded bracelets, $99 diamond heart pendants, $19.99 diamond studs, sleepers and easy-to-sell jewellery and put it in vending machines.  Imagine, “no more browsing for hours, just to buy a bead or two.” (click if you haven’t heard my parody of John Lennon’s Imagine)

It doesn’t take an electronics engineer to sell an iPod, so why not sell them in machines?  Trained monkeys can sell a lot of what jewellers are selling today; and if Warren Buffet has his way, by vending machines.  He’s a brilliant man and I’m sure he’ll make a fortune off of these.

Later in the article, JCK’s Rob Bates writes, “of course, old timers and branding purists may recoil: Is a vending machine really the proper presentation for an elegant product like jewelry?”  Well, most price-point goods only look elegant. 

If price is the key benefit and they are so saleable that a machine can do it, let the machine do it!  Save your highly skilled, personable, jewellery savvy sales associates for selling the good stuff!  Only, don’t put those machines at the front of your store, put them in the back.  If you can’t sell a client something of lasting quality, juke your thumb over your shoulder and direct your customer to the vending machine for something more suitable.

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