When it comes to selling more jewelry at inspirational stores, it’s time to get inspired. Stores throughout the United States rely on a mix of careful merchandising, display, social media, and suggestive selling to boost sales in this category.
At the 3,000-square-foot Shalom House Fine Judaica in Woodland Hills, Calif., Co-owner Stacey Sass Cooperman takes a multi-pronged approach. She uses social media, in-store displays, her website, community advertising, and customer newsletters to improve jewelry sales. Her online and print advertising alert customers to new items and show the wide range of jewelry she has available. “We’ve been in the community since 1971, and we’re now in our 46th year,” she said. “We carry jewelry items in sterling silver and 14K gold as well as some costume jewelry items. We have rings, pendants, bracelets; pretty much everything is a chai design, a Star of David design, or hamsa.”
Because she and her husband David know their business well, they select jewelry merchandise that they know will be appealing to shoppers. With in-store display a key component of her sales strategy, Sass Cooperman suggested featuring different jewelry items seasonally, and paying attention to what customers say they are interested in seeing. “You want to listen to what your customers are asking for. You might not have the room to put everything you carry on display, so you want to keep what you have in the back of your mind so you can let your customers know what you have available.” She noted that most of the jewelry items are available year-round, and that many items are of interest to shoppers regardless of religious background. When she creates seasonal displays, they reflect that broad interest. “With Valentine’s Day for example, we have pieces that have hearts on them or are engraved with words such as ‘My beloved is mine.’ We keep most of our jewelry in a display case, but we will move pieces throughout the store depending on what we are featuring.”
In Seal Beach, Calif., Kim Ramaila, owner of the Angel Store, terms suggestive selling, word of mouth, and social media all key in improving jewelry sales. She’ll post new items on social media, and discuss the different items she carries with her customers when they shop in the store. “But attractive display, and simply good merchandising, selecting the items your customers are interested in, those both also improve sales.” She described the jewelry her stores carries as “the best of the fake. We have cubic zirconium for example, and Sergio Gutierrez brand liquid metal jewelry.” The liquid metal pieces are created from handcrafted nickel. The eclectic inspirational gift shop offers a wide selection of spiritual jewelry such as angel earrings, and devotional bracelets with beads that each tell the story of Christ. “The bracelets come with cards that explain the meaning behind each bead,” she explained. Inspirational and uplifting are the main themes of the jewelry Ramaila carries.
In terms of display, Ramaila advises a sectional approach. “I have displays that are just for the Gutierrez liquid metal styles, and other specific brands. But I also do cross merchandising; for example, I will put rosaries (rosary beads) on designer bottles or bracelets by inspirational objects.” Along with innovative and eye-catching displays, she points out that rotating items from the front to the back of the store is also a good display approach. “I get new items in almost daily, and I’ll feature them in my displays, and place them prominently in the store. I’ll change my window displays too, of course. Keeping things fresh definitely improves sales.”
At Magdalenes in Salt Lake City, Utah, Owner Jacque Smithe also uses social media to enhance sales of rosaries, medals, and crucifixes among other items. “I’ll photograph items and put them on Instagram and Facebook. We find that draws people into the store,” she related.”We also use a point of sales system called Square that compiles customer information and emails customers about new items. We’ll add in a coupon that offers a discount as an enticement to get them to come into the store.” She said that strong displays and word of mouth about her shop also help sales. “I also keep an Etsy account that drives business,” she said. When it comes to display, Smithe often does a seasonal approach. “We have Lent, we have feast day displays for particular saints and I create my displays for these.” Other displays focus on unique items, grouping together pieces such as the handmade rosaries made from vintage beads, African beads, and even old costume jewelry that her store specializes in.
Yvette Trevino, owner of the 1,200-square-foot Windows of Heaven in Colorado Springs, Colo., has only owned her shop for seven months, and is just getting started. She’s hit the ground running by planning to use social media, a website, and an online store to enhance her business. For now, displays in her brick and mortar shop are a big part of her approach to selling jewelry, including her popular St. Benedict, St. Michael, and cross-image jewelry. “I set the jewelry on a glass shelf with black velvet. I keep things simply displayed but lovely and easy to see.” According to Trevino, she also arranges seasonal displays for Christmas and for liturgical seasons such as Lent. Along with an attractive and timely display, Trevino believes one way to sell more jewelry is by understanding her customer base and displaying the right kind of jewelry for them. “For us, having merchandise that is specifically for the liturgical seasons is important,” she explained.
At the 3,000-square-foot Mary Immaculate Books & Gifts in Mesa, Ariz., Owner Anna Marie Mattrazzo focuses primarily on display to sell her jewelry. “We have very inviting looking jewelry spinners and glass cases with good lighting. We use fabric backgrounds and include seasonal displays.” She suggested that skillful cross merchandising is also important. “I’ll cross-merchandise the jewelry with small pictures or statues, and that lets customers consider the pieces outside of the display cases.” She said her best-selling items are miraculous medals and crucifixes, and her displays reflect that. “I think in regard to display the best advice I could offer other inspirational stores is simply stay true to who you are. We’re a fairly traditional Catholic store, and so I try to stay away from items that are more froo-froo.”
In Phoenix, Ariz., Ben Saks, owner of the 900-square-foot Judaica Central, displays his jewelry primarily in a glass showcase, and features boxed sets for the holidays. “Our top sellers are hamsas in a variety of materials, from silver plated to those with gemstones or opals. All year, we display our most popular products, which include Star of David designs as well.” But although Saks offers many of his jewelry pieces throughout the year, he understands and recommends the importance of keeping displays looking fresh. “What works best for us in terms of display is rotating the products so our customers see new items when they come in,” he explained. “We also use local advertising, our online website, and social media to improve our jewelry sales.”
When it comes to jewelry display at inspirational shops, keeping merchandise fresh, offering seasonal approaches, and making sure that the items being shown fit customer demographics are all extremely important. Along with strong displays, social media and websites are playing an increasing role in promoting jewelry sales for these stores.