Recap from the New Orleans AGS Show

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6 display changes that will increase sales
By Hannah Connorton

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April 23, 2015
New Orleans–Stocking bridal merchandise by style rather than vendor and looking like the store you want to become are two ways jewelers can increase revenues, author and consultant Larry Johnson said in an education session held Wednesday at American Gem Society Conclave 2015.

“The purpose of displays is to sell jewelry,” Johnson said. “A good display takes planning and takes intention. A good display sells jewelry.”

Below are the six steps he recommends jewelers take to update their displays in order to increase sales.

1. Display with intention to match your store goals. “The main problem I run into over and over again is that people don’t display merchandise with a strategy toward what they most want to sell,” Johnson said. “You want that piece to be very evident and very obvious. Don’t just work to fit everything in a showcase–work to present it better and get it out of the showcase.”

Tracking the success of displays also is important.

“If you’re going to move things around in the case, or if you’re trying different types of window displays, take photos of what it looks like,” he added, giving the example of a holiday window display. “Go back in January and look at that photo, and look at the sales of what you were trying to promote. You have to have a metric by which you can measure the outcome of what you do in your store.”

2. Allocate your showcase space to match your store goals. “Look like the store you want to become,” Johnson said. “Have a specific goal and intention so you know where you’re going. Aim for where you want to be, not where you are now.”

Does that 4-foot display sell enough to justify its space? Make sure your goals and showcase space allocation match up, he said.

3. Implement the 20-40-40 Rule. “Think of it as a good-better-best approach,” Johnson said.

The top 20 percent of your merchandise in a specific vignette or case should be displayed on individual elements, and the middle 40 percent of merchandise is displayed on trays that hold three to five pieces. The bottom 40 percent of merchandise should be displayed on trays that hold five, seven or more pieces, to emphasize selection.

“It matches what you’re saying about the jewelry,” he added. “It follows the concept of being unique. We’re displaying the merchandise to match how we’re going to talk about it–we’re displaying with intention.”

4. Win the comparison in your customer’s mind. If you can control the comparison, you can control the outcome of the sale. Use the Goldilocks principle: not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

“Make certain you offer something that’s the (colloquial) ‘$400 bottle of wine’, so you sell more of the lower-priced wine,” Johnson said. “When you’re displaying different items, make what you want to sell the third choice.”

5. Reconsider your bridal layout. When you organize by designer, you’re forcing yourself to make two sales instead of one. Organize by ring style, not vendor.

6. Move out old, dead stock. “If you’ve had it that long, it isn’t going to sell,” Johnson said, “and it has a 90 percent chance of still being there in 10 years.”

Johnson is the CEO of Colleyville, Texas-based Larry Johnson Consulting and the author of The Complete Guide to Effective Jewelry Display. He also contributes to InStore and Canadian Jeweller and is affiliated with The Edge Retail Academy.

AGS Conclave, which is taking place in New Orleans this year, concludes Saturday.

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