Last updateWed, 20 May 2020 12am

Retailer Roundtable: What special promotions do you use to drive business in the summer months?

RR Nikki“We don’t do a lot of events, but the one that we do consistently every year is that we do a 4th of July sale. When we do have a sale, we try to focus them around the holidays, so the 4th of July for our summer event is a natural fit. Sometimes we’ll do a ‘Red, White & Blue’ sale, and coordinate the tags so that anything marked with a red tag might be 20% off, and anything marked with a white tag might be 30% off, so we can carry through on the theme. That also saves us from marking each piece individually, as well. It just stays at its regular price, and we look at the tag color to determine the discount. We usually start it around the 20th of June, and run it through the 10th of July, and promote it heavily through Facebook and our other social media. Our customers have gotten to the point where they expect it now. They know we are going to be doing a sale around that time, and we try to extend it a little before the 4th of July week, and a little bit after, so that people going on vacation can take advantage of the event as well. We try to structure all of our events so that they are consistent for both our sales people and our customers. Because our events have become so popular, some of our regulars will hold out and ask us, ‘when is your next sale,’ and I will tell them honestly when it is. But our store carries a lot of estate pieces, and many times customers who hold out have been disappointed because the special piece they were interested in will be gone. I tell them, ‘it’s okay to hold out, but don’t forget that you are running the risk of missing out, because our pieces are unique, and many are one-of-a-kind. If you don’t get it now, we probably won’t be able to get it for you later.’ Sometimes people will roll the dice and wait, and miss out, and sometimes they don’t, but that is up to them. I personally feel like if you don’t have a sale once in a while, you can’t keep your inventory fresh, and you want to give people an incentive to come in and see what is going on.”

Nicole Barger Ostrander
Buyer & Custom Design Lead
Jewelry Doctor
Lansing, Michigan


RR Clint“Our business is structured a little different than a traditional retail store. We rely heavily on Google reviews and word of mouth to drive our business, but we do hold different events throughout the year. The biggest event of the year for us happens in the summer when we partner with the Food4Kids Backpack Program. The Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida fills backpacks with nonperishable food and distributes them to students in need, from kindergarten through high school. The kids bring these backpacks home on Friday and return them on Monday so they can be refilled for the following weekend. They also receive larger boxes of food for extended holidays and summer breaks. The Food4Kids Program is a 100% volunteer-run program, and the program partners with schools in our local Gainesville community with the anticipation of growing to meet the needs of our county’s food insecure families. What we love about the Food4Kids Program, besides the fact that they are a non-profit, is that everything stays local. This is our 8th year of partnering with them. We started out small, by collecting 300 pounds. Last year, we collected over 37,000 pounds, and this year we are anticipating breaking 40,000 pounds. Summer is quiet in Gainesville since it is a college community, so we use this event to put our focus on other areas. It helps us bring the community together about 4 - 6 weeks prior to the new school starting, and gives us high visibility within our community, which, in turn, is good for Food4Kids as well as our business.”

Clint Asbell, Owner
Haile Jewelry and Loans
Gainesville, Florida


RR Paul“Established in 1926 … actively run promotions on a monthly basis, but during the summer time we really try to hone in on specific events to bring people in, because obviously we know that summertime is a slow season for jewelers. We recognize that we have to break out of that mind-set because summertime can be a very profitable season for us, but you have to work at it, they aren’t going to come to you. What I try to do is piggy-back on certain events or certain styles that are doing well with the majors. These guys spend multi-millions on ad campaigns to promote certain styles and products, and I believe a lot of smaller jewelers can pay attention and piggy-back on that advertising and be very successful with it. We plan all of our events out in advance, and if we have an event that isn’t successful, we won’t repeat it, but if we find we hit on something, absolutely we will try it again. Our events are driven by product, and we create uniqueness with our events so they don’t focus on price. During the summertime we have several standard events that we do, including a wedding band event, and a balloon-pop event, which is successful for us. With the balloon-pop event, we take a balloon, put an inexpensive gemstone in it, and then the customer pays $5 or $10 to pop a balloon and get a gemstone. 5 – 10% of those who receive a gemstone will get them mounted. We started this back in 2004, and it was so popular that people kept asking me all year. ‘When are you going to do another balloon pop?’ So we decided to integrate that into our calendar of events on an annual basis in the summer. Balloon pops are really fun for both our staff and customers. The whole store is filled with balloons, and after the customer pays their fee, they can go through the entire store to pick the balloon they want to pop. This event attracts thousands of people, and we have people lined up around the block trying to get in and participate. It’s not a big money maker, but it generates a lot of PR for us, and that is what events are all about.”

Paul Hargrave, Owner
Robson’s Diamond Jewelers
Baytown, Texas


RR Holly“We’re trying a new event, a ‘Beach Party,’ this summer at Wesche Jewelers. It’s a one day only event we will be holding on a Saturday, and we are using it to launch the Michou line. The Michou line has multiple collections, and one is sea life oriented - shells, etc., which is the perfect fit for our theme. We decided to do the beach party event for two reasons; one is to help us on the launch of the line, and the second is to have an event this summer that will help project a more fun and relaxed image for our store image. This is the first time we ever created our own jingle for an event, and we’re using graphics that are fun and incorporate beach colors. We’re adding a few other elements as well, including a free ‘bling ring’ drink float in the shape of a diamond ring, and serving a specialty cocktail called the beach bomb. Specialty cocktails are always popular during our events, and we’re known for that within our community. We’re also partnering with Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, which is providing us some extra special Ron Jon themed giveaways that tie into our beach theme. Along with the radio spot jingle, we are using flyers, social media, Facebook and Instagram to promote it. As far as promotions, this isn’t a really expensive one to do, and we believe it’s a fun idea that will generate traffic and help us launch an affordable line to our customers.”

Holly Wesche, Owner
Wesche Jewelers
Melbourne, Florida