Van Cott Jewelers

The Levine Legacy began when Herb Levine’s father and Bill Levine’s grandfather, Rubine Levine, came to the Triple Cities to begin his own jewelry career. Prompted by opportunity and the will to establish a family business, Rubine’s honesty and fair dealing led the way for his son and grandson to follow his footsteps.

Sartor Hamman Jewelers

Since 1905, Sartor Hamann Jewelers is where Lincoln and Grand Island Nebraskans shop for the finest jewelry. Lincoln’s first quality jeweler was Ernest Sartor, who later partnered with Bill Hamman and his son, Don, to become known as Sartor Hamann Jewelers.

Huffords Jewelry

Huffords Jewelry has been a fixture in the greater St. Louis community since 1948, providing customers with fine jewelry, quality brands, and exceptional service. Duff Hufford was ready to take a step back from the daily operations and to move into semi-retirement with the intent of handing the reins over to his son, Dan, as the third generation jeweler to run the family store.

Frederic Goodman Jewelers

Rowland D. Goodman establishes his jewelry store in Newark, New Jersey in 1932. Goodman’s guiding principles of treating customers with loyalty and respect became hallmarks of his service to the community. This led to opening more stores in New Jersey and New York City and fostered prosperity for the firm.

The Green Bull

Situated on Main Street in the picturesque, historic town of Boerne, Texas, The Green Bull jewelry store was housed in a 110 year old building which originally served as the town’s livery stable. The nearby railroad depot would pick up visitors and transport them around town, and for only $1.50 a day, the stable would rent out a horse and buggy to its guests. 

Romm Diamonds

Romm Diamonds is the Boston MetroSouth’s oldest family jeweler. Founded by Alexander Romm in 1900 on Center Street in Brockton, MA, he came from a European family with roots in the jewelry industry going back to the year 1700. Third generation jeweler, Alexander Romm Rysman, took charge in 1986 and in 1993 moved to a splendid new location at 1280 Belmont Street, adjacent to Route 24.

Shelle Jewelers

Shelle Jewelers, Inc. opened in 1951 at 5 South Wabash, the center of the jewelry industry in Chicago. The founder was the late Sheldon M. Millman, who dreamed of having a jewelry store where the finest and most knowledgeable master craftsmen worked to create custom designed jewels. And they did.

Kenneth Edwards Fine Jewelers

Ken and Steffany Shelton brought a fresh perspective to the jewelry business in Little Rock, Arkansas. Steffany’s extensive background in the fashion business along with Ken’s knowledge and experience in the high-end luxury jewelry business made them uniquely qualified to identify jewelry trends and to meet the needs of the new jewelry consumer.

London Jewelers

London Jewelers had a position in the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in New York and chose to close the store after 10 years of operation and not renew the lease. Based on the long-standing reputation of The Gordon Company, the Udell Family chose Gordon to orchestrate the store closing sale event in the late summer/early fall of 2017.  

Mednikow Jewelers

Jacob H. Mednikow founded the store by his name in Memphis in 1891.Five generations later, Bob Mednikow and his son, Jay, grew the company significantly and began expansion. When the newly-built Atlanta store experienced a severe downturn in 2008, the Mednikows decided to close the store. They chose The Gordon Company to conduct a fully integrated sale event to maximize results while protecting the Mednikow name because they eventually wanted to reopen the business. The sale event was enormously successful financially and disposed of all aged and unwanted inventory. 

Charles Schwartz & Son Jewelers

Charles Schwartz & Son, Washington DC’s oldest jeweler, has been in business since 1888. 100 years later the Pastor family purchased the business from the Schwartz family and carried on a name that is arguably the most recognizable and prestigious in the region. Ownership took great pride in safe-guarding its coveted reputation and brand name, but with a drop in business from both stores and a shift in the type of merchandise sold, there was a need to reduce aged and unwanted inventory. President Paul Pastor called on

The Gordon Company to full his objective of eliminating the vast majority of under-performing merchandise and convert it to cash. 

Lasker Jewlers

Max Lasker opened his jewelry store in Eau Claire, WI in 1928, and it was taken over by his son, Charles, in 1963 when Max passed away. The family also owned a second successful store in Rochester, MN. Charles’ two daughters, Nicole and Liz, sought to honor their father with a retirement sale event at the Eau Claire store. Unfortunately, just prior to the sale beginning, Charles Lasker passed away. But Nicole and Liz pressed on, knowing that their father would be proud to see their customers and the community at large served with a major sale event. And in addition to honoring their dad, they also sought to dispose of hundreds of thousands of dollars of aged and under- performing inventory.

Bachendorf’s

Bachendorf’s is known as one of America’s finest upscale retail jewelers, but when one of their three stores was under-performing to manage-ment’s expectations, it called for some serious inquiry. Location and changing demographics are often good reasons to close down a store, and this was the case with one of theirs. But the question was how to do it without negatively affecting the other two highly successful stores and without tarnishing the stellar image of the Bachendorf brand. At the same time, management wanted to take full advantage of what a unique sale event could do for the business in disposing of aged and unwanted merchandise that had built up over the years.

David Gardner

As a first generation fine jeweler in College Station, TX, the home of Texas A&M University, David Gardner and his wife, Julia, built a very successful jewelry business over three decades. But in recent years, they had begun to notice a change in the buying habits of their customers. David, in particular, recognized that, unlike watches (where brands were very strong), the consumer was more frequently asking for custom-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. In order to implement this change, David needed to redefine his business model and build capital by reducing aged inventory levels of both branded and generic jewelry pieces. The vehicle chosen to do this was a carefully designed inventory reduction sale event.

Benold’s Jewelers

Milton Doolittle wanted to retire, but had no family members to take over his jewelry store. A long-time employee was interested in purchasing the business, but couldn’t come up with the financing to acquire both the business and the inventory. The decision was made to conduct a Retirement Sale to lessen the amount of money that the buyer would have to raise. This allowed Milton to leave with an amount that was necessary to carry on his lifestyle in a manner to which he was accustomed.

Mann’s Jewelers

Mann’s Jewelers was closing one of their two stores, but realized this would result in twice as much inventory as needed for the remaining store. They sought the advice of The Gordon Company to consider the best way to handle the situation. But when the actual store closing was nixed by mall management, a new theme had to be created and the recommendation was to conduct a customized, one-time inventory liquidation sale. Ultimately, Mann’s just told the public the absolute truth: after consolidating two locations into one, they were going to run a once-in-a-lifetime sale event, with every piece being offered at never-before-seen prices. The Gordon Company was selected to run the event and the results exceeded all sales expectations. 

Shreve & Co.

San Francisco’s coveted downtown has been home to Shreve & Co. since March of 1906. And although the earthquake and fire that year couldn’t move Shreve & Co. from its historic building at the corner of Post Street and Grant, the company was essentially forced to leave after a bidding war with a jewelry super-power when its lease expired. Shreve took this as an opportunity to find a bigger store in the same area to better serve the jewelry needs of its long-standing, upscale clientele. Having done successful sales with The Gordon Company in the past, Shreve engaged them yet again, this time to conduct moving sales for both the San Francisco and Palo Alto stores.

Hamilton Jewelers

Founded in Trenton, New Jersey, Hamilton Jewelers was established in 1912. Irving Siegel, a former errand boy for a similar store, purchased the firm on September 11, 1927 for $15,750 in notes payable to the former owners. He stocked the simplest of items such as silver dresser sets and cigarette lighters to finery ranging from diamonds to pocket watches, all in a small storefront at 122 South Broad Street. Siegel, or “Mr. Irving,” as he was known, began with one other employee – his wife Alice. Together, they built a modest business, working every day through the depression to establish themselves in the community.

TIVOL Jewelers

TIVOL was founded by Charles Tivol in 1910. The founder’s fine jewelry skills, business abilities, attention to his customers, and relentless focus on high standards, enabled TIVOL to grow throughout the first-half of the 20th Century.

Now, TIVOL is led by the family’s third generation, Cathy Tivol, who joined the business in 1978 along with her son, Hunter Tivol McGrath, joining the company in 2011. In the intervening years, TIVOL added two stores, while receiving numerous honors and awards.

Zimmer Brothers Jewelers

For their 120th anniversary, Zimmer Brothers wanted to conduct the most spectacular Anniversary Sale in its history. Michael Gordon and his daughter Jocelyn had conducted successful anniversary events every 10 years or so, but this year they had a substantial excess inventory as a result of the economic downturn. They wanted to dispose of a sizable amount of excess goods; The Gordon Company suggested Zimmer conduct a longer sale and sell more product than all previous events.

Gleim the Jeweler

Founded during the Great Depression, Gleim the Jeweler was opened in 1931, in Palo Alto, CA. Three generations later, the prestigious jewelry company is still operated as a family business under the leadership of Georgie Gleim. In addition to her leadership as president of Gleim the Jeweler, Georgie Gleim became president of the American Gem Society, and received the coveted Robert M. Shipley Award.

How can I be assured that my stellar brand image won’t be negatively affected by a sale event?

This is a legitimate concern we hear from almost every fine jeweler we work with. The Gordon Company prides itself in working with the top jewelers in the country. Our professionalism is next to none in the industry, and we do everything possible to ensure the quality and integrity of each area in a sale event, from the marketing materials created specifically for you, to the type of advertising used, to the fit of augmented merchandise brought into your store, to the quality of our on-site Gordon Company representative. Most of all, you, the jeweler, approve each and every area of the sale. We want and need your 100% support. That is what makes our sale successful financially where your personal goals will be met and also guarantees the maintenance of your top-notch brand and quality image in the community.

We also learned that it IS possible to maintain our high level of integrity and trust with our existing and new customers while conducting a sale. This was something we were never in favor of since we thought it would undermine our philosophy. But it did nothing of the kind because of the way The Gordon Company orchestrated the event.

Will my business suffer after the sale, and if so, for how long?

The event itself usually generates three to four times the average sales of the same period during the previous year. It does so because of the extraordinary marketing, advertising, and promotion administered through the sale. Logically, there is a short let-down or drop-off in sales after the event, but that should last only a minimal amount of time. Lessons learned during the sale period will help prevent a prolonged softness in business. Most of all, the continued focus of management on driving business is what is most important. (See next question.)

“Amazingly, we had continued success even after the sale with a 20% increase in our business.”  

Will you provide some post-sale advice to help us going forward?

Absolutely. Owners and managers must continue to market and promote, albeit at a much more modest level after the sale, but the momentum built during the sale should continue with the store long afterward. One of the comments we hear most often is that new customers are generated to such a degree that they more than make up for any perceived short term loss. It ís the long term that really counts, especially for those jewelers who conduct an event to eliminate underperforming inventory, and want to move forward with the increased cash in-hand and the larger customer base generated from the sale.

“The Gordon Company marketing and advertising of the sale worked extremely well and we now have a much better idea of a marketing plan of how and where we can get the best ROI for the future of our business.”  

What can I expect to gain in increased customer base resulting from the sale’s significant advertising and promotion?

Our clients have experienced a range between a 20% – 52% increase in customer base as a result of the sales event. We collect both street and email addresses on all customers. It is common for new customers to say that they never knew the store was there until they saw our advertising. This increased customer base adds significantly to the growth potential of the business.

“I thought The Gordon Company would help me with a positive sale, but I didn’t realize they would also help me with my future operations. 41% of the customers during the sale were new, and they added nearly 1,500 names to my mailing list, and over 1,300 to my email list! I now have a list of fresh, new customers, which I can transition into healthy sales going forward. I can’t thank The Gordon Company enough.”

Why do we need to bring in additional augmented inventory?

Most jewelers have holes in their inventory mix (or will once the sale starts), especially with their desire to liquidate aged inventory that has been sitting around for many years. The augment jewelry helps to sell your owned inventory. Every successful sale benefits from augmented merchandise filling categories that are necessary to appeal to the widest possible audience. Don’t worry. We tailor augmented merchandise to fit your current merchandise mix, style, quality, and vendors. You will approve all products brought into your store and have the right to reject any of them.

“The supplemental jewelry The Gordon Company brought into the store was awesome! It matched our style of operation perfectly, and gave many options to our guests that they never would have had and helped to hold our margins high.”  

Post Vegas Show Thinking

Everyone has an opinion about the mood following the jewelry shows in Las Vegas, as do I. Here are my takeaways from the shows:

Everyone has an opinion about the mood following the jewelry shows in Las Vegas, as do I. Here are my takeaways from the shows:

• Many jewelers feel good about the business going into the second half of the year, while others are cautious and deliberate about both their spending and their position in the retail space.

• We are experts in disposing of aged and unwanted merchandise, and we were bombarded with questions about it from both retailers and manufacturers. It’s a problem that never goes away.

• In-store traffic is down for virtually all retailers and online competition continues to be the most commonly identified challenge.

• Manmade diamonds again dominated presentations such as that from Rapaport and they also dominated conversations among many within the trade. The question is not whether lab-grown will play a big part in the marketplace in the years ahead. It’s more a matter of how they will affect the demand, and even the price, of natural diamonds. Most everyone sees the price of manmade diamonds decreasing over time as production levels rise almost indiscriminately.

• Vendors, for the most part, and diamond dealers (because of lab-grown diamonds, I suspect), seemed anxious and were willing to make deals when it made sense for them.

• Social media in various platforms is still dominating the way jewelers want to advertise and promote their stores and their brands. I’m not always convinced we can measure the results of social. I think there are other ways to accomplish the goal.

• The Gordon Company was spread out from JCK to COUTURE to CBG, seemingly by necessity. The question is, are we cutting the industry’s pie into so many pieces that it’s actually hurting the trade, not helping it?

• Some jewelers have gone to smaller store footprints, lower inventory levels, the use of CAD, and more specialty items. A wave of upstairs private jewelers is beginning to swell as the bigger, better, stronger stores open in new markets with the power of Rolex and top brand names.

• Technology, whether we like it or not, continues to make its way into every facet of our trade, and will be even more important in the future.

That’s my take on what we saw and heard at the shows. If we can help you think through what you’re going to do with excess inventory and cash flow needs, give us a call or drop us a line. We want to help.

Sincerely,

Jeff Gordon, CEO

Will you try to sell your own merchandise, rather than my dated inventory?

First of all, The Gordon Company doesnít own any inventory and the merchandise that is brought in is new product, not closeouts. That is one aspect of our work that is unique from other companies you may talk to. Our goal is to sell your unwanted, aged inventory and generate cash flow for your business. The additional inventory brought into your store is also yours to profit from, but typically only a modest amount of sales are from augmented merchandise.

“I was very pleased with the quality, value and variety of the inventory provided by The Gordon Company. I was also extremely satisfied with the strong emphasis that they put on selling my original inventory, as that was one of the most important goals going into the event.” 

Jack Lewis Fine Jewelers

Founded in 1927, Jack Lewis Fine Jewelers was as much a part of Bloomington, IL history as was the Chicago-Alton Railroad Company, the company’s first client. Then, founder Jack Lewis was a “technical watchmaker”, serving railroad executives and conductors as well as Bloomington’s affluent clientele who eventually became the emerging fine jeweler’s core customers. Later, the Jack Lewis brand would become synonymous for skilled jewelers and quality diamonds earning the company membership in the American Gem Society (AGS).