Would you like flies with that ring?

I can’t resist walking into jewellery stores, just to check them out. I try to forget my knowledge of the business in order to see a store from a customer’s point of view. Is it inviting? Did I receive a friendly greeting? Do I feel welcome and comfortable? Would I shop there or have them repair my jewellery?

Recently there was a well-produced commercial for a jewellery store. The ad impressed me enough to go take a look.

The store presents beautifully from the street with nice signage and four display windows. The first widow had a spectacular sapphire and diamond suite, attractively arranged, with good lighting…and a dead fly smack dab in the middle of the display. OK, this is Florida and bugs happen. I’m sure they will remove the fly when they break down the display at night. The next window is a nice bridal selection, guarded by a spider sitting comfortably on her web in the corner. Maybe my friend the fly is a permanent resident in the first window after all and not a temporary guest.

Would you like flies with that ring?

Would you like flies with that ring?

I entered the store to a warm and friendly greeting from a nice young couple; true Mom and Pop owners as I could see a toddler napping on a mat in the back room. Much of their jewellery is hand-made in-house with nice, sellable designs. Unfortunately most of the white leather display stands had black smudges from being touched with fingers fresh from the polishing wheels. They have a case full of loose coloured gemstones, ready for custom designs. But when they pulled out a tray of gems there was a half-eaten cheeseburger underneath of it– left earlier by their toddler. A one carat solitaire that had gone missing two days earlier from the bench fell out of the burger. That burger had been in that showcase for two days!

This is an extreme (but true) example of a lack of attention to store cleanliness. I can empathize with trying to run a business and raise a family at the same time but that is no excuse for not taking a few extra minutes at the end of the day to clean out the bugs and burgers or wipe off the displays. All of their marketing and advertising dollars are wasted. Why expend that much money and effort to bring someone into dirty, disorganized store?

It is a good idea to walk away from your own store and approach it as a new customer. Are you impressed? Would you want to spend your money in the store? Would you leave your family heirlooms for repair? Then take that second, highly critical look. Is it time for a good spring cleaning? Find all of the flies and burgers and get rid of them.

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