Earlier in this eBook I talked about the absolutes of a jewellery or accessory business - the things you cannot change if you want to continue selling jewellery. Happily, there is a little wiggle room here. While it's true that you cannot cut corners by buying poor quality stock or through buying old or unfashionable styles, you can cut corners when it comes to colours, sizes, and types of jewellery.
If you traditionally stock three or four colours of a particular necklace, consider stocking only a single colour. This will allow you to reduce the money you spend on new styles, while at the same time increasing the number of new styles you have available.
Yes, you can. Instead of buying a single necklace in four colours, buy two different styles of necklace in only one colour each. This will involve a reduction in costs on new stock of 50%, but will at the same time double the number of new styles you carry.
But my customers want all those extra colours? I hear someone say.
No, they don't. Customers who buy jewellery are far more interested in the style than the colour. They are as likely to splash out on a new outfit to match the necklace they like as they are on a new necklace to match the dress they love. So give them more styles to choose from, not more colours.
On top of that, do not stock jewellery in non-standard sizes. In an ideal world, you would cater to all tastes and sizes, but in the real world - especially in times of recession - you cannot afford that luxury. If a customer requires a necklace or bracelet in an extra large size, tell them sorry, and send them across the road to your competitor. Your aim is to make as much profit as possible, which means you should stock as many styles as possible that fit the most people. Your sizes should be targeted at average customers, not those of a more substantial or anorexic persuasion.
Unless, of course, you're a plus sized jewellery shop.
Finally, do not cater to all markets. If you are a jewellery shop whose primary customer base is women between the ages of twenty and forty, then get rid of all the children's jewellery and the men's jewellery. If it doesn't make real profit, it's costing you money. It's costing you money because it takes up shelf space that may be preventing you from downsizing; it's costing you money because it's money that could have been better spent on buying new styles for your valued women customers.
Take a long, hard look at all of your stock. If the target customer of that stock is not a money earner, get rid of it, and get rid of that customer. All of your jewellery buying should be focused on where the profit lies.
When things pick up - and they will - you can go back to trying to please everyone.