Thrive Through Your Community
Jeweler Jeff Corey, president, Day's Jewelers, Waterville, ME, shows how
Jeff Corey, president of Day’s Jewelers in Waterville, ME, grew up working in his family’s jewelry store along with his six siblings. The business served a small town of 4,000 in Northern Maine.
“It wasn’t easy feeding nine mouths selling jewelry to people with very limited income. But, we did what we had to do because we had to eat,” he says.
It’s no surprise that even in the midst of a struggling economy, Corey -- who purchased Day’s in 1988 -- has a proactive approach to the holiday season. The small independent chain -- with six stores and 140 associates -- has used a creative commitment to its community to thrive.
Corey, who serves on Jewelers of America’s Board of Directors, shares his customer-centric approach:
“Every customer who walks through our doors is the most important person in the world.”
- Corey achieves the VIP treatment by offering refreshments to each customer, and doing “anything possible to make customers comfortable,” like having each person on his staff wear name tags, so customers relate to them on a first-name basis. “We get to know them -- where they’re from, how many children they have, where they work, why they came to our store.”
“We never try to sell, but instead try and remove the obstacles from buying.”
- "We show them what’s new and exciting in the world of jewelry."
- One way Corey eliminates obstacles for customers is by displaying the prices on merchandise in their showcases.
“We rarely refuse a request for a contribution to a local charity or event.”
- In a year where local organizations are having a tough time finding sponsors, Day’s is a major supporter of community children’s Christmas programs.
- In addition to Day’s “Diamonds for Peace” program -- where the store donates $10 for every diamond sold toward charity -- Corey has been actively speaking about corporate responsibility, beneficiation and conflict diamonds.
Corey adds that the company also invested in some creative programs this year, which he felt were worthwhile to get more customers through the doors:
- An event in October -- where one of the stores gave away Chamilia bracelets (pictured above) -- attracted 5,000 people over a five-day period.
- The store revamped its website, hiring a photographer, copywriters and a web team to get current product live on the site.