As we enter the final quarter of 2012, we will celebrate the unique American holiday Thanksgiving. This holiday recalls the first settlers in the new world who took the time to gather together with native Americans to give thanks to God for a successful harvest and for the help the native Americans provided to the Pilgrims.
Despite the economic challenges we face today, we, nevertheless, have a great deal for which we are and should be thankful.
The Retail Jeweler began operations three years ago in a very hostile economic environment. Many thought starting a new print publication at a time shortly after both National Jeweler and Modern Jeweler ceased publishing print publications was simply crazy or at best a poor decision. Additionally, the growth of the Internet as an information medium added further to the logic questioning the wisdom of starting a new magazine. Many assumed and believed that the magazine would not succeed.
We all have heard the saying that to assume makes an ass out of both you and me. To the credit of the two founders of The Retail Jeweler, Ed Coyne and Andy Kohler, they were undaunted because they brought a new concept, a new model to the publishing world and to the jewelry industry. Editorially, TRJ uses the work of noted industry consultants who advise jewelers on matters that will help them manage their businesses more effectively meaning more profitably. This rationale is why we consciously chose the motto for the magazine: The Business Magazine of the Jewelry Industry.
The business of jewelry is different from the jewelry business as our friend Kan Gassman likes to remind us. All of us engaged directly or indirectly in the business is here to make money by providing goods and services that our customers value. With each new year, The Retail Jeweler magazine has added useful content our readers like and value. Examples are management stories on how to better manage your inventories from David Brown and the landmark feature stories from Abe Sherman in recent issues.
John Politi’s contributions on personal financial planning are key and of such practical importance in an industry where the bulk of the businesses are privately owned and usually family affairs.
David Sexton, of Jewelers Mutual Insurance, has contributed in every issue practical and useful information on the topic of security. Increasingly today, jewelers in stores and on the road face serious challenges in the area of security. Dave’s insight and experience in this area is invaluable. And for those of us who are digitally handicapped and perhaps find the digital world mysterious, Matt Perosi’s articles on using the Internet effectively with special attention on your websites have been especially valuable.
Added to the regular contributions of our writers is another important feature of The Retail Jeweler: New and Noteworthy. In this day and age public relations is as important in getting your message out as is paid advertising. Too many jewelers forget this point. One of our new writers, Tony Seideman, underscored the importance of press releases in one of our recent issues. Too often, press releases are consigned to the Internet versions of trade publications today where they are more than likely deleted with the push of the delete key before they are even read. An interesting aspect of print publishing is that you do not have to click a key to read the story. It’s right there in front of you and in the time it takes to delete you are able to scan the story and add to your stock of knowledge about the business you know and love.
The fact that The Retail Jeweler maintains an ad edit ratio of 50/50 makes it easy for readers to read stories of interest to them. This ratio also adds the side, but important, benefit of exposing readers to the advertising messages of our advertisers. As a consequence, advertisers do hear from retailers who want more information about their products or services.
The result of all of our effort is a magazine that has grown nicely in both editorial and advertising pages and revenues each year. For the support of our subscribers, our advertisers, and our contributors we offer our thanks and best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving. We are all blessed to be living in a country where opportunity to succeed still abounds despite the current business environment we face at this particular moment. Have faith and follow Winston Churchill’s inspiring words to the British people during World War II, when he said, “We will never give up.”
Finally, good luck and good selling in the Christmas season just ahead.