Meridian, Miss.--One jeweler down south recently moved tens of thousands of dollars in old inventory using a clever sales event combined with a reopening, of sorts.

One Facebook user posted this photo of the line outside LaBiche Jewelers on June 13, when customers queued up for the “60% off in 60 Minutes” sale, which is a term copyrighted by Porte Marketing.

On June 13, LaBiche Jewelers in Meridian, Miss. invited residents to attend a “60% off in 60 Minutes” sale, a sale event of Porte Marketing, which specializes in marketing for jewelry retailers.

Customers who lined up in front of the jewelry store between 11 a.m. and noon were given a wristband and invited to shop the discounted items for as long as they liked. 

“Over time, you accumulate older inventory and I said, we’ve got to find a way to get this in the hands of our customers,” LaBiche Jewelers co-owner Tricia LaBiche told National Jeweler. “My husband has not ever been a fan of jewelry sales and having people always thinking that every time you turn around its 50 percent off, like it is at the mall, so he wanted a reason for the sale.”

LaBiche’s solution? Wrap it into a “renovation celebration”--the store recently had been repainted and adorned with new awnings, so LaBiche proposed a small ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the inventory sale.

“We did the ribbon cutting, opened the doors and let (wrist-banded) customers shop for long as they needed,” she said, a total of about 141 people. “We stayed open as long as it took to take care of everyone, until about 3:30 p.m. or so.”

LaBiche, who co-owns the store with her husband Steven, said they did a lot of advertising prior to the sale--postcards, a billboard, radio, television and print ads, and a lot of promoting on Facebook, where the store has more than 13,000 likes.

Prior to the event, the LaBiches also personally called some of their best customers on the phone and invited them to shop the inventory sale on Friday, ahead of the general crowd. Around 80 of these VIPs showed up at the store.

“It was a showcase sale,” LaBiche said. “We pulled our newer inventory out of the showcases and put the on-sale, older inventory in to make it easy for our customers. We followed up with a 40 percent off sale on Monday and Tuesday as well.”

All told across the four days of sales--Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday--LaBiche Jewelers sold about $57,000 worth of inventory at cost.

Broken down, about 770 items sold that had an average age of 564 days, a little more than a year-and-a-half.

“It was a lot of fun,” LaBiche said. “I want to make it an annual event.”

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