Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Adams Jewelry

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Adams Jewelry

Article excerpt


The primary subject matter of this case concerns the operational philosophy and actions of a small retail jewelry store. Secondary issues examined include the nature of the jewelry and diamond market, selecting an appropriate target market, developing a merchandise mix to satisfy target customers, pricing and promotion strategies for a small retail jeweler, and store location decisions. The case has a difficulty level of four, appropriate for senior level. The case is designed to be taught in one class hour and is expected to require one hour of outside preparation by students.


Jack Adams owns and manages an independent jewelry store in Florida. He is facing a number of issues concerning the store's competitive effectiveness in the local jewelry market. The immediate decision is whether he should move from his long-established store location. Although his store is not very up-to-date, it is in a high-traffic location and receives a lot of exposure. He caters to a middle class clientele, but fancies his business as a higher quality, upscale operation. Thus, there are issues of image and positioning in the local jewelry market among competitors. Other questions concern his lack of effective promotion activities and hours and days of operation. All of Jack's decisions relate to the issue of his customer service and marketing orientation. The case also incorporates global dimensions as it describes the nature of the diamond market.


Recommendations for Teaching Approaches

This case is designed for use in a variety of undergraduate business courses to help students learn about the operation of a typical small business organization. The case offers students an opportunity to evaluate the marketing philosophy and actions of a small retail jewelry store. It provides insights into the jewelry and diamond markets and describes the operations of a small local independent retailer in this sector. Students may critique the retailing approach and develop improved strategies for the small business. It is very suitable for a written report and/or oral presentation by students. It can also be used for examination purposes. The case lends itself to a variety of Small Business/Entrepreneurship courses, Marketing courses (such as Retailing and Services Marketing), and Business Strategy. Faculty and students should access one of the many diamond industry websites, such as, for a comprehensive discussion of diamond characteristics, including cut, carat, color, clarity, and prices. This will aid class interaction on these matters. Faculty may want to cover the following elements in their discussion of the case.



Ask students how effectively Jack Adams appears to plan for his store's future. Jewelers need to plan for selling seasons such as Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and, most importantly, Christmas. Planning includes forecasting for the future based on current data received from the market. Unfortunately, Jack not only failed to plan for inventory but also failed to open Adams Jewelry during the busiest shopping day of the year, the Friday after Thanksgiving. Another weakness in Jack's planning was that he did not anticipate changes in the global diamond market. Jack should have detected the price increase trend in diamonds and gold. Rather than being reactive, he should have been proactive.

He could handle financial issues more effectively. This includes finding better and more flexible methods to finance new inventory purchased from wholesalers. As the case mentioned, customers were turned away and bought from other jewelry stores as a result of lack of inventory (especially larger diamond stones).

Jack should also evaluate his priorities. Is it more important to invest $15,000 to grow the firm and improve its effectiveness in numerous ways, or to finance changes in his personal situation, such as adding a room to his house or buying a new truck? …

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