I recently visited Jared, The Galleria of Fine Jewelry, to pick up some Christmas gifts. I had never been to Jared before, although I had heard positive things about the jewelry. Having spent much of my career working for the competition (we shall call them Store X for this article), my instinct was to shop there first (at Store X, that is).

Here’s what I found on my shopping excursion: there was no one at Store X, nor Store X’s sister divisions, nor three other jewelers. Everyone seemed to be at Jared. Jared was full of people, including a much needed full staff and a bunch of customers. Jared was literally buzzing with activity. Not sure why… the commercials? I honestly didn’t think they were that great, but possibly memorable (“He went to Jared…”) The jewelry? It wasn’t that different from other jewelers in that price arena.

Still unsure what was going on at Jared, I did notice every once in a while the store associates and then customers would erupt in applause. I thought it was because they made a big sale, kind of like when you hear the little bell ring at Kroger. That seemed odd, though, that customers would applaud when they got good service. No, that couldn’t be it. Hmmmm…..

Actually, the reason the Jared sales associates had applauded was because a customer had just purchased one of the cute little, stuffed holiday bears. You know, the deal where a tiny portion (usually 10%) of the proceeds go to charity.

However, Jared does it a little different than most other retailers: Jared actually gives 100% of their bear proceeds to the charity of choice. In Jared’s case, this is St. Judes, a wonderful hospital for children founded by Danny Thomas and now run by his daughter Marlo Thomas. If you know anything about St. Judes, you know that they never turn away a sick child. They are a giving, life-saving place of hope and treatment for sick children and their families.

Wow, Jared, you rock! Isn’t this the way it should be? So many retailers advertise their good deeds and then give a scanty 10% to the charity. Could it possibly be that they are using the charity for the halo effect?? In the end it makes them look worse than if they didn’t give anything.

Way to go, Jared! This holiday, my vote and my stuffed bear purchases are with Jared.


sandy mozur, director of account service, CSA&D, inc.