There was no missing the line that snaked out the door of Robert’s Jewelers in Southold Saturday morning. Nearly 30 people waited outside the doors at 11 a.m., golden ticket in hand, eager to step inside and browse the cases of jewelry.
If it seemed like owner Robert Scott was giving away jewelry, it wasn’t that far off.
All of the store’s merchandise, minus certain name brands, was 60 percent off as part of the store’s 31st anniversary, which was technically Friday.
The catch: the sale lasted only 60 minutes.
To prevent a mad rush, customers were given a number and called in one-by-one when a previous customer left. A Suffolk Times reporter who arrived at 11 was handed No. 32 and waited 30 minutes to enter.
“I came to buy Christmas gifts and buy my sister a retirement gift,” said Pat McCarthy of Laurel. “They’re going to love me.”
Others didn’t have specific pieces in mind, but couldn’t pass up the savings.
“I had a gift receipt so I came down here because they said I could use it today,” Cutchogue resident Debbie Horton said. “And who doesn’t love a good discount, especially on jewelry?”
Once inside, people could take their time perusing the cases of gold and silver.
Even with this crowd-control tactic, the store was crowded and every employee appeared to help multiple customers at once.
“It went very well,” owner Robert Scott said at noon, once the sale officially ended. “I’m very pleased with what has happened. A lot of people are happy and we moved a lot of merchandise, which is the whole point.”
Ms. McCarthy bought six pieces of jewelry during the sale for under $500, all to be given to others.
“It’s because [Mr. Scott] is such a great jeweler that I can always find what I want,” Ms. McCarthy said.
Another shopper bought multiple items as well, and then on her way out a silver necklace caught her eye, so she went back and bought it as well.
This isn’t the first nontraditonal sale Mr. Scott has run. For over 20 years, he’s held a “Snowfall Madness” promotion. Every customer who makes a purchase before the holidays is invited to pick a date in December or January. If it snows three inches or more on that date, the customer who chose it gets their entire purchase refunded.
In 2014, the final year of the sale, 153 customers were eligible for a refund. It was the first year any customer had chosen a correct snowfall date.
Mr. Scott said he got the idea for the this weekend’s unique event from a marketing group he’s a member of that has used the 60 percent off for 60 minutes model in other locations. He originally wanted to change the model by extending the time, but was persuaded not to.
“Do you want to know what he said? ‘Bob, I’m the master surgeon. I have a sharp scalpel. You’re telling me you want to use a plastic butter knife? Then do it yourself,’ ” Mr. Scott recalled. “And he was right.”
Top photo Caption: The line outside of Robert’s Jewelers in Southold as customers waited to shop the store’s 60 minute 60 percent off sale. (Credit: Nicole Smith)