January 24, 2013 at 15:39 PM EST
Jewelers offer weeklong bling-a-thon
It worked for restaurants. Will it work for bling? Shoppers looking for last-minute deals on Valentine's Day jewelry might want to head downtown. A group of jewelers in Chinatown, perhaps picking up on the success of restaurant week to lure diners in seats with discounts, is planning to launch "jewelry week" Feb. 1 through Feb. 14. Seventeen jewelers will offer promotions, deals and discounts on their glittery wares. The event was timed to coincide with the Chinese New Year, which starts on Feb. 10. It will be the year of the snake. "We noticed that Lunar New Year typically happens just days or weeks apart from Valentine's Day, and Valentine's Day is a major shopping time for jewelry," said Julie Huang, lead organizer of the event and president of the Kaimen Co., a public relations firm. Businesses pay a participation fee of $188. Ms. Huang expects the event to return next year. Participating businesses include Edcora Jewelry on Mott Street, Golden Jade on Canal Street and LiMar Jewels on the Bowery. They plan to offer shoppers deals like 40% off of certain merchandise, free cleanings or complimentary parking with purchase. One local entrepreneur hopes that the effort will convince consumers that Chinatown sparkles just as much as the diamond district. "I'm looking every day to revive the Chinatown area as the premiere jewelry district it used to be," said Dimas Vargas, property manager of the New York Jewelers Exchange, a Bowery-based business that houses 75 jewelers under one roof. He said he'd like to run a Jewelry Week during the Christmas holidays. "We need to get out there and let people know we're here," he said.
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