Snow means free jewelry at one Ind. store

January 3, 2008 4:51:44 PM PST
The New Year's Day snowstorm could turn into a windfall for customers of a jewelry store in Valparaiso, Indiana. They could be cashing in on a promotion.Customers who bought Christmas gifts from Engstrom Jewelers in Valparaiso could get a gift in return. The store ran a promotion during the holidays promising that if 4 inches of snow fell on New Year's Day anything bought there between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve would be free.

"I talked to a guy who did this same promotion in Missouri and he wished me luck. He had no snow," said Greg Engstrom, Engstrom jewelers.

But Valparaiso did get snow New Year's Day, at least 4 inches, according to the National Weather Service. However, the official word has to come from Engstrom's insurance company.

Colette Brissette is one of the customers anxious to find out if the right amount of snow fell. She bought Christmas gifts for her daughters, as well as a diamond pendant for herself and could be in store for a sizeable refund. She said it cost five figures.

Dave Perry already has plans for spending the money if he gets it back for his purchases.

"My mother called from Iowa and wanted us to measure the snow, because if we get the refund, she wants a diamond bracelet," said Perry.

This is the third time for the promotion. The last time, 5 inches of snow had to fall, which it didn't. So lowering the amount means paying more for insurance to cover the cost of the jewelry giveaway, but Engstrom says it's worth it

"We use the same company as the furniture store in Boston that covered the event if the Boston Red Sox won the World Series," said Engstrom.

The grand total of purchases for the month-long period has not been tallied yet, but the amount of money the insurance company would have to refund customers is well into the six-figures.

Engstrom says he is not sure if it was the promotion, but he did notice an increase in customers this holiday season.