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David Brown

2015 Off to a Solid Start with 13% YoY Sales Jump in January

If you’re doing less well it’s time to ask some questions.




AFTER A STRONG December trading month, January showed further sales gains for the jewelers in our survey group. January 2015 sales of $87,767 were up on the equivalent month last year by $10,453, or 13 percent. They also showed annualized rolling 12-month growth of 0.69 percent and were the 10th straight month of increasing profits based on the data in our system.

As the data shows, there has not been a month showing a decline in rolling annual growth since early 2014. The January result was certainly well down on the excellent growth of over 3 percent in December but is still heading in the right direction. A growth rate of 0.69 percent will translate into 8.28 percent for the year if it were to continue.

2015 Off to a Solid Start with 13% YoY Sales Jump in January

So how does your sales growth look? Are your numbers comparable to the average data? If you’re doing less well it’s time to ask some questions. If you receive our industry comparison report you can compare your store sales, volume, average retail sale, gross profit and margin to your peers, not only in overall performance but department by department.

If you don’t receive our reports, then do you have another store-owner you can compare notes with? Peer-to-peer comparisons are among the most effective ways to build your business. Working together with a group of like-minded store-owners, meeting regularly and comparing results can provide you with some fantastic benchmarking figures that you can use to grow your business. I have seen this work incredibly well for so many business owners. You often need to see what others are achieving in order to know what’s possible for yourself.

This is where the 80/20 rule can come into play for you. Twenty percent of the areas of your business that need working on can provide 80 percent of the results. It’s hard to lift sales volume, average sale and margin all at once. Tick the one that can have the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time and work on this. Ask fellow jewelers how they perform in this area. When you find someone who is doing better than you ask them what they do that’s different.


Business success is a formula. If you follow the steps that someone else follows given the same variables you will invariably get the same results. Draw on the knowledge that your fellow jewelers can provide. Seek information that can help you grow your business … and above all be open-minded. If your instant reaction is disbelief then you won’t achieve what you don’t believe in. The ancient Incas were conquered by the Spanish, partly because when they saw ships for the first time they refused to believe they were real. You don’t want an attitude like that to cause your downfall.

If you don’t know how your data compares and you have no one you feel you can discuss it with then our team is happy to help.

David Brown is the president of Edge Retail Academy, a leading jewelry business consulting and data aggregation firm that provides expert business improvement plans to help with all facets of your business, including improved financials, healthier inventory, sales growth, increased staff performance, recruiting and retirement/succession planning, all custom-tailored to your store’s needs. They offer Edge Pulse to better understand critical sales and inventory data, to improve business profitability, benchmark your store against 1,200-plus other Edge Users, and ensure you stay on top of market trends with their $3 billion-plus of industry sales data. Contact (877) 569.8657, ext. 001, or



It Was Time to Make a Decision. It Was Time to Call Wilkerson.

Except for a few years when he worked as an accountant, Jim Schwartz has always been a jeweler. He grew up in the business and after “counting beans” for a few years, he and his wife, Robin, opened Robin James Jewelers in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We were coming to a stage in our life where we knew we have to make a decision,” says Jim Schwartz. He and Robin wanted to do it right, so they called Wilkerson. The best surprise (besides surpassing sales goals)? “The workers and associations really care about helping us move out own inventory out of the store first. It was very important to us.”

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