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2019 Big Survey: Do It or Delegate It? $5M Store Owners Tell

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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EVER WONDERED HOW you’d be spending your day and how much of your current workload you’d be able to delegate if your store were to reach the lofty level of $5 million a year in sales?

As part of our massive data-gathering exercise for the 2019 Big Survey, we asked America’s independent jewelry-store owners and managers what tasks they always do, what they always delegate and what they sometimes pass to others. As a general rule most owners were good about accepting the responsibility for doing the most dreaded jobs like firing people and dealing with customer complaints. But there were also a noticeable trend of fewer owners doing all the tasks we asked about as their businesses got bigger (see chart).

On the assumption that the biggest stores have the biggest staffs and the owners or managers have the opportunity to delegate the most, we ran a cross tab of stores doing over $5 million in annual sales (note the black line in our chart). So, how does the typical workday look for such jewelers? Well, they don’t do a lot of bench work, or website maintenance and they get professional help doing the books. Admirably, 25% of the leaders of these stores always clean the floors and 50% sometimes do it. Ninety-three percent are still spending some time on the floor selling. Yes, as a retailer, you’ve always got to be selling.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.

What are the duties that you personally handle?
DUTIES I ALWAYS DO IT I SOMETIMES DO IT I ALWAYS DELEGATE IT
1. Website maintenance 24% 24% 52% 87%*
2. Contributing to social media feeds 30% 36% 34% 54%*
3. Customer complaints 65% 30% 5% 20%*
4. Bench work/repairs 22% 21% 57% 96%*
5. Hiring people 69% 23% 8% 20%*
6. Firing people 72% 19% 9% 21%*
7. Selling on the sales floor 43% 50% 7% 33%*
8.Cleaning the floors 25% 50% 25% 42%*
9.Closing up the store 48% 41% 11% 42%*
10. Doing the books 46% 20% 35% 71%*
11. Changing paper in the printer 36% 53% 12% 38%*

*Stores doing more than $5 million in annual sales.

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Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.

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Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered

Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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