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Big Survey

2019 Big Survey: Wide Pay Gap Persists Among Men, Women Jewelry Store Owners

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




ACCORDING TO THE latest INSTORE Big Survey, women jewelry-store owners continue to earn considerably less than their male counterparts: 33% of the women owners generate less than $40,000 in income from their business compared to just 13% of the men owners. At the other end of the scale, 25% of male owners take home more than $150,000 a year compared to just 2% of women owners. The good news is that gender stereotypes are less evident elsewhere. Nobody can accuse of male jewelers of not being “woke” where it matters. Twenty three percent of the male owners said they always cleaned the floor versus 26% who always delegated it. That’s a sign of progress, right?


Our questions on earnings and gender were part of our annual look into the lives and business practices of America’s jewelers. While the proportion is rising, women still make a minority of jewelry-store owners or managers (see chart), and generally helm newer businesses (most are first-generation store owners).

What is your gender?

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.

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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