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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.



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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