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2021 Big Survey: This Is the Top Performing Watch Brand in Independent Jewelry Stores

Japanese maker tops poll for fourth straight year; Rolex falls out of top 3.

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2021 Big Survey: This Is the Top Performing Watch Brand in Independent Jewelry Stores

CITIZEN WAS ONCE again named the top watch brand by American independent jewelers in this year’s INSTORE Big Survey, edging New York-based Bulova and its Japanese peer Seiko.

It is the 4th straight year Citizen has finished No. 1 in our poll, which asks jewelers to name their “best performing” watch brands. The question is designed to encourage jewelry-store owners to consider return on effort and investment and not just sales.

Swiss luxury giant Rolex, slipped out of the top three for the first time in four years amid supply issues.

Citizen’s strong performance comes at a time when traditional watch sales are struggling against the onslaught from smart watches, especially the Apple Watch, whose sales in 2019 surpassed the combined sales of all Swiss watch brands. According to another question in the 2021 Big Survey, only a little more than half of independent jewelers now carry watches, down from over three-quarters a decade ago.

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting more than 600 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results will be published in the upcoming November issue of INSTORE.

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Thinking of Retirement? This Jeweler Went for the Company That Shares His Values

Richard Frank of Goldstein’s Jewelry in Mobile, Ala., had worked in his family’s store since he was 13-years old. As its owner, he was proud to be at the helm of Mobile’s oldest jewelry store, an AGS, IJO and RJO member business. But there comes a time in every jeweler’s life when a decision must be made regarding the future. And for Frank, that meant turning the store over to new owners. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale, a decision, he says, made a long time ago. “Their reputation is such that all the things we value are what they value,” he says. And the results surpassed Frank’s own expectations. Would he recommend Wilkerson for other jewelers who are considering a going-out-of-business or retirement sale? “If you’re contemplating a sale to maximize the return on your business, there is no one else in the industry that I could even think of recommending.”

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