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2023 Big Survey: More than 9 out of 10 Jewelers Have Been the Victim of Crime

Armed robbery came in at No. 8 among types of crime, but level was still alarmingly high.




2023 Big Survey: More than 9 out of 10 Jewelers Have Been the Victim of Crime

CRIME IS SADLY pretty much an inevitable part of being a jeweler in North America, with 92% of store owners telling the 2023 Big Survey they had been the victim of some form of nefarious effort to steal the precious goods they sell during their career.

Credit card fraud topped the list of crime type, with 40% of jewelers saying it had happened in their store. The top 5 was filled out by shoplifting (37%), burglary (30%), grab and run (25%) and distraction theft (24%). Armed robbery came in at No. 8, but was still alarmingly high at 11%. Perhaps most disappointing was the high number of jewelers who had experienced internal theft at 21%. Basically, you can never drop your guard.

Jewelers in Canada reported being the most frequent targets of armed robbery with 29% saying they had been held up at gunpoint. (Although our sample size was small – Canadian jewelers accounted for only 4% of survey respondents). In the US, the West saw the most armed robberies, with 16% of jewelers saying they’d been targeted for such violence.

Among the 8% of respondents who said they’d never experienced a crime, most acknowledged how lucky they had been — or prepared. One commented: “None, everyone owns/carries a gun.”

According to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, crime against the U.S. jewelry industry reached a record level in 2022, with 2,211 reported incidents — the highest the JSA has ever documented. That represented an increase of 31% from 2021, when 1,687 crimes were reported.

On the release of their annual report in June, JSA president John Kennedy urged all jewelry firm owners and their employees to spend time reading and discussing the paper, “examining the serious risks that every jewelry business faces and taking appropriate steps to reduce risk.”

The 2023 Big Survey was conducted via an anonymous online form from late August to early October, attracting more than 750 responses from North American jewelry-store owners and managers. The full results will be published in the November edition of INSTORE.

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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