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852 US Jewelry Retailers Closed Their Doors in 2018

The number of closures is up from 2017’s figure.

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The Jewelers Board of Trade reports that 852 U.S. jewelry retailers stopped doing business in 2018.

That’s slightly more than the 817 businesses that closed in 2017.

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Video: How to Get People to Buy Jewelry From You Now Instead of ‘Someday’

Of those, 706 fell into the category of “ceased operations,” while 122 were listed as “consolidations (sale/merger)” and 24 were classified as “bankruptcies.”

Meanwhile, 183 jewelry retail businesses opened their doors in the U.S. in 2018. That was up significantly from 131 in 2017.

Counting wholesalers and manufacturers along with retailers, 1,013 U.S. jewelry businesses closed their doors in 2018. That’s compared with 1,022 in 2017.

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The total number of jewelry retailers listed in the U.S. is now 18,974, compared with 19,823 at the end of 2017, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade.

The total number of jewelry businesses, including wholesalers and retailers, is 25,102, compared with 26,270 at the end of 2017.

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When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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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.

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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?

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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.
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229 US Jewelry Retailers Closed in the 3rd Quarter

The pace of industry shrinkage edged upward.

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The Jewelers Board of Trade reported that 229 U.S. jewelry retailers closed their doors in the third quarter of 2019.

That number represented an increase from 193 closings in the third quarter of 2018.

The total included 182 retailers in the category of “ceased operations” as well as 43 “consolidations (sale/merger)” and 4 bankruptcies.

The total number of U.S. jewelry businesses that closed, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 286. That was an increase from 226 in the third quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, JBT reported that 57 new retailers opened their doors in the U.S., up from 42 in the third quarter of 2018.

The total number of new jewelry businesses, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 63. That was up from 51 new businesses in the year-ago quarter.

JBT listed a total of 18,780 jewelry retailers in the U.S. as of the third quarter of 2019, down from 19,300 in the same quarter a year ago.

The group listed 24,795 jewelry businesses in all, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. That was down from 25,537 in the third quarter of 2018.

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The Big Survey 2019: Top Jewelry Brands Revealed

This year marks a three-peat.

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WE ASKED OUR 802 Big Survey respondents, “What are the three best performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?”, and these were the top 20 brands mentioned. Interestingly, Gabriel & Co. and Stuller made it a three-peat, claiming the top two spots in our rankings for the third year in a row. Allison-Kaufman moved up a spot from 4 to 3, and Simon G. was a big leaper, jumping all the way to number 5 from 20 in 2018. (Total votes included in parentheses)

2019 RANK / BRAND2018 RANKCHANGE IN RANK
1. Gabriel & Co. (64)1
2. Stuller (41)2
3. Allison-Kaufman (29)4up 1
4. Hearts On Fire (18)3down 1
5. Simon G. (15)20up 15
6 tie. Pandora (14)6
6 tie. Ostbye (14)10up 4
8 tie. John Hardy (13)9up 1
8 tie. Lashbrook (13)15up 7
10 tie. Benchmark (12)8down 2
10 tie. Frederic Duclos (12)11up 1
12 tie. Roberto Coin (11)23up 11
12 tie. Sylvie Collection (11)22up 10
12 tie. ASHI Diamonds (11)23up 11
15 tie. Berco (10)23up 8
15 tie. Tacori (10)outside top 25 
17 tie. ArtCarved (9)7down 10
17 tie. Le Vian (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. Officina Bernardi (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. SDC Creations (9)15down 2
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