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Editor's Note

A Big Thank-You to Readers for Taking Our Big Survey

The results would be meaningless without your participation.



IT’S THAT TIME of the year again … time to find out just how this year has gone for jewelry retailers across North America! In other words, it’s time for INSTORE’s annual Big Survey, the most massive data-gathering exercise conducted exclusively with retail jewelry store owners and managers.

And as always, the survey was quite big — in more ways than one. We ask a lot of questions because we know that you want a lot of answers. Unfortunately, that also means it takes a LONG time to complete (about 45 minutes to an hour). We know that’s a lot to ask of our readers, especially when you’re so busy every day, and so we appreciate your participation — and hope that the results you’re about to read make it worthwhile.

Our Brain Squad came through in a big way this year, as it does every year, and we received participation across most of the country (where are you at, Hawaii, Wyoming and Washington D.C. retailers?). If you’re not already part of our Brain Squad, we would love to add you to the list. You’ll receive our monthly survey (which is MUCH shorter than the Big Survey), and you are never required to fill it out … just do it when you’re able to. Your survey answers make it possible for us to write the stories you read every month.

Ready to read about this year’s best-performing jewelry, most effective tech acquisitions, salary ranges for all positions, and yes, lab-grown diamonds? Then turn to page 32 and get started!

Now Introducing The INSTORE Show, Coming to the Chicago Area in 2023!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Give each employee time for a dinner once a week with his or her family. Send a thank-you note with a bottle of wine to their “significant others.” (Manager’s To-Do, p. 24)
  • Keep staff updated on your advertising, so when someone asks for “that ring in they saw on your Facebook page,” your salesperson knows what he’s talking about. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 24)
  • Divide each salesperson’s earnings by their total sales to compare efficiencies. (David Geller, p. 68)
  • When presenting diamonds, always start with mined diamonds first. Have your lab-grown diamonds on the left, mined on the right and bridal in the middle. (Shane Decker, p. 70)
  • Improve SEO by optimizing for voice search, which means creating knowledge-based articles on your website that provide concise answers to common questions. (Andrea Hill, p. 71)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at



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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