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David Squires

America’s Coolest Stores: When Sh*t Happens

When things start to stink, you better act fast.

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HERE AT INSTORE Laboratories, we’re currently concocting the epic 12th edition of our America’s Coolest Stores contest. Analyzing our fresh batch of winners, I can’t help but feeling that the state of American jewelry retail is better than it has ever been.

The edition will be hitting mailboxes in August. Can’t wait that long to see our winners? Then come to INSTOREMAG.COM on July 24 for our exclusive online announcement of this year’s honorees, including additional online-only content like videos, expanded photo galleries, and expanded owner interviews. Don’t miss it!

This week, one gross, but funny story from a previous winner — Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry in San Diego, CA (America’s Coolest Stores, 2009) — on the importance of giving above-and-beyond customer service … even when things get a little, uh, sticky.

Says Leo Hamel: “One of our best sales associates (Teri Ramirez) was working with a customer who was looking for a Hearts On Fire engagement ring. They took the ring outside to see how beautiful it looked in natural light. While they were outside, Teri’s customer stepped in a pile of dog poop. Teri came running into the store to get a wad of paper towels and wiped her customer’s shoe clean. Of course, he purchased the ring! Quote from customer: ‘Teri, we’ve been through so much sh*t together now, I have to buy the ring!”

Question: If you went to Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry, wouldn’t you want Teri serving you?

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David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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