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David Brown

Are There More Opportunities in Silver Than You Think?

A category some jewelers view as a necessary annoyance may have potential to be a key marketing tool.




OUR DATA for the month of October continued to show strong same-store sales growth at the stores in our survey group. As the chart below reveals, average monthly sales of $121,717 per store represented a nice increase of 14 percent from $106,557 for the same month in 2014. Looking back further, overall same-store October sales are 33 percent higher than they were in 2013.

Unit sales have increased strongly, up 45 percent over the two-year period, from 286 units to 416 units sold. Average sale has slipped slightly from $298 to $277, although margins have largely been maintained, meaning overall gross profit has increased from $43,318 to $55,666 – an increase of $12,348, or 28 percent, over the two-year period.

Are There More Opportunities in Silver Than You Think?

Within the data set, smaller stores doing less than $1 million in annual sales continue to show lower unit sales and an average dollar sale ($200 versus $353) but maintain a much healthier margin (52 percent versus 44 percent) compared to larger stores.

Are There More Opportunities in Silver Than You Think?

This would tend to suggest that smaller stores receive a lower percentage of their sales from diamonds but in fact the percentage contribution from diamonds to overall sales is slightly higher at smaller stores than at their larger peers. (We’ll delve into these numbers in more detail in a future article.)


This month we will look at silver, which is a bigger contributor to smaller stores’ figures (15.8 percent) than for larger stores (10.7 percent).

As the chart shows, after an initial period of growth in silver throughout 2009 and 2010, silver has largely maintained its sales volume despite a resurgence in diamond product sales over the last couple of years. There have been some momentary dips and increases but the average store is generating sales of between 2,700 and 3,300 units of silver per year. That averages out at 7 to 10 units per day for a 7-day week, and at an average unit price of around $67, contributes between $500 and $600 of daily sales.

This may not be significant depending on how your store performs and is certainly more important to a store doing less than $1 million in annual sales than one that is doing more.

Sometimes, however, it can be about more than the immediate sale.

One of the most interesting changes in marketing in recent years, which has been driven by the Internet, is the cost of acquiring customers. Most online businesses now measure the cost of customer acquisition – and are willing to spend a significant sum of money depending on the value their customer is worth to them. Most simple email capture campaigns are budgeting on $1 or more per customer email address. This would have been unheard of in terms of gathering physical mailing addresses in earlier times but shows the value in establishing a customer relationship. Many online businesses will even send physical products to their customers for nothing more than the cost of postage in the interests of establishing a rapport.

So where does silver fit into your store mix? You might not see it as a significant driver of sales, but does it have a roll to play in building your customer list? Have you had customers in the past who may have started with purchasing silver but gone on to bigger and better things? Could today’s silver customer be tomorrow’s white gold or diamond wearer?


It’s worth investigating the role of silver in your business. If it’s a moneymaker for you then you don’t want to kill the golden goose but if you see it as a peripheral player – or worse, an annoyance that gets in the road, then maybe it’s time for a rethink. Could silver be used as a means of generating new customers – graduating them to bigger sales over time?

Only you will know the answer depending on how your business is set up, but one thing seems sure – there are a lot of people willing to continue buying it.



Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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