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Editor's Note

As COVID-19 Spreads and Recession Looms, Here’s What Jewelers Can Do

It’s critical to remain calm and be proactive in your business.

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A RECESSION MAY BE coming, but all is not lost.

Unfortunately, the timing of our lead story, “How To Recession-Proof Your Business,” was all too appropriate. With the spread of COVID-19 and historic oil-price shock in early March, panic set in on Wall Street and in the public at large. At the time of this writing, the S&P 500’s price earnings ratio has contracted 24 percent, signaling a bear market and predicting recession.

That said, it’s no good to just stare at the door and wish for things to change. As a jewelry retailer, you can be proactive about making your space safe for your clients while publicizing that fact in emails and social media. Speaking of digital, this is a fantastic time to promote e-commerce on your website (see Andrea Hill’s and Wendy Paler’s columns in this issue for improvement ideas). People aren’t going to stop getting engaged, and they still want to buy from someone they trust, even if it’s online. Moreover, as the public gets used to the threat of COVID-19 and the habits of “social distancing,” they will get out and shop for jewelry. It’s up to you to make it easy and secure.

We all hope that this coronavirus disappears soon, but it could persist into next year when vaccines arrive. Regardless, your best bet is to stay calm, be proactive, and follow the advice we’ve set out in our lead story.

After all, recessions come and go, but jewelry is forever.

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Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

1. Shorten your planning cycle. If you assess strategy annually, go to quarterly. If quarterly, go to monthly. (The Big Story, p. 44)
2. Secure a business line of credit before you actually need it. (The Big Story, p. 44)
3. Develop alternative revenue streams like estate jewelry or buying off the street. (The Big Story, p. 44)
4. Be ready to acquire assets from failing businesses, including inventory, equipment or employees. (The Big Story, p. 44)
5. Communicate any major recession-related changes with staff while following the mantra: “simple, concrete, and repetitive.” (The Big Story, p. 44)

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

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Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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