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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.

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

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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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Wilkerson Takes the Worry Out of Closing

MSG Jewelers has always treated its customers like family. When owner Mike George decided to retire and close the doors of his St. Louis, Missouri jewelry store, he selected a company to manage his going-out-of-business sale that treats its customers like family, too. That’s why he chose Wilkerson. “Wilkerson was able to do all the things that we needed,” says George. In the end, the bittersweet store closing was so much easier with Wilkerson at the helm. From marketing to pricing to inventory, Wilkerson does it all. “It’s a package deal,” says George.

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