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Editor's Note

As the Pandemic Slows, Jewelers See Opportunity in Specialization

Times of upheaval often precede periods of innovation.

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THROUGHOUT HISTORY, times of stress and upheaval have preceded renaissance, and the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be no different. As cases drop and Americans begin to peek their heads outside their front doors, the retail jewelry landscape appears very different than it did a year ago.

Many jewelers have realized the benefits of the appointment-only model. Some have even closed the doors of their showrooms and moved into office locations. Most have expanded their digital presence into e-commerce and other online services. Video-based selling, curbside services and other social distancing measures are now as effortless as they are ubiquitous.

When the old ways of doing business become suddenly impossible, new ways necessarily emerge. Among those approaches is the move toward specialization.

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The “department store” retail model of selling a huge variety of product categories has been dying for years, but in some ways has persisted in jewelry retail. But now, store owners are seeing the value in focus, whether it be specializing in the bridal business, designers/brands, colored gemstones, estate jewelry and over-the-counter buying, custom design, repairs/services or some limited combination thereof.

If you’re looking for ideas or ways to improve in your specialization, I invite you to turn to our lead story, “How to Make Money (No Matter What Type of Jeweler You Are)”, on page 38.

As the Pandemic Slows, Jewelers See Opportunity in Specialization

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Set up counter cards throughout the store that list the services you offer. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 26)
  • Organize your bridal showcases by style rather than by vendor. (The Big Story, p. 38)
  • Use a large workflow chart in your shop to track jobs from start to finish. (The Big Story, p. 38)
  • When dealing with a difficult client, mentally frame the interaction as if you’re looking back at what is happening instead of living it. (Ask INSTORE, p. 92)
  • In a social media post, ask your audience to drop an emoji in the comments to receive a direct message on “something special” (sneak peek, discount code, special item, etc.). (Kathleen Cutler, p. 88)

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Wilkerson Testimonials | MSG Jewelers

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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