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Editor's Note

As the Pandemic Slows, Jewelers See Opportunity in Specialization

Times of upheaval often precede periods of innovation.



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.


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

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)



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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