We’re not quite ready to make the big announcement about who won the 2017 America’s Coolest Store contest. But as a way of bridging the gap before the big reveal on July 20, we’re sharing INSTORE editors’ top picks in four of the judging categories: Exterior, Interior, Marketing and Online Presence. Entries always contain a wealth of good ideas and we want to start sharing those as soon as possible. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners, chosen by our panel of industry-expert judges, on instoremag.com in late July, and in our annual America’s Coolest Stores issue in August! And, as always, thank you for entering.


THE EDITORS SAY: Green Lake Jewelry Works (PICTURED) has created a second retail environment that colorfully facilitates the jewelry making process from initial sketch to finished product, with an emphasis on art.

1. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. Lester Lampert, Inc., Chicago, IL

3. IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Belle Jewelers, Chambersburg, PA

5. Koerber’s Fine Jewelry, New Albany, IN


THE EDITORS SAY: Molinelli’s Jewelers’ street clock (PICTURED), a landmark in Pocatello, ID, works as a beacon to passersby, and, following a recent $1.1 million renovation, conveys the historical significance of the place, founded in 1903. It’s one of the town’s oldest businesses and the oldest jewelry store in Idaho that’s kept its name.

1. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. Lester Lampert, Inc., Chicago, IL

3. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Molinelli’s Jewelers, Pocatello, ID


THE EDITORS SAY: IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery (PICTURED) is making an impact in all aspects of its retail operation, including advertising, which is as edgy and attention-grabbing as its business concept of combining piercing with fine jewelry.

1.  IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

2. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

3. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Diamonds Direct Fine Jewelers, St. Petersburg, FL

Online Presence

THE EDITORS SAY: H1912’s website (PICTURED) is an easy to navigate, fully functioning e-commerce site. H1912 also has a 5-star rating on Facebook and Yelp.

1.  Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. H1912, Princeton, NJ

3. IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

4. Gertrude Zachary, Inc., Albuquerque, NM

5. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of INSTORE.


Want to Enter Your Store in America's Coolest Stores?

Think you've got what it takes to join the ranks of America's Coolest Stores? Entries for our 2018 contest open in November 2017. Check for contest details at americascooleststores.com.


“Halfway Through the Sale, We Already Did a Year’s Worth of Volume”

Torin Bales says he was “blown away” by Wilkerson’s results after the company ran his retirement sale. “When you hire a consultant, you have to let them take control,” says the Texas retailer. After all, if you’re like most jewelers, you only retire once. Get the maximum return on your life’s investment. Turn to Wilkerson & Associates and let your new life begin!


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