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See the results of our latest Holiday Season Mini-Survey.

The verdict is in: It was a surprisingly merry holiday season for most jewelers, thanks often to a few big-ticket sales.

The upbeat numbers that we’d been seeing since the Black Friday weekend ticked up higher in the last week before Christmas. One in three jewelers, or 33 percent, described the season as better than expected and a further 13 percent labeled it flat-out “terrific”. Thirty-one percent said it was in line with their expectations, while for 23 percent of jewelers it was disappointing or “dismal.” While foot traffic remained down compared to last year, average ticket edged higher in the last week: 48 percent of jewelers said their average transaction value was over $350, while 43 percent said it was up over last year.Final Survey

“We moved a couple of very large pieces that allowed us to realize a 22 percent increase over last year’s number. But we’re feeling the Internet bite,” said David Abrams, owner of Grand Jewelers in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, in a comment that was typical of many of our Brain Squad members.

We’ll publish a more detailed report online at instoremag.com as soon as we gather a few more responses. In the meantime, you can see more charts and all the Brain Squad’s comments about the holiday season online.

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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