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Bridal and Custom Are the Twin Pillars of the Modern Independent Jeweler

Traditional “giftware” disappearing from showcases, according to 2021 Big Survey.

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Bridal and Custom Are the Twin Pillars of the Modern Independent Jeweler

YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT jeweler was once a reliable source of silver cutlery, glassware, or other “giftware” for a customer in need of that traditional present for their niece who was getting married and setting up a new home or a friend’s freshly graduated son. No longer. Most jewelers no longer stock such items and the overall trend is clearly headed down. Only 5 percent of independent jewelers now sell flatware, 12 percent glassware and 26 percent “giftware”. Even watches – once a clear staple in the showcases of jewelers – are on the decline with only a little more than half of jewelers stocking them, down from more than three-quarters a little over a decade ago.

Meanwhile, diamonds, custom design and repairs – continue to strengthen their position as the pillars of the modern independent jewelry operation. According to the 2021 INSTORE Big Survey, “diamonds” were the clear leader as a generator of revenue (ranked No. 1 by 53% of jewelers) followed by custom manufacturing (ranked top by 14%) and repairs (13%).

Note that 96 percent of jewelers offer some form of custom design and 97 percent take in repairs.

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting nearly 700 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results were published in the November issue of INSTORE and are available online HERE.

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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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