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Big Survey

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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Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.

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Thinking of Retirement? This Jeweler Went for the Company That Shares His Values

Richard Frank of Goldstein’s Jewelry in Mobile, Ala., had worked in his family’s store since he was 13-years old. As its owner, he was proud to be at the helm of Mobile’s oldest jewelry store, an AGS, IJO and RJO member business. But there comes a time in every jeweler’s life when a decision must be made regarding the future. And for Frank, that meant turning the store over to new owners. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale, a decision, he says, made a long time ago. “Their reputation is such that all the things we value are what they value,” he says. And the results surpassed Frank’s own expectations. Would he recommend Wilkerson for other jewelers who are considering a going-out-of-business or retirement sale? “If you’re contemplating a sale to maximize the return on your business, there is no one else in the industry that I could even think of recommending.”

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