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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.


Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.



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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