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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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Put Your Trust in Wilkerson

To do business successfully with anyone, you need a certain “comfort level.” That’s something that Phillips Pitts, owner of two Parris Jewelers stores in Hattiesburg, Miss., said he felt immediately when he first talked to Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes. He was just about to launch an anniversary sale. And he chose Wilkerson to handle all the details — from the marketing to the sales floor. “Rick cared what was going to happen to Parris Jewelers,” says Pitts. “Not just during the sale but after the sale.” Would he recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers contemplating a large-scale sale? Absolutely, says Pitts, who says the results “exceeded their expectations.” His trust in Wilkerson has only grown after the numbers came in. “They were interested in me fulfilling and what I need to fulfill to make my company better.”

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