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David Brown

By the Numbers: Peer Review

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Independent jewelers enjoyed a solid start to 2015 with average monthly sales climbing to $87,767, up $10,453, or 13 percent, from the same month last year. On a 12-month rolling basis, that represents growth of 0.69 percent and suggests the jewelers in our survey group — who come from across the country — are on track to enjoy 8.3 percent sales growth this year.

If your sales growth has been more modest, you may want to look at joining a peer group. Working together with like-minded store owners, meeting regularly and comparing results can provide you with terrific benchmarking figures to grow your business. It also opens the way for the 80/20 rule to come into play. Twenty percent of the areas of your business that need attention can provide 80 percent of the results you desire. It’s hard to lift sales volume, average sale and margin all at once. Choose the one that will have the greatest impact and work on this. Ask fellow jewelers how they perform in this area. When you find someone who is doing well, ask them what they do that’s different. Above all, be open-minded. If your instant reaction is, “that can’t be achieved here,” then sure enough it won’t be.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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