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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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George Koueiter & Sons Jewelers, a 65-year old jewelry institution in Grosse Pointe, MI, had always been a mainstay in this suburban Detroit community. But when owners George and Paul Koueiter were ready to retire, they made the decision to close rather than sell. “We decided our best option to do the liquidation sale was Wilkerson,” says Paul Koueiter. The results, says George Koueiter, exceeded expectations and the process was easy. “Wilkerson just kept us in mind,” says George. “They never did anything without asking and whatever they asked us to do was just spot on.”

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