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David Brown

By The Numbers: Your Stock in Trade

Most jewelers would probably claim to be as dry-eyed about their inventory as Buffett, but the figures tell a different story.




By The Numbers: Your Stock in Trade

WE HAVE NO WAY of knowing what kind of instructions Warren Buffett hands down to his jewelry division, but we’d hazard a guess there’s not a lot of sentimentality attached to his view of the inventory.

As beautiful as some of the pieces may be, it all still adds up to stock that can be measured for markup, turn and return. Most jewelers would probably claim to be as dry-eyed about their inventory as Buffett, but the figures tell a different story. As shown in the chart above, stock turn basically flat-lines at a pretty modest level for the typical independent jeweler, with an annual life-preserving spike in December. Despite being a jeweler’s largest investment, there is often little or no accountability expected of this asset. An average store achieves a return (GMROI) of about $70 gross profit for every $100 invested in inventory. Yet at the top end, there are stores generating twice as much with only little more effort on the part of the owner. Here’s what they do:

1. They set high GMROI targets for every piece.
2. Cull those that don’t deliver on those targets.
3. Re-order fast sellers.
4. Have “exit strategies” for the statement pieces they buy.

This story is from the August 2010 edition of INSTORE.

David Brown is the President of The Edge Retail Academy (sister company of The Edge), who provide expert consulting services to help with all facets of your business including inventory management, staffing, sales techniques, financial growth and retirement planning...All custom-tailored to your store’s needs. By utilizing the power of The Edge, we analyze major Key Performance Indicators that point to your store’s current challenges and future opportunities. Edge Pulse is the ideal add-on to the Edge, to better understand critical sales and inventory data to improve business profitability. It benchmarks your store against 1100+ other Edge Users and ensures you stay on top of market trends. 877-569-8657, Ext. 001 or [email protected] or



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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