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Can You Afford to Close Your Store for Extended Time? Here’s What Other Jewelers Say

See what the Brain Squad says about taking time off.




Can You Afford to Close Your Store for Extended Time? Here’s What Other Jewelers Say
THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: Do you ever close your store for an extended period of time during the year?

Yes: 37%

  • We just gave our employees an extra long weekend. We all came back refreshed. Sometimes we close the day after Christmas, too. We used to joke that it was to avoid returns, but it is more to just relax one more day after the crazy season. Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI
  • I find my customers are creatures of habit. They know our hours, and the one time I tried to deviate from them (by closing Mondays), it took years to convince them we were again open on Mondays. — Karen Schmitt, Straith’s Jewelers, Centralia, IL
  • We notified our customer list and had a big sale before we left. Had the best May ever! — Gordon Lawrie, Eidos, Santa Fe, NM
  • We close the week of July 4, and things usually take a week or so to pick back up, but I’m not so sure it isn’t just that time of the year and everyone taking vacations and trips or going to the lake. Plus half my vendors are closed, some even the whole month of July! — Josh Rider, Dylan Rings, Montgomery, AL
  • We close the week of July 4th and the week after Christmas. Being a second generation store with a family, it’s important to be intentional about quality time with my family. My customers respect that and support us. — LaTisha Holland, Arlene’s Fine Jewelry, Vidalia, GA
  • After Christmas to go skiing. We lose some of post-Christmas repairs, but what the heck, gotta have some fun, especially after the season’s craziness. — John Przeclawski, Jewelry Plus, Casselberry, FL
  • We always hear about it from our customers, “I came to see you and you were closed.” But they come back. — Shell Miller, Dig Sum Gems, Waterford, MI
  • We close the week of July 4. So little business is done then and our industry tends to shut down. Seems like a good time to be off. — Cindy Smith, Smith & Smith Jewelers, Marianna, FL
  • We have a two-person store. We close every year for a week of family vacation to recharge. Periodically, we’ll also close on a Saturday or for a conference. — Joe Bacher, J Bacher Fine Jewelry, Harrisburg, IL
  • We are currently closed for our annual two-week summer vacation. We close for two weeks every summer and two weeks after Christmas every year. I don’t think it affects our bottom line much. We may lose a few sales during those times, but the time off is well worth it! — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
  • We closed our store last year for the week of the 4th of July. I believe that it energizes the staff. Our clients appreciate that we treat our staff well. — Kent Bagnall, Kent Jewelry, Rolla, MO
  • My customers appreciate all I try to do for them and want me to enjoy time away with my family in the mountains or at the beach or at the farm. — Dale Robertson, Dale Robertson Jewelry, Loveland, OH
  • We close for one week out of the year for vacation. It probably does affect our business. If your doors are not open, you can lose potential sales. But being a family-owned store, we need to do this. Everyone needs a break sometimes. — Lyla Ismael, Lyla Jewelers, Oak Lawn, IL
  • We close the week of July 4th and have done so, with one exception, for over 10 years. The exception proved we don’t lose much business when we’re closed. — Richard Frank, Goldstein’s, Mobile, AL
  • We close between Christmas and New Year’s and a week or so over 4th of July. We repair watches, and when we return, we get an onslaught of catch-up work. Sometimes I need a vacation from the vacation. — Shevvy Baker, SPB Designs, Louisville, KY
  • Two times a year. One, for Tucson and Scottsdale — it’s great for business because we let our customers know where we’re going. Two, for vacation. It’s bad for business, but too bad. — Ira Kramer, The Diamond Exchange of Maryland, Rockville, MD
  • Traditionally, we have closed for approximately one week in July so everyone in our family and staff could enjoy a summer vacation with their families. For the last two years, we have moved to closing just a few days at a time two or three times a year. We made this change because it better accommodates the needs and desires of our family and staff. — James Sickinger, Sickinger’s Jewelry, Lowell, IN
  • We closed an extra day for both New Year’s and July 4th holidays. This option was presented as a challenge to our staff. If a certain sales goal was met, we would add the additional day as a holiday. In both cases, the staff worked hard to meet the goal and were rewarded. We did not receive any negative feedback from our customers. We had no regrets in adding the extra time off. — Wendy Smith, Jimmy Smith Jewelers, Decatur, AL
  • Long weekends, anything to do with our great country of America, Veteran’s Day, 4th of July, etc. No noticeable effect; people generally understand that’s who we are. — Brian Stubblefield, Hendersonville Jewelers, Hendersonville, TN
  • Being a one-man-show, I get to close when anything happens that must be attended to by me. I find that as long as it is no longer than a week, everyone is understanding. If it is more than a week, I call people and arrange delivery of repaired items. Sales will happen when I get back. — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • Between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For the past 33 years, we have done this. I am not going to even attempt to say this makes sense! But, it has for me given I have worked like a dog (I like dogs, and would never let my dog work that hard) year round. — Brenda Newman, The Jewelry Source, El Segundo, CA
  • January and July for one to two weeks depending on our plans. It’s had a good effect on my business because it’s the only break I get. Normal hours are seven-day weeks. — Daniel Spirer, Spirer Jewelers, Cambridge, MA
  • I have recently posted a sign on the front of the business by the posted business hours: “Summers are way too short in Montana. After 40 plus years of working on Saturday, I may just close on an occasional Saturday this summer. Please call ahead of time if you plan to come in on a Saturday.” We are normally closed on Sunday and Monday. We have also closed for a week or sometimes longer to attend shows or short mini-vacations. — Murphy McMahon, L’Or Custom Jewelers, Kalispell, MT
  • We close twice a year, this year July 30-August 9 and again December 30-Jan 9. We have done this for the past 10 years. We look at it this way: if we lose a customer, we are sorry, but we need family time after all the hours we work. We miss so many things with our kids throughout the year because of our business and what’s the point of working so hard if we can’t share some of the benefits of owning our business with them. Our customers seem to understand (most at least) and DO come back when we are open. We have RARELY heard of someone that refused to come back. Do we occasionally have a customer tell us, “You were closed, so we bought (whatever) at another store?” Yes, but to hear that means they did come back to us. Overall, our customers are very loyal, so I do not feel our being closed has a negative effect on our business. — Dorothy Retzke, Krystyna’s Jewelry, Chicago, IL

No: 63%

  • Even when we go on vacation, we have our store available for customers. — Rita Wade, Wade Designs Jewelry, Rocky Mount, NC
  • I have not closed for more than a few days, but I may start in the near future. Have too many irons in the fire now. — Mark Thomas Ruby, SunSpirit Designs, Loveland, CO
  • Our repair business is year round! Plus I can’t stand retail stores that close for the month! — David Lindsay, Purdy’s Jewellery & Gems, Bobcaygeon, Ontario
  • My staff in empowered to run the store without me there. I’m very proud of them for stepping up and working hard. The store runs like clockwork. — Chris Wattsson, Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, Marquette, MI
  • I don’t want to lose any time selling. I also hate going to other stores and finding out they closed for some reason or another. If you post hours, you should keep them no matter what. — Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME
  • Our clients expect us to be here, and like most consumers will go somewhere else if we aren’t. — Kelly Jensen, Plateau Jewelers, Sammamish, WA
  • A progressive merchant is OPEN. Unless emergency is declared by the county, we are an anchor store in downtown leading by example. We are in business to do business open with regular store hours. Hobbyists close, eventually, forever. — Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN
  • We closed for a week in August 2010. Not sure if it hurt us in sales, but cash flow took a dive. Will not do it again. — Warren Lakein, Lakein’s Jewelers of Hamilton, Baltimore, MD
  • This is retail. If we’re not open, we’re not making money. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • Other than moving or renovations, why close? — Gene Arthur, Arthur’s Jewelry, Reidsville, NC
  • I’m a sole proprietor, I have a teenage son to support, and this is my only source of income. If I’m not here, people can’t buy things! — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • Our customers set our hours, not us! If they want us open, we’re open, seven days and four nights a week. — Chuck Kuba, Iowa Diamond, West Des Moines, IA
  • Customers get angry, no matter how we warn them that we will be closed. — Jill Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL
  • We usually close one day to run physical inventory. This year we’re shutting down a couple of days to renovate. Typically we do not shut down for an extended period of time. — Whitney Lang, Burkes Fine Jewelers, Kilmarnock, VA
  • It’s about our customers and not us. If we ever forget that, we’re in trouble. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • Closed for a week last year. Huge mistake. Took all summer to make up lost revenue. — Jeff Dennis, Jeff Dennis Jewelers, Gardendale, AL
  • The bills keep coming in even when we’re closed! If the bill companies could waive their monthly bill, I would close. — Laurie Cusher, Hyde Park Jeweler, Hyde Park, NY
  • Retail = 365 days a year! — Sheila Ritchie, Gasser Jewelers, Canton, OH

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



He Doubled His Sales Goals with Wilkerson

John Matthews, owner of John Michael Matthews Fine Jewelry in Vero Beach, Florida, is a planner. As an IJO member jeweler, he knew he needed an exit strategy if he ever wanted to g the kind of retirement he deserved. He asked around and the answers all seemed to point to one solution: Wilkerson. He talked to Rick Hayes, Wilkerson president, and took his time before making a final decision. He’d heard Wilkerson knew their way around a going out of business sale. But, he says, “he didn’t realize how good it was going to be.” Sales goals were “ambitious,” but even Matthews was pleasantly surprised. “It looks like we’re going to double that.”

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