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Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: Trace Shelton: Goodbye, “Bridal,” Hello Profits!

When it comes to selling wedding jewelry, it pays to be open-minded.

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WELCOME TO the first-ever bridal edition of INSTORE! Actually, it may be the first and the last, with the term “bridal” on its way out as a result of the LGBT community having finally been welcomed nationally into the institution of marriage. (As noted in Tanya Dukes’ story “Equal Time” in this issue, the phrase “engagement and wedding jewelry” is far more inclusive than the gender-specific “bridal.”)

This change in terminology is just one of many shifts in the engagement and wedding market facing jewelers today. Consumers are more interested in choice and customization than ever before. Millennials are spending more on rings even as they have less cash on hand, requiring savvy jewelers to offer more financing options. Brides and grooms are generally older than they used to be — 27 to 29 according THE KNOT — and they’re often quite knowledgeable about your product before they ever walk in.

Bottom line? The engagement business is more of a challenge than ever before — but it’s a challenge that can still make you plenty of money if you’re willing to change with the times (and train your staff to do the same). Both the jewelry industry and the institution of marriage are heavily steeped in tradition — most of it good — yet today’s consumers want to place their unique stamp on their own unions, and that requires a subtle shift in mindset from jewelry retailers.
The good news? You’re holding in your hands an entire issue devoted to helping you navigate today’s wedding and engagement market. We hope it helps you make even more couples eternally grateful for your efforts and your product!

Wishing you the very best business,

Trace Shelton

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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