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Editors’ Choice

INSTORE editors reveal their top picks from this year’s America’s coolest stores entries.

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WE STILL CAN’T TELL you which stores were ultimately our judges’ choices. You’re going to have to wait for our August issue to find out the coolest of them all. But we can crack open our vault a bit and let you see what we editors thought were the best Small and Big stores within individual judging categories.

The interior, exterior, marketing materials or website of the stores featured here were good enough to land them in the top five after preliminary judging by INSTORE editors.

Check back in August (or at instoremag.com the last week of July) to find out who’s the 2014 king (or queen) of cool.


Small Cool

Interior

THE EDITORS SAY: J Landa’s dark interior creates a sense of drama, which makes for an entirely unique shopping experience.

1. Veloce, Jewelry by Medawar, Portage, MI

2. Kelly Mitchell, Dallas, TX

3. J. Landa, Houston, TX

4. Bartholomew Jewelers, Memphis, TN

5. Gem Jewelry Boutique, Oak Park, IL

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Exterior

THE EDITORS SAY: Walk up to Mitchell’s entryway, and you may think you’re entering a museum of modern art.

1. Bruno Fine Jewelers; Diamonds by the Waterfall, Mercer, PA

2. Mitchell’s Jewelry, Norman, OK

3. Veloce, Jewelry by Medawar, Portage, MI

4. Rock Hard Designs, Pensacola, FL

5. Alchemy, Portland, OR

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Marketing

THE EDITORS SAY: Great photography of fabulous pieces with minimal text and the store’s logo sums up Single Stone’s simple, effective advertising philosophy.

1. My House of Style, Birmingham, MI

2. Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA

3. Single Stone on Mission Street, San Marino, CA

4. Veloce, Jewelry by Medawar, Portage, MI

5. Shetler Wade Jewelers, San Antonio, TX

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Online Presence

THE EDITORS SAY: The store’s concentration on fashion jewelry is highlighted by carefully chosen photos from suppliers used dramatically on Veloce’s homepage.

1. Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA

2. Kelly Mitchell, Dallas, TX

3. Veloce, Jewelry by Medawar, Portage, MI

4. Alchemy, Portland, OR

5. My House of Style, Birmingham, MI

Big Cool

Interior

THE EDITORS SAY: Russell Korman combines the sleek look of branded watch in-store boutiques with a traditional Texas feel — including a longhorn sculpture near the entrance.

1. Russell Korman Fine Jewelry, Diamonds & Watches, Austin, TX

2. Grogan Jewelers, Florence, AL

3. Feldmar Watch Company, Los Angeles, CA

4. Mervis Diamond Importers, Washington, DC

5. Lewis Diamonds & Timepieces, Webster, TX

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Exterior

THE EDITORS SAY: One of the coolest holiday decorations we’ve seen: a lighted bow that wraps the entire building.

1. The Wedding Ring Shop, Honolulu, HI

2. Black, Starr & Frost, Newport Beach, CA

3. Grogan Jewelers, Florence, AL

4. Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

5. Schmitt Jewelers, Phoenix, AZ

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Marketing

THE EDITORS SAY: A Zamboni atop the “nice ice” of an engagement ring? Literally cool!

1. Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

2. JF Kruse Jewelers, Saint Cloud, MN

3. G. Thrapp Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN

4. Wixon Jewelers, Minneapolis, MN

5. Mignon Faget, New Orleans, LA

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Online Presence

THE EDITORS SAY: chmitt’s website leaves no doubt the jeweler is capable of top custom work.

1. A1. Mignon Faget, New Orleans, LA

2. The Wedding Ring Shop, Honolulu, HI

3. Black, Starr & Frost, Newport Beach, CA

4. Yelton Fine Jewelers, West Chester, OH

5. Schmitt Jewelers, Phoenix, AZ

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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