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From Recovering After the Lockdown to Wondering About Future Sales, Readers Weigh in on Industry Topics

Several readers state they moved to appointment-only models going forward.




  • For many of us that reopened after the lockdown, there was surprise (and some shock) as to how quickly sales not only recovered but soared above pre-pandemic sales. With the economy reopening, will the redirection of discretionary spending back toward travel and fine dining mean a return to normal sales levels, or perhaps even lower sales levels than before? So when we’re trying to figure out what to do with this unusual pile of cash, the question we’re asking ourselves is this: How much do we get to keep? — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • I have never worked harder than I did in 2020 (oh wait, there was also 2001 and 2008, so never mind, LOL), but really, we immediately went into “survival mode” and did everything we could to reach out, stay connected via social media, emails and also texting those we could. It seemed to work and engaged those that were sitting home, still employed and feeling glum themselves. I knew we had to order more jewelry in order to stay fresh — I learned that lesson in the first financial crisis — you aren’t going to sell stale jewelry, and you have to keep moving forward with the belief that business will continue. It was exhausting, and of course, these were and still are very scary times that I’ll never forget, but staying focused and working every day (even when we were closed) has helped immeasurably. — Laura Kitsos, Gem Jewelry Boutique, Oak Park, IL
  • The government needs to quit paying people not to work. We can’t find enough good help right now. — Bill Jones, Sissy’s Log Cabin, Pine Bluff, AR
  • Riding the demand wave as long as it lasts. — William G. Lehnert, Alexander Lehnert, Asheville, NC
  • Business has been very good, but I do not take it for granted. I am always worried about the future. — Tommy Thobe, The Village Gem, Perry Hall, MD
  • I love your magazine, always have, but since I’ve owned my business, I pay a lot more attention to great business ideas than just looking at the pretty pictures. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • We have pivoted, going to an appointment-only store, moving to an office space just down the street from our larger walk-in storefront. Best move ever and the customers love it. — Meg Rankin, J. Rankin Jewellers, Edmonds, WA
  • A lot of people went through a lot of hardships, and yet we’re still surviving. We’re a tough industry! — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • The April story about how jewelry retailers survived 2020 was great, as well as the hope that our businesses will come back stronger than before! — Annette Kinzie, Leonard Jewelry, Stillwater, OK

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



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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