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Here’s Why Big Survey Respondents Feel Optimistic about the Future of the Independent Jeweler

From being small and nimble to appreciating the benefits of being part of their community, retailers say they will remain strong.




WITH SO MANY NEGATIVE headlines in the news every day, it can be easy to feel down about the direction the world is going. But many independent jewelry retailers still see reason for optimism for their business model. Here are a few reasons why, according to our Big Survey respondents.

  • “People still value the personal experience. Buying online from a big brand is lifeless. Walking into a store where people remember your name and face and ask you how your kids are doing, that still feels good.”
  • “We offer services that most jewelers don’t. I hear it every day.”
  • “There are fewer independents, therefore we are more in demand. There are fewer because of retirement, fewer young people going into the business and limited training opportunities. Those who remain are thriving and will continue to.”
  • “There will always be engagements and celebrations of life. Our ability to customize jewelry for our clients will, I believe, keep us going for years to come!”
  • “Gold will crash to $1,000 and then it will RISE; gather all you can.”
  • “Being able to pivot, thrive and figure out how to make things work during a four-month shutdown in New York state makes me very optimistic for the future.”
  • “Younger generations can ‘smell’ commoditized jewelry from a mile away. They are seeking things that are different and not ‘same ol’, same ol’.’”
  • “As small operators, we can adapt faster and more personally than the chain/big box stores can or will ever do.”
  • “Gen Z. I think they are absolutely going to have a renewed interest in jewelry and statement items (so long as they are ethical), and because they are generally not as hung up on gender roles and fashion, it’s going to open everyone up to selling opportunities and more creative and interesting styles.”
  • “Flexibility to meet any price point with the advent of lab-grown diamonds.”
  • “More and more chain stores are closing as are shopping malls. Never a better time to be an independent jeweler.”
  • “That we are still busy. There is a lot of talk about the ‘mess’ of our country, but that hasn’t materialized with my clients.”
  • “The independent jeweler is best at making its customers feel valued, appreciated, and connected … all of which are qualities consumers will always need/appreciate.”
  • “The pandemic made people realize the importance of self-care. Treating yourself is now linked to positive mental health!”
  • “The independent jeweler — we need MORE of them in West Michigan. We are a mom-and-pop in a small town and we are as busy as we can handle. In the last 2-3 years, four or five small independents within 30 miles of us have retired with no one taking their place. Great opportunity for us as an industry to reach out and grow the ranks.”
  • “People still want to be treated like humans.”



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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