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David Geller

Here’s Why I Believe Women Generally Make Better Jewelry Store Owners Than Men

Women understand certain things like inventory turn and why other women buy jewelry.




WHO MAKES A better jewelry store owner: a man or a woman? Unlike the proverbial question, “Why did the chicken cross the road,” this is a more important question. It’s been asked for centuries (well OK, maybe only decades).

So let me tell you why I even bring this subject up. I help jewelry stores with three main things:

Pricing for the shop: repairs and custom sales. You know, that “Geller’s Blue Book.”

Setting up and running QuickBooks.

Kicking jewelry store owners in the butt about aged inventory.

Three to five days a week, 45-plus weeks a year, I get to look “behind the curtain” in most stores when I help them with their QuickBooks. I get to see everything — the naked truth. I don’t know if the staff likes a male boss or a female boss, I’m just looking at numbers.

I find the better operated stores, the ones with more money in the bank and those with less debt, are run women.

So why do I say this?

a. Women know why other women buy jewelry, and it’s not because of a sale or a discount. Women understand what a gift of jewelry really means and can put that idea out there to be received.

b. Women are more scared of debt. Meanwhile, men like to gamble. Go to Vegas and look at the craps table, you’ll see mostly men. Men go to the trade shows and buy a ton of inventory and say, “We can pay for it later.” Meanwhile, my wife Renie’s idea of going to Las Vegas and gambling is, “If I buy these shoes, will they fit me well when I get home?”

c. Women understand turn so much better than men because they shop in women’s clothing stores. These stores try to have a turn of 4.0. There are four seasons to a year, so every three to four months, clothing stores start to discount fashion that won’t be in style in a month or so. You’ll have a hard time finding leather jackets in May and an equally hard time finding flower-print dresses in November. A good turn number for jewelers is 1.0 or higher.

d. Women will tend to return to vendor styles that haven’t sold in a year. They’re not so married to old merchandise in any shape or form. Melt it for money? You bet.

When I look at the accounts payables for a store run by women, this account tends to be a lower amount. Bank account? Easily six figures, higher six figures. Inventory over a year old is the main reason for a lot of debt in a jewelry store. Women don’t like debt. (As a result, they also suffer less stress.)

Many years ago, I went to a store run by two women. They were mothers as well. I loved the fact that as partners, one took off the whole month of August and the other partner took off the whole month of September.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, I hope you can learn something from my analysis of female-led stores!



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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