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Big Survey

Hiring and Inventory Top Jewelers’ Pain Points Post-Pandemic

Hiring new staff has created the “most grief” in the post-lockdown economic rebound, according to jewelers in the INSTORE Big Survey 2021.

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Hiring staff
31%
Supply issues with vendors
29%
More customers/jobs than we can comfortably handle
11%
Demanding customers (some people seem to have gone crazy during COVID)
9%
Volatile inventory prices
7%
Finding contractors or tradespeople
5%
Other
7%

MORE THAN 30 percent of Jewelers who responded to the annual survey said that hiring was the biggest post-pandemic challenge followed closely by “supply issues with vendors.”

“I had a key employee quit in August,” said one jeweler. “I put out my standard ad and only got four responses. I normally get 150.”

Jewelers told the survey that keeping important staff was also a source of grief.

“Keeping talented/vital staff [has been a challenge] when other types of businesses in my area are now paying more due to staff shortages in all segments,” said one respondent.

Supply issues, including inventory costs, are another source of pain for players in the jewelry segment, the survey revealed. More than 45 percent of jewelers said that inventory costs were their fastest-increasing cost.

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“Prices have risen across the board,” said a jeweler, who added: “People are still getting the retail advantage with old stock. You can’t mark up everything but … [you can try] hard to stay ahead of the market spikes and buy on the dip.”

Other respondents agreed that “grief” was mounting on many fronts.

“I’ve seen increases everywhere: Insurance up 30 percent, gold up 15 percent, rent up 10 percent… and so on,” said one jeweler.

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting more than 600 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results will be published in the upcoming November issue of INSTORE.

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