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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.




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

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.


“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.



It’s Going to Set Us Up Very Nicely for Retirement

You’ve worked hard all your life. And if you’re like most jewelers contemplating retirement, you’re hoping that your going-out-of-business sale will add to your nest egg — with minimal complications. That’s exactly what Doug and Jacki Friedrich, fourth-generation owners of Friedrich Jewelers Inc., of Vernon, Conn., experienced when they selected Wilkerson to run their sale. “Jewelers who are contemplating a sale should go with Wilkerson because of their experience,” says Doug. And with financial goals “exceeding expectations,” the couple can now focus on enjoying the next chapter of their lives. “It’s going to set us up very nicely for retirement,” says Jacki. “The money’s coming in and we have no complaints. It’s been wonderful.”

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