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In Diamond Retail, Large Stores Gain Market Share

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‘The rich continue to get richer.’

Our store comparison data showed some positive signs for October. The monthly average sales result per store came in at $107,836 up 3.5 percent from the $104,163 result for October 2016. Units sold continued to decline with 262 items sold this October versus 271 in the same month last year. Average sale lifted 5.1 percent from $349 to $367.

This has resulted in year-to-date sales for October ticking over the $1.6 million mark up from $1,598,493 last month, an increase of 0.23 percent.INSTORE DavidBrown 1

Margins have been maintained but continue to be low at just 45 percent. That represents 81 cents of profit for every $1 invested into inventory.

This month we are looking at the make up of sales between those stores who do under $1 million per year in sales and those achieving more than $1 million. As we’ve shown previously, larger stores have a more significant contribution in dollar terms from diamond jewelry. Here is a chart from January 2013 showing the difference between larger and smaller stores in terms of their contribution to these numbers.INSTORE DavidBrown 2

As the numbers back then showed larger stores are carrying nearly three times the inventory of diamonds and achieving over three times the level of sales. They were not only achieving a better average sale but were selling twice as many units.

So what do the current numbers show?INSTORE DavidBrown 3

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In the space of four years the gap has widened. Larger stores are now achieving four times the level of diamond sales that smaller stores achieve. The difference in average sale is still around the same (50 percent better) but they are now close to achieving three times the sales volume of smaller stores and the rate at which they are reinvesting in diamonds is continuing to grow.

When it comes to selling diamonds the rich continue to get richer. They have invested 64 percent more into diamond product than they did in 2013 compared to the smaller stores whose investment has only increased by 25 percent. As such they are now responsible for $81 out of every $100 spent on diamonds in the U.S., up from $75 just four years ago. This may not seem significant, but when you already dominate three quarters of the sales dollars an increase of that level is huge. They have maintained their average sale at a time when smaller stores have seen theirs decline.

It’s the unit sales, however, where the most noticeable difference appears. Whereas smaller stores have grown diamond sales units by 11 percent over the four years, the larger stores have seen theirs increase by 50 percent, almost five times faster.

So why is the gap widening? Why are larger stores continuing to take market share in diamonds away from smaller stores? The most obvious answer is selection, with larger stores able to offer more choice. But the rate of growth in inventory is less than the rate of growth in sales, pointing to other factors that are making a difference. What we can’t see is the level of investment in staff training across the stores and this may be a significant contributor to results.

How do your numbers compare? It may be a good time to grab some old sales reports and check on the performance of your diamond product over this four-year period. Are you matching the trend for your store size across inventory, unit sales, average sale and total sales? If not, it may be time to review your approach to diamond product and look at where your results are falling behind.


This story is an INSTORE Online extra.

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4 Dead After Jewelry-Store Robbery Leads to Police Chase and Shootout (Video)

2 suspects were killed, along with a UPS driver and a bystander.

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A jewelry-story robbery in South Florida led to a police chase and shootout that left four people dead, The Associated Press reports.

Police responded to a silent alarm just after 4 p.m. at Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables. Officers arrived to find shots being fired, with two suspects still on site, according to AP.

The robbers took off in a truck and shortly afterward carjacked a UPS truck, authorities said. A harrowing police chase ensued, continuing for 20 miles and ending at a busy intersection in Miramar.

When police approached the UPS truck, a shootout erupted, leaving the two suspects dead, along with the UPS driver and a person described as an “innocent bystander” in a nearby vehicle, AP reports.

“We have just began to process the crime scene,” FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro was quoted saying. “As you can imagine, this is going to be a very complicated crime scene.”

A jewelry-store employee was reportedly injured, but it’s unknown whether she was shot. It’s also unknown what, if anything, was taken from the store.

Read more at The Associated Press

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Truck Slams Jewelry Store in $200,000 Burglary — Watch the Video

The culprits left the vehicle at the scene.

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Burglars slammed a truck into a jewelry store in Los Altos, CA, and took $200,000 worth of merchandise, police say.

Marcel Jewelry Design was targeted early Monday morning, ABC 7 reports.

The stolen truck rammed the front window of the store three times, finally making it through. The burglars got out and broke jewelry cases with a hammer. They left after less than a minute.

The truck was left at the scene.

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Jewelers Report Bright Start to the 2019 Holiday Season

Thanks to higher average tickets and solid foot traffic.

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INDEPENDENT JEWELERS ACROSS the country reported a strong start to the 2019 holiday season with one in three saying they were ahead of last year’s numbers thanks to higher average tickets and solid foot traffic, especially on Small Business Saturday.

“Customers started shopping earlier, which is a blessing considering the shorter holiday this year,” said Rick Nichols, owner of Nassau Jewelry in Fernandina Beach, FL.

Dennis Petimezas, owner of Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry in Johnstown, PA, said he noticed some caution among early shoppers but they are “bringing in the big-ticket items when they do make a decision.”

More than a third of the jewelers who answered our first 2019 holiday season mini survey reported an average sale that was in excess of $600, while 37 percent said it was up from last year. Only 9 percent of jewelers said their average ticket was down. Diamond fashion jewelry, particularly diamond stud earrings, was selling well.

While only a small portion of jewelers described the start to the vital holiday period as “disappointing” (12%) or “dismal” (2%) few were getting ahead of themselves. Increased competition, especially from big online retailers such as Amazon, means most jewelers are expecting to put in some long shifts over the next four weeks, while offering extra personalized service. Then there are the vagaries of the weather.

“This is my 45th year and it’s always unpredictable,” said Larry W. Hall, owner of Baker & Baker Jewelers in Marietta, OH. “I have ‘jacked up’ my staff on the attention-to-detail factors, i.e., look into the customer’s eyes often and, anyone walking in is greeted in seconds. I am looking at the security camera to see if we I recognize the customer to possibly greet them by name … ‘Hello, Mary and Jim!’ Happy holidays…’ and I offer to clean their jewelry and now our sales staff has a captive audience to sell to.”

The first 2019 Holiday Season Mini survey was taken by more than 100 independent jewelers who are part of our Brain Squad readers group. We will send out more surveys over the course of the holiday season. Look out for the results each Tuesday.

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