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Inbox: May 2016



Robert loves INSTORE
like his mom! — Aleah
Arundale, Olympian
Diamonds, Chicago, IL. Have a pic of yourself
reading INSTORE
or wearing a Brain Squad
or Jewelry Geek T-shirt? EMAIL IT TO US AT [email protected].


I I love looking through the Brain Squad survey responses, but the doom and gloom about the next
generation of shoppers has me worried about the mindset of some stores. I always go back to “If you
can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Regular advertising not working? Get online! Not breaking through the clutter?
Get snarky! There’s always a way to reach shoppers. Change can be uncomfortable, but it’s worth
stepping over that ledge.
— Jennifer Farnes, Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Springs, CO


This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of INSTORE.


I am concerned about
how the introduction of
synthetic diamonds to
the general public will
affect the second-hand
jewelry market. Every diamond
will now need a lab
— Lee Krombholz,
Krombholz Jewelers,
Cincinnati, OH


Yet again, I’ve found one
of our vendors selling
wholesale and retail via
an online store. When I
confronted them, they said it’s hard to make a living by
only selling wholesale. My
response: It’s even harder
to make a living selling
retail! We need to stop
selling their goods if they
want it both ways.

— Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH


Once again the industry
tries to kill itself, this time
with grade-inflated manmade
— John Joseph, S. Joseph and Sons, Des Moines, IA



Recently a bridal vendor
came to us making
all these promises and
convinced me and my son
to take on their line. So
we bought in for $65,000.
Then everything hit the
fan. They promised us
all surrounding ZIP code
referrals and Google ads
and a dealership listing
online. After two months,
I called to ask why my listings
had disappeared, and
the rep said, “Well, you
have bought only five new
pieces.” I told him it usually takes time for product
to take off in any store and
I even put them on the
front page of my website.
So buyer beware when
doing business with these
large vendors. I wish I had
never wasted my money.
— Howard Jacobs, Toodies Fine Jewelry, Quincy, MA


Loved the scenario of the
jeweler who sold the ring
and had constant issues
with it (March Real Deal).
Vendors hate to admit
it is their fault. We have stopped buying from
vendors who do not stand
behind their products.
Customers remember
how they are treated forever.

— Teddie Gause, Gause and Son Jewelers, Ocala, FL


I wish employers would
train new hires about taking
in watches to repair.
We have a watch repair
shop and sometimes it’s
very difficult to understand
repair directions
when store employees
don’t even have basic
knowledge of the visible
parts of the watch.

— Shevvy Baker, SPB
Designs, Louisville, KY


I fully agree with Ellen
Fruchtman (“Visible
Pricing Yields Visible Results,” March) that
every article should be
priced. I personally refuse
to buy anything in any
store (jewelry or other
merchandise, that is not
visibly priced). If it’s messy
to do so, then put a card at
the bottom of each case,
with photos of each piece
and its price.


— Robert
Lurie, jewelry evaluator,
New Zealand


I share the same concerns
as others about the future
of the jewelry business.
Will there be another hot
trend like Pandora, diamond
stud earrings and
tennis bracelets, or will we
evolve into a showroom to
display our goods, only to
be bought on the Internet?

— Gayle Chinn, Chinn
Jewelry, Royal Oak, MI


With Blue Nile deciding
to open more physical
stores one wonders if
that means they see an
opportunity or does that
mean there is some fundamental
weakness in pure
Internet selling?

— Alex
Weil, Martin’s Jewelry,
Manhattan Beach, CA


Why are retailers just following
the leader, meaning
the big chains? Stocking
what they stock won’t
work because they are better
marketers. We should
create our own customer
communities. A good
example is colored gems.
Our sales in this area have
fallen off dramatically in the past five years. Who
promotes birthstones
anymore? Gemstones are
not being promoted by the
chains so independents
don’t need them. We need
to be different. Customers
will come to us for the
distinctive jewelry we
can create and market.

Donald Killelea, Killelea
Jewelers, Midlothian, IL

Send your letter to INSTORE’s editors at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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