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Independent Jewelers’ Confidence Levels Edge Higher

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INSTORE JCI SEPT

Jewelers’ generally bullish view of the business environment held into August, although once again these upbeat feelings didn’t translate into larger inventory orders – more than half of the jewelers surveyed said they are buying less product than a year ago.

The INSTORE Jewelers’ Confidence Index edged up to 54 in the first part of August, up from 53 in July. The latest result – which is the second highest reading this year – means the JCI has been in positive territory for six of the first seven months of 2017.

In our most recent survey, 39 percent of the 206 independent jewelers polled said the prospects for their businesses had improved compared to 12 percent who said they’d deteriorated, while the rest said they had remained the same. Despite this mostly positive assessment, 54 percent of the respondents said they had ordered less stock in July compared to the same month last year, while 25 percent had ordered more. Those two factors – outlook and actual orders – form the basis of our index.

As for actual sales performance in July, the news was mostly good. Forty-two percent of the Brain Squad said their numbers were Up or Way up compared to 31 percent who said they were Down or Way Down over the same period last year. Twenty-seven percent said they were about the same.

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When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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