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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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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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