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Holiday Season Mini Survey

Independent Jewelers Report ‘Crazy’ Good Holiday Season

90% post sales growth from 2020, according to INSTORE survey.

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Independent Jewelers Report ‘Crazy’ Good Holiday Season

INDEPENDENT JEWELERS CAPPED a banner year for sales with one of their strongest Decembers on record, according to INSTORE’s final 2021 Holiday Season Mini Survey.

Ninety percent of the jewelers in the survey reported sales growth over the same period last year, with nearly two-thirds saying their sales were up an astounding 25 percent or more.

“Crazy busy,” said Erika Godfrey, owner of Hawthorne Jewelry in Kearney, NE. “Sold a couple really big pieces, lots out of the case and not as much in special orders. This was a tiring and exhilarating season.”

“What a year! It’s what dreams are made of,” said Eileen Eichhorn, owner of 56-year-old Eichhorn Jewelry, in Decatur, IN, adding that her customers were ready to splurge on “diamond anything.”

Independent Jewelers Report ‘Crazy’ Good Holiday Season

Many jewelers had gone into the season with high expectations. The INSTORE Jewelers Confidence Index was near a record high in November and back in September a large majority of jewelers had told the 2021 Big Survey they were on track for the best year ever. And yet the strength of the holiday season still caught many off-guard, with 31 percent saying it was better than expected and a further 41 percent describing it as “terrific.”

The robust sales appeared to be driven by a combination of the current buoyant economy and a string of factors that stemmed from the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. Tom Duma, whose store Thom Duma Fine Jewelers in Warren, OH, posted sales growth of more than 25 percent, said it was hard to pinpoint a single factor. “Consumer goods stuck offshore, luxury travel still in the tank, government money in the economy, the unemployment rate low … Not sure why, but I like it when it happens,” he said.

Independent Jewelers Report ‘Crazy’ Good Holiday Season

Independent Jewelers Report ‘Crazy’ Good Holiday Season

Similarly, there was no single category that dominated sales with jewelers reporting strong sales in everything from engagement rings to silver goods to lab diamonds to custom orders. If there was a common theme it was that the item be an “original treasure,” said Sherrie

Schilling-Devaney, owner of Sherrie’s Jewelry Box in Tigard, OR.

With the key holiday season behind them, many of the jewelers in the survey said they were looking forward to a break to recuperate and then to getting ready for 2022, a year that promises possibly more good times but uncertainty as well.

Independent Jewelers Report ‘Crazy’ Good Holiday Season

“Kudos to anyone beginning an adventure in a new independent jewelry store launch. I can’t imagine a meeting with a banker and trying to explain a successful business plan with so many economic variables,” commented Dennis Petimezas, owner of

Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, in Johnstown, PA.

Added Valerie Goodwin of Vaughan’s Jewelry in Edenton, NC: “Going to ride this train until it stops. I am saving and trying to purchase for the time when it slows.”

The fourth 2021 INSTORE Holiday Season Mini Survey was conducted following the New Year’s weekend and taken by more than 100 independent jewelers who are part of our Brain Squad readers group.

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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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