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America's Coolest Stores

INSTORE Editors Share Favorites in
This America’s Coolest Preview




We’re not quite ready to make the big announcement about who won the 2017 America’s Coolest Store contest. But as a way of bridging the gap before the big reveal on July 20, we’re sharing INSTORE editors’ top picks in four of the judging categories: Exterior, Interior, Marketing and Online Presence. Entries always contain a wealth of good ideas and we want to start sharing those as soon as possible. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners, chosen by our panel of industry-expert judges, on in late July, and in our annual America’s Coolest Stores issue in August! And, as always, thank you for entering.


THE EDITORS SAY: Green Lake Jewelry Works (PICTURED) has created a second retail environment that colorfully facilitates the jewelry making process from initial sketch to finished product, with an emphasis on art.

1. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. Lester Lampert, Inc., Chicago, IL

3. IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Belle Jewelers, Chambersburg, PA

5. Koerber’s Fine Jewelry, New Albany, IN



THE EDITORS SAY: Molinelli’s Jewelers’ street clock (PICTURED), a landmark in Pocatello, ID, works as a beacon to passersby, and, following a recent $1.1 million renovation, conveys the historical significance of the place, founded in 1903. It’s one of the town’s oldest businesses and the oldest jewelry store in Idaho that’s kept its name.

1. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. Lester Lampert, Inc., Chicago, IL

3. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Molinelli’s Jewelers, Pocatello, ID



THE EDITORS SAY: IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery (PICTURED) is making an impact in all aspects of its retail operation, including advertising, which is as edgy and attention-grabbing as its business concept of combining piercing with fine jewelry.

1.  IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

2. Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

3. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

4. John Atencio, Boulder, CO

5. Diamonds Direct Fine Jewelers, St. Petersburg, FL


Online Presence

THE EDITORS SAY: H1912’s website (PICTURED) is an easy to navigate, fully functioning e-commerce site. H1912 also has a 5-star rating on Facebook and Yelp.
1.  Green Lake Jewelry Works, Bellevue, WA

2. H1912, Princeton, NJ

3. IRIS Piercing Studio and Jewelry Gallery, Chicago, IL

4. Gertrude Zachary, Inc., Albuquerque, NM

5. Pyrrha, Los Angeles, CA

Want to Enter Your Store in America’s Coolest Stores?

Think you’ve got what it takes to join the ranks of America’s Coolest Stores? Entries for our 2018 contest open in November 2017. Check for contest details at

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? Wilkerson Showed Them the Way

For 25 years, Stafford Jewelers of Cincinnati, Ohio, was THE place to go for special gifts, engagement diamonds, high-end Swiss watch brands — in other words, the crème de la crème of fine jewelry. But this summer, the Stafford family was ready to retire. So, they chose Wilkerson to help them close up shop. “One of the biggest concerns was having the sale in the middle of COVID,” says Director of Stores Michelle Randle. Wilkerson gave the Stafford team plenty of ideas as well as safety guidelines, which they closely followed. “All of the employees felt safe, the customers coming in the door felt safe and we did a lot of business,” says Randle. How much business? “The inventory flew,” she says. Translation: They sold millions and millions of dollars-worth of merchandise. Randle calls it, “an incredible experience.” Would she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers who are thinking of thinning their inventories or retiring? “Everyone got more than what they expected out of the sale. You have to hire Wilkerson. They’re amazing.”

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