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INSTORE Explainer: Hot Brands and Hot Sellers



A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about INSTORE’s “Do You Or Don’t You?” monthly feature and listed all our questions and the responses for the past several years. As we start collating the responses of this year’s Big Survey for our October issue, it occurred to me that it might be a good time to explain our monthly Hot Brands and Hot Sellers features.

While the Big Survey splits hot jewelry brands from hot watch brands and draws from more than 500 survey responses, our monthly Hot Brands and Hot Sellers are based on surveys sent the first of the month to INSTORE’s Brain Squad. The Brain Squad, as you may know is made up of roughly 1,000 jewelry store owners or top managers — only one from each store — who volunteer to answer our monthly online survey. (Sign up for the Brain squad here:

Each month we ask what a retailer’s three top-performing brands were in the previous month, and we ask them to share any trends they’ve been experiencing in their stores.

When the results roll in, we determine Hot Brands by counting the number of times a company has been mentioned among all the responses. For those who try to fool us by repeating a brand’s name, we offer a finger wag: We catch that, and it counts only as one mention!

Any company mentioned two or more times makes it to our Hot Brands list. The company name is listed, followed in parentheses by the number of times it was mentioned by Brain Squad members that month. This feature appears at the bottom left of our In Front cover page each month.


To come up with our Hot Sellers page, we go back to those same survey responses, looking at the answers, which appear to us anonymously. We choose the responses that have the most insight to any trends or new lines and those that mention names of brands that appear to be on the rise over the course of the past few months.

Once the comments are chosen, we go back to match the comments with the retailer who answered the survey. I mention this, because often you’ll see some of the same retailers quoted. We’re not playing favorites; these particular retailers just often have insightful, articulate things to say about what they have been seeing in their market.

In the upcoming October Big Survey issue, we won’t be including the detailed comments of Hot Sellers, but we do look at jewelry and watch brands, creating a list of what has performed best for survey respondents over the past year. So, while the monthly Hot Brands and the Big Survey Hot Brands are similar, the Big Survey list gives a larger picture, drawn from a bigger segment of the industry.

Don’t miss the results in our October issue, and be sure to look out for the Brain Squad results every month to learn the best-performing brands for your store.

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