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Editor's Note

It’s Time to Put the “Response” in Responsible

Human rights and the environment should be important to all of us.



WHEN THE MOVIE The Blood Diamond was released in 2006, it was the culmination of a wave of news and pop culture references to “conflict diamonds.” I remember many across our industry scrambling during that time to neutralize the image of diamonds as a commodity steeped in violence.

In the years since, several organizations have sprung up to raise awareness about the mining conditions and refining processes of fine metals and gemstones of all stripes. The jewelry industry — a large, lumbering colossus comprised of stakeholders with a variety of interests — has slowly begun to make progress in the areas of sustainability and responsible trading.

While some jewelry retailers report that their customers are concerned about the origins of their jewelry, the majority still say that it’s just not a major priority for their clients. Certainly, that may shift as younger consumers, supposedly more concerned about our environment and human rights, begin throwing their buying weight around. But regardless of consumer pressure, the bottom line is that being more responsible in our mining, refining and trading practices is simply the right thing to do.

Our lead story this issue, “Jewelry’s Responsible Future,” provides a report card of sorts for how we’re doing as in industry in terms of materials sourcing, the environment and human rights. Upon reading it, we hope you and your team spend some time with the question: What can we do to help?

It’s Time to Put the “Response” in Responsible

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • With staff, create a list of the top 10 customer objections and develop responses for each one. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  • Use social media and in-store signage to communicate the good your store and the jewelry industry are doing for human rights and the environment. (The Big Story, p. 36)
  • Turn games like HORSE and blackjack into sales contests for your team. (Jimmy DeGroot, p. 58)
  • Use “day of the week” stickers to help manage your jewelers’ workload. (David Geller, p. 64)
  • Hold online auctions starting at 20 percent above cost to liquidate old inventory. (Ask INSTORE, p. 66)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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