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Big Survey

Jewelers Are Earning More, but Also Working Harder

Almost one in three store owners is making more than $150,000 a year.




Jewelers Are Earning More, but Also Working Harder

MANY JEWELRY STORE owners are making more money than ever, with almost one in three taking home $150,000 or more a year. But, according to the 2023 INSTORE Big Survey, they are also working harder than ever. Sixty-four percent said their main strategy to cope with the current tight labor market and staff shortages was to do more of the work themselves.

Overall, jewelers earned a little more in the last year compared to the previous 12-month period. While the share of those earning more than $100,000 remained unchanged at 51%, those taking home more than $150,000 increased from 28% to 31%, or almost one in three.

The biggest earners were:

  • The owners of pure jewelry retailers (31% of these owners made >$250K) as opposed to full-service jewelers or custom shops
  • Those located in medium-sized cities (24% of whom made >$250K)
  • Male. Men accounted for 82% of the very top earners, while making up 56% of our survey base. That is more or less the same level as five years ago, but women are making progress: This year, more than a third of the women respondents, or 36%, reported making more than $100K in the last year. That’s up from just 23% in 2018.

The 2023 Big Survey was conducted via an anonymous online form from late August to early October, attracting more than 750 responses from American jewelry-store owners and managers. The full results will be published in the November edition of INSTORE.

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.



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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