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Jewelers’ Confidence Levels Skyrocket

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Many expect their best holiday season in years.

The INSTORE Jewelers Confidence Index surged to a record high in early December amid expectations independent jewelers would enjoy their best holiday season in years in 2017.

Following on from a strong reading in November, the JCI leapt to 65 — the highest level since we started tracking jewelers’ confidence levels in late 2016 — as a healthy labor market, strong economy and runaway stock market all promised to support a lively gift-giving season. A reading above 50 means more jewelers are positive than negative about the outlook for their businesses.jci numbers

In our most recent survey, 47 percent of jewelers said the short-term outlook for their businesses had improved compared to only 10 percent who said it had deteriorated. Meanwhile, 33 percent said they had ordered more stock in November compared to the same month in 2017, versus 35 percent who said they’d ordered less. It is these two elements – outlook and orders – that make up the JCI. But while jewelers levels of bullishness have been high all year, only in the last month has that optimism started to be converted into bigger inventory re-orders. For most of the year, more than half of our survey respondents said they were ordering less than they had in 2016.

With one week to go until Christmas, we have reached what will be the most important seven days of the year for many jewelers. In our separate INSTORE Holiday Season Mini surveys, which we’ve been conducting on a weekly basis since Black Friday, many jewelers are reporting a buoyant season. In last week’s survey, more than one in three jewelers described the season so far as either Terrific or Better than Expected. Many noted, however, that as in recent years,  the holiday season was getting more compressed and the last few shopping days ever more crucial.

INSTORE will be conducting another holiday mini season today with the results to be published at instoremag.com tomorrow. Look out for them to find out how other jewelers are faring, and what’s selling well across the country. 

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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