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Jewelers Finally Get Better at Closing the Band Sale

INSTORE 2021 Big Survey finds more than 6 out of 10 jewelers get the band sale most of the time.

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How many customers who buy engagement rings come back to buy wedding rings?

More than half
61%
About half
18%
About a third
9%
About a quarter
8%
Less than 10%
3%
Almost none
1%

MORE THAN ANYWHERE else in the world, jewelry retail in America is about the engagement ring sale. That typically one-carat centerstone and its white gold setting also happen to be the glittering centerpiece of the trade, and that goes for just about everyone involved in the business, from the fancy upmarket stores to the suburban mall chains to the little downtown custom shops. With all that focus on the diamond and the setting, it’s perhaps not surprising that jewelers often forget to push the humble band sale. According to a widely referenced survey by the TheKnot back in the aughts, about half of jewelers don’t get the follow-up sale on the bands, a fact that has driven sales trainers and management consultants mad – surely if a customer trusts you to provide their engagement ring, the band should be a gimme!

Well, we have some good news from the 2021 INSTORE Big Survey – jewelers are getting better at sealing the band sale: More than 60 percent said their engagement ring buyers come back to buy the bands from them more than half the time. Another 18 percent said they get the band sale about half the time, while 21 percent said they secure the band sale about one-third of the time or less.

Sure, it suggests four out of 10 jewelers appear to be leaving money on the table but it’s an improvement.

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In other findings in the 2021 Big Survey, 42 percent of jewelers answered “the stone” when we asked them where the money was in an engagement ring sale. That was just ahead of “the setting” (37%) and a long way ahead of “the design work” (11%). In one other finding, almost one in five jewelers said same-sex engagement/wedding ring sales were not accounting for 10 percent of more of their sales in this category.

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting almost 600 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results can be found online here.

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.

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It’s Going to Set Us Up Very Nicely for Retirement

You’ve worked hard all your life. And if you’re like most jewelers contemplating retirement, you’re hoping that your going-out-of-business sale will add to your nest egg — with minimal complications. That’s exactly what Doug and Jacki Friedrich, fourth-generation owners of Friedrich Jewelers Inc., of Vernon, Conn., experienced when they selected Wilkerson to run their sale. “Jewelers who are contemplating a sale should go with Wilkerson because of their experience,” says Doug. And with financial goals “exceeding expectations,” the couple can now focus on enjoying the next chapter of their lives. “It’s going to set us up very nicely for retirement,” says Jacki. “The money’s coming in and we have no complaints. It’s been wonderful.”

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