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Big Survey

Jewelers See This as Their Biggest Competitive Threat

But the mood is generally upbeat.




Internet retailers
Other local independent
Designers/vendors doing direct to consumer sales online
“Wholesale” retailers
Jewelry chain stores
Big box stores
Designers/vendors with retail outlets

POST-PANDEMIC, MOST jewelers say internet retailers continue to be the biggest competition—up to 40 percent compared to 38 percent in 2017—according to the INSTORE 2021 Big Survey.

In 2008, just 23 percent of jewelers saw internet retailers as their biggest competitor, with 32 percent listing other local independent as their chief threat. Today, only 21 percent of jewelers see other local jewelers as their chief threat.

But, commenting on the latest INSTORE Big Survey, many jewelers also noted competition from non-jewelry sectors.

“Our competition has never been others in the Jewelry trade. Our competition has always been … a new kitchen, a Disney vacation, college tuition …” said one jeweler.

“It’s my belief that the biggest competition for jewelers is not other jewelers, [but] rather stores that sell the latest and greatest in technology: New iPhones, Apple Watches, Computers,” another said, adding, “When was the last time you heard someone say they were going to give a piece of jewelry to celebrate a graduation, birthday, etc? It’s always, I want a new phone, new computer.”


Many Big Survey respondents agreed, pointing to spending alternatives as diverse as travel and Costco.

All the same, the mood was generally upbeat.

“Honestly, we have so much work, it feels like there is no competition out there,” said one particularly cheery jeweler.

Indeed, the majority of jewelers anticipate their “best ever” or “better than average” sales for 2021, according to the Big Survey.

As INSTORE reported earlier, survey found that some 40 percent of jewelry stores expected 2021 to be a once-in-a-decade year for sales, while a further 40 percent expected it to be better than the previous 10-year average.

Just 6 percent predicted that 2021 would be “worse than average.”

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting more than 600 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results will be published in the upcoming November issue of INSTORE.



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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