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Jewelers Temper Their Views on 2017

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50% of jewelers ordered less stock in April.

American jewelers turned slightly more cautious as we moved into May, with the INSTORE Jewelers’ Confidence Index falling to a neutral reading of 50. This was the lowest reading for the JCI since November, when amid all the uncertainty created by the countdown to the election it fell to just 45. A score below 50 indicates jewelers are more bearish than bullish.

In our most recent survey, 37 percent of the 230 independent jewelers polled said the prospects for their businesses had improved in April compared to 17 percent who said they’d deteriorated, while the rest said they remained the same. Despite this fairly positive assessment, 50 percent of the jewelers said they had ordered less stock in April compared to the same month last year, while 23 percent had ordered more. Those two factors – outlook and actual orders – form the basis of our index.

It was interesting to note that another question we asked of our survey group, about their sales in April, showed an even split between those who said they had contracted or improved on a year-on-year basis: 42 percent reported their sales were Up or Way Up, and 41 percent said they were Down or way down. This also marks a slightly negative turn from generally more positive results over the last few years.chart jewelers confidence

U.S. jewelers have become slightly more cautious.

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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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