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Editor's Note

Jewelry Retailers Emerge From 2020 Battle-Scarred But Ready For The Future

Our lead story in April tells a few of the many survival stories.



IN 2020, WE heard from many of you about how you and your teams were suffering. You told us about how your states had closed you down, about how difficult it was to sell via “social distancing” or remote means, about the angry customers who walked out when you told them you were required to enforce mask-wearing regulations. Many of you told us about rioting and looting, and how your stores had been invaded by opportunistic criminals.

But the story of American jewelry retailers has always been one of perseverance and adaptation. And boy, did you ever persevere and adapt over the last 12 months!

In our lead story, “We Will Survive,” we’ve written about a select few jewelry retailers and their stories of survival and triumph in 2020. I hope you’ll see yourself in their stories, because we could have written books upon books about all the jewelers who faced down adversity and came out the other side. Worse for wear, probably. But also transformed for the better.

You may be wondering how to best manage your inventory in 2021. Should you buy aggressively, or remain cautious? Be sure to tune into a special editorial webinar I’m hosting on April 14 with The EDGE Academy president and co-founder David Brown. We’ll address your questions and get you on the right path for this year. (And if you miss the live webinar, you can always watch the replay on

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  1. Send out cards, along with a special offer for diamond upgrades, to customers with anniversaries in June. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  2. At the start of your next brainstorming meeting, go around and ask everyone to tell an embarrassing story about themselves to loosen everyone up. (Brainstorm, p. 52)
  3. When a client asks for your cash price, tell them it’s the same as a check or credit card and ask, “Is that how you’re paying, with cash?” (Shane Decker, p. 55)
  4. Use clients as models for your marketing campaigns. (Cool Stores, p. 62)
  5. Place a value on anything you give away for free, so that clients appreciate it more. (Tip Sheet, p. 48)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at



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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