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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 [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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