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Jewelry Retailers Share What They Believe to Be Their Biggest Upcoming Challenges for 4th Quarter

Staffing, inflation and political partisanship are among the roadblocks listed.

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What do you anticipate as being your biggest business challenge during 4th quarter?

  • Keeping up with all the repairs and custom work we’re taking in. — Phil Pancer, Ring Leader Fine Jewellers, Pickering, ON
  • Counteracting the partisan politics that make everyone uncomfortable and less relaxed about purchasing a diamond. — Alexander Rysman, Romm Diamonds, Brockton, MA
  • Getting customers through the door. Our 4th quarter traffic has gone down consistently for the last 10 years. — Mark Kasuba, M. Edward Jewelers, Pittsfield, MA
  • Selling too many lab-grown diamonds will actually bring our volume down, though our gross profit will benefit. We have to find the proper balance and train our associates not to take the easy sale. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Standing out from the crowd. While my product is unique and beautiful, I am a one-woman operation in the vast ocean of the internet, and one of a hundred downtown businesses in a small local economy. — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • Marketing and getting my staff to clientele. — Natasha Henderson, Saxon’s Fine Jewelers, Bend, OR
  • I believe that having the right merchandise will be the biggest challenge. As we look to an economic slowdown, how will that impact consumer purchasing and will lab-grown diamonds continue to become a larger percentage of business? — Trevor Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA
  • Staffing. One of my staff moved 600 miles away — a long commute! My wife is expecting eye surgery and would like to retire, so I am looking to replace both positions in a tight labor market. — Edwin Menk, E.L. Menk Jewelers, Brainerd, MN
  • We are hearing what’s going to be hot. Do we go with that or not? — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • Continuing inflation felt by the middle class combined with expensive travel priorities placing jewelry lower on the wish list. — Lucy Conklin, Toner Jewelers, Overland Park, KS
  • Being able to order and/or make enough stock for the holiday rush. Our jewelers are having to help on our sales floor as workforce is really hard to find and retain at this time. Because of this, we have not been able to keep up with our manufacturing and repairs of items, leaving us a lower flex spending budget to use for ordering items for the holidays. — Rebecca Larson, Barry Peterson Jewelers, Ketchum, ID
  • Any number of challenges! Inflation/rate hikes. Soft/hard landing. Next recession. Political mayhem! Anything can and will happen! — Michael Cook, Walter J. Cook Jeweler, Paoli, PA
  • The escalation of lab-grown diamonds as an increasing share of our overall sales of natural diamond jewelry relative to their continued downward price spiral as economies of scale. Look at the cost of a 1-carat CZ in the late ‘70s compared to today. — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • Margins and demand for higher-end jewelry $25,000 and above. Marketing and advertising costs, creative. — Jeremy Auslander, Roxbury Jewelry, Los Angeles, CA
  • Getting all of our inventory accurately described, photographed and uploaded for instant appraisals at the point of sale. Customers are always impressed and grateful. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • Employees: finding the additional staff we need and keeping those we have happy. — Jennifer Hornik Johnson, Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT
  • Lab-grown diamonds … so many questions … — Ila Manner Schulman, Golddiggers, Block Island, RI
  • Nothing will change for the people that can buy something at the drop of the hat. But people struggling to buy groceries and pay rent/mortgage are probably going to hold back for the holiday this year. — Ellie Mickey, DBS Fine Jewelers, St. Michaels, MD
  • Continued increases in all matters of internet security. All internet complications demand confirmation, verification, and constant revisions. These obligations require an overwhelming amount of attention. — J. Mason Cutchin, J Mason Custom Jeweler, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Everyone at the store has a lot of personal stuff to take care of in October, which is when we should be getting inventory ready for Christmas. — Gretchen Schaffner, Eytan’s Designs, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • I really hate to say it, but at the moment the answer is … crime. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA
  • Economy! They love to come out with some bad news right before the holidays!! — Scott McQuaid, In House Jewelers, Phoenix, MD
  • I’m concerned that we’ll be understaffed. We’ve found some great part-time employees; however, scheduling around their college classes and second jobs can take time and effort. — Beth Greene, Conti Jewelers, Binghamton, NY

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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