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Fewer Jewelry Stores Closed in the First Quarter

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Both closures and new openings were down.

The Jewelers Board of Trade reported that 250 U.S. jewelry retailers closed their doors in the first quarter of 2017.

That number represented a nearly 13 percent decrease from 286 closings in the first quarter of 2016.

The total included 217 retailers in the category of “ceased operations” as well as 30 “consolidations (sale/merger)” and three bankruptcies.

The total number of U.S. jewelry businesses that closed, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 318. That was a 16 percent decrease from 380 in the first quarter of 2016.

The number of new jewelry businesses also decreased in the first quarter.

JBT reported that 37 new retailers opened their doors in the U.S., down 35 percent from 57 in the first quarter of 2016.

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The total number of new jewelry businesses, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 46. That represented a 37 percent drop from 73 new businesses in the year-ago quarter.

JBT listed a total of 19,969 jewelry retailers in the U.S. as of the first quarter of 2017, down 5.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

The group listed 26,493 jewelry businesses in all, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. That was down 6 percent from the first quarter of 2016.

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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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