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David Squires

Let?s Get Small



Two divisions debut in America’s Coolest Stores


It’s here: the seventh edition of our annual hunt for America’s most innovative jewelry stores — INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores. And this year’s contest comes to you with one very major difference: 
For the first time ever, we have two completely different competition categories — Big Cool and Small Cool. Each store’s category was determined by its number of full-time employees — 11 or more, Big Cool; 10 or fewer, Small Cool. Each category had its own pool of entrants, its own panel of judges, and ultimately, its own grand-prize winner. Congratulations to America’s two coolest stores — Big Cool winner Lee Read Jewelers of Meridian, ID, and Small Cool winner, Zachary’s Jewelers of Annapolis, MD.  
Why the change? Because, as the America’s Coolest Stores contest has gained notoriety, we’ve heard from more and more jewelers how the winning selection of stores didn’t always feel like they were, to use a little emotional shorthand, “one of us.” 
We hope that the new divisions bring a different feel to the selection of winners and that, no matter how large your store and how generous your start-up budget, you’ll feel a connection to at least some honorees in this issue. As for the others, as always, you can drool along with the rest of us. 
Finally, I want to extend a special thumbs-up to the 117 stores that entered, the judges who donated their time, as well as the INSTORE staff (who have put in tons of overtime on this issue). We’re eager to hear your reactions. Let us know what you think of the winners, the new rules, the whole shebang.  
Wishing you the very best business… 
David Squires 
[email protected] 




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