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Eileen McClelland

More Than Half of Jewelers Surveyed Are Ready to Open Their Stores Within a Month

27% want to open right now.

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THE RESULTS OF an INSTORE Brain Squad survey deployed April 19 revealed that while 27 percent of retail jewelers surveyed are ready to reopen right now, a full 43 percent would prefer to wait until there are clear signs the infection rate has been contained. Ninety-nine percent, however, don’t think it’s necessary to wait until the virus is gone from the face of the Earth.

We received 221 responses in all. Of those who thought retail should open immediately, some commented that they thought the danger of COVID-19 had been exaggerated, while those who wanted to wait expressed fear for everyone’s safety or had been personally affected by the virus in some way.

‘Reopen Now!’

  • “Not sure this was not a bit of overkill. Only time will tell.” — Jim Woodard, Woodards Diamonds & Design, Tullahoma, TN.
  • “I feel that we have used a nuclear bomb to kill a fly. And I think the fallout radiation from the blast will be with us for years to come.” — Ralph Vandenberg, Vandenberg’s Jewellers, Alberta, Canada
  • “I’ve seen things happen that I never thought I would see in the U.S. as far as individual liberties are concerned.” — Laura Sipe, JC Sipe, Indianapolis
  • “Terribly overhyped by the mainstream and social media.” — James Sickinger, Sickinger’s Jewelry in Lowell, IN.

‘Within the Next Month’

  • “Our industry was really doing very well over the last few years. In one quick week we are down to nothing. I feel that it will be some time before we get back to the good days again. People will not have the income they had, and if they still do, there will be spending caution for some time. I know that my wife has become very careful on our own spending needs. — Kent Jester, Klasse Jewelers, Florence, KY
  • “We can’t wait to open again, but know I will be thinking “Can this person be a carrier”. It will take a long time to be rid of that mentality.” — Dorothy Retzke, Krystyna’s Jewelry, Chicago.

‘When There Are Clear Signs the Infection Rate Has Been Contained’

  • “I wish it would go away, but I’m afraid our world is changed forever. When will the next virus come? I imagined 2020 very different from what it has become.” — Robert Taylor of R Grey Jewelry Gallery, Boise, ID.
  • “I can’t believe the stupidity of many. Trying to go back out too soon will not get this out! Darwinism!” — Kas Jacquot of Kat A Designs in Jefferson City, MO.
  • “The folks who are struggling against the closure tug at my heart. Their fear and anger are hard to watch, and my heart hurts for them. I have been very grateful for this time off. I have worked since I was 10, and am 62 now. Never in my adult life have I had a month off, let alone two!” — Jo Goralski, the Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • “Some people in our industry, as in our society generally, seem to value money over everything. They make me angry, especially when they encourage others to behave irresponsibly around this deadly global pandemic.” — Catherine Dining, CG Designs, Lafayette, CA.
  • “It’s surreal how little my life has changed. I’m healthy. I have what I need. I’m comfortable. But there are people sick, people dying. People locked up in their homes for safety. My sister is a respiratory therapist and left her husband and six kids in Missouri to go to New York to help out. My, how MUCH her life has changed! I’m not interested in trying to return to “normal” too soon, but I’m feeling a little guilty and uncertain these days, and it would be nice for that to go away!” — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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