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David Squires

Editor’s Note: Now This Is Cool

Big or small, these America’s Coolest Stores contest winners have stories to learn from.

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WELCOME TO INSTORE’S eighth annual edition of America’s Coolest Stores. It’s also our second year with individual categories for Big Cool (six or more employees) and Small Cool (five or fewer employees).

No matter what kind of store you are today, or what kind of store you aspire to be tomorrow, we’re confident that you’ll find something in every winner’s story to inspire you.

Take our Big Cool winner — London Jewelers of Manhasset, NY. From all outward appearances, this is an ultra-elite store — with in-store boutiques for the most exclusive designers, as well as advertising in high-end magazines like Town & Country and Robb Report. But this is a success story that was anything but easy. You’ll learn how the store was once a weekend away from being sold. Or how, in the 1970s, the then small mom-and-pop store spent two years trying to convince Rolex that London Jewelers was worthy of carrying its line.

Our Small Cool winner — Zoltan David of Austin, TX — has an equally fascinating story. A renowned jewelry designer, David decided to open his own retail front so he could maintain a connection with customers. Instead of doing it in Manhattan or Los Angeles, he did it in Austin, TX. And instead of opening a typical retail front he opened a space that’s actually more art gallery than jewelry store. Little product, lots of space, and tons and tons of wood. It’s a store that, if you go in once, you won’t forget.

Thanks to all 106 stores that competed. And thanks to the judges who shared their valuable time to help us once again uncover the country’s most exciting jewelers.

 

Wishing you the very best business

 

David Squires

[email protected]

 

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David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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