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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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Wilkerson Testimonials

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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