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Only 1 in 4 Jewelers Surveyed Has Attended a Virtual Trade Show in 2020

Many say they need to touch the jewelry before they buy.




Yes: 27%

  • Concise, informative, interesting. — Carol Cianciolo, Direct Jewelry Gift Services, Birmingham, MI
  • It was the only thing available. — Laurie Langdon-Gerber, Elisa Ilana Jewelry, Omaha, NE
  • Always hoping to learn at least one bit of useful information. — J. Mason Cutchin, J. Mason Custom Jeweler, Chapel Hill, NC
  • The only way to stay connected. — Brenda Hefner, Oz’s Jewelers, Hickory, NC
  • Needed to reorder and stock balance. Was much easier than having the vendor send a pick box. They were properly set up for a marvelous experience. — Stew Brandt, H. Brandt Jewelers, Natick, MA
  • We wanted to see what it was like, we need product and … it was our first. — Paul Krueger, Krueger Jeweler, Fort Atkinson, WI
  • First time. Not impressed. I cannot run a retail store, wait on customers, and be on the computers in back with employees, ordering, speaking to vendors, watching seminars. We sell romance, have to touch and see pieces, especially diamonds. I will not be attending another. — Kate Marks, Marks of Design, Shelton, CT
  • I tried to attend a JCK appointment, but the technology did not work and we ended up having a phone call instead. — Jillian Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL
  • To see what specials the vendors had, and to check out educational seminars. Didn’t buy anything though. Just not the same as being there. — Gregory Fliegauf, Fliegauf Jewelers, Washington, NJ
  • I wanted to see new pieces from some of my top designers. — Elizabeth Saba, Presley Co. Fine Jewelers, San Diego, CA
  • Not the same. You cannot really see the quality and colors. — Armando Gonzalez, Blue Marlin Jewelry, Islamorada, FL
  • RJO virtual show was last weekend. Went relatively well, we ordered some and did a lot of stock balancing. But still not the same … — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA

No: 73%

  • I have to touch and feel what I am buying. You can’t do that virtually. — Bob Richards, Bob Richards Jewelers, Germantown, TN
  • Trade shows aren’t about the buying as much as they are about looking at the big picture to see what is going on out there. — Stacey Horcher, J. Reiss, Lincolnwood, IL
  • I have not had time. My wife has watched a few seminars through RJO and AGS. — Mark Goodman, Goodman Jewelers of Abingdon, Abingdon, VA
  • We are trying to not have extra inventory, ordering only supplies we need to create custom pieces. — Alice H. Klein, TKO Designs, Bethany Beach, DE
  • We reorder our fast sellers and go to trade shows for new designs or new ideas — one season won’t put us behind. — Ragnar Bertelsen, Ragnar Jewellers, Vancouver, BC
  • No time. We’ve been working our tails off! — Theresa Peregoy, Classic Facets, Edgewater, CO
  • Too much time tied to the computer and not servicing my clients. — Karen Fitzpatrick, Harris Jewelers, Rio Rancho, NM
  • Tired of everything virtual … gets old FAST! — Kriss Roethlisberger, Ace of Diamonds, Mt. Pleasant, MI
  • Somehow, I missed the RJO show? With fewer staff due to COVID, I just can’t get to it all. — Alta Fernandes, Vail Creek Jewelry Designs, Turlock, CA
  • Who has the time? Even though we have reduced hours and staff, the same amount of work is the same. A trade show is important for the communication between vendors and other retailers to get an idea of trends and innovations. Jewelry needs to be physically touched and examined to be purchased properly. We are not dealing in Canon cameras where each one is exactly the same or Hamilton Beach Blenders … — Rex Solomon, Houston Jewelry, Houston, TX
  • I like to touch and feel and test the merchandise in person. Also, it is incredibly hard to find the time to “attend” while also doing the daily retail store tasks. When I’m in the store, I’m busy and constantly interrupted. — Jennifer Hornik Johnson, Miller’s Jewelry, Bozeman, MT
  • We were signed up to attend, but we are also here, working the store with a limited staff, making it impossible to actually schedule any appointments. We have had virtual sessions with individual vendors. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Timing issues. It’s hard to carve out the time in the day when there are other things demanding attention at work. Easier to focus when you leave work and travel to a show than it is when you’re at work. — Loann Stokes, Stokes Jewelry, Stillwater, MN

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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