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Editor's Note

Our Big Survey Seeks To Answer Why Some Jewelers Thrive While Others Die

Why are some jewelers thriving while others are going out of business? In this issue, we seek answers.

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“WHAT’S THE SECRET? Why are some jewelers thriving while others are going out of business?”

We receive letters with some variation of this question at INSTORE every month. In this issue, we seek answers through our 12th annual Big Survey. This time, we sort more than 700 responses from jewelry store owners around the country into three categories: average stores, struggling stores, and thriving stores (without naming names, of course). Then we seek the common thread tying each given cohort together.

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Spoiler alert: the most successful stores are the ones that have embraced the millennial client. That means a concerted focus on digital marketing including social media and SEO. It also means more opportunities for customization and an emphasis on unique jewelry with meaning. Some stores have been willing to change with the times for a new clientele; others haven’t.

We also saw that thriving stores spent more of their own time on business strategy and marketing and less on bench work and sales than their struggling peers. So many owners get caught up in the day-to-day that they don’t take the time to make a plan for growth (and advertise to get there).

At the end of the day, the “secret” isn’t really much of a secret at all: those who seek to be the best merchants they can be — willing to sell whatever the client may want to whomever the client may be — are the ones who prosper. But there are many ways to get you there, and you’ll find quite a few in the pages of our Big Survey.

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Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Print business-sized cards to throw into the customer’s bag saying to like your store on Facebook and give a review. (The Big Story, p. 63)
  • Text your clients every six months with the message, “Reminder! It’s time to get your jewelry checked and cleaned.” (The Big Story, p. 63)
  • Send each client their birthstone on their birthday along with a gift card toward custom design or mounting. (The Big Story, p. 63)
  • Bag each purchase into a custom canvas-printed bag that your clients can reuse. (The Big Story, p. 63)
  • Put morning duties on flash cards and have staff pick which card they want as they arrive (last person has to take two). (The Big Story, p. 63)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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