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Big Survey

Pandemic Paves Way for Business with Less Hours

Asked what business cuts during the pandemic have hurt the least, jewelers told the INSTORE 2021 Big Survey that hours were the winner.

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Store hours
27%
Trade shows
20%
Advertising
18%
Inventory
15%
Staff/payroll
7%
Treats/hospitality/gourmet coffee
5%
Equipment & tool purchases
2%
Training and education
1%
Rent/Lease
1%
None
4%

WHICH AREAS of expenses have jewelers been able to cut down on during the pandemic without causing too many problems?

In total, 27 percent of jewelers responding to this year’s Big Survey said that cutting hours of business had the least negative impact on business.

Coming in second – and posing a challenge to that old chestnut about advertising being an investment, not an expense – 18 percent of jewelers said that cutting back on advertising affected them the least, while some 20 percent said that skipping trade shows had not had a massive negative impact.

“The pandemic lockdown changed my goals for my company,” said one particularly pleased jeweler. “We’ll be downsizing in 2022 … fewer employees, higher net income, less hours at work. Wished I’d figured this out 10 years ago.”

Other respondents concurred:

“We can operate with less staff, on fewer hours, with a lot less inventory.”

Some jewelers noted that it was useful to differentiate between “hours open” and time spent on service.

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“We’re still ‘open’ less hours than [we were] pre-pandemic, but doing everything we can to meet our customers’ needs: curbside, in town same-day delivery, after hours appointments, etc.”

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting more than 600 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results will be published in the upcoming November issue of INSTORE.

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