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Soothsayer David Geller Predicts 2022 for Retail Jewelers

This year, put an emphasis on keeping your staff, promoting custom and clearing out old inventory, he says.

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IN 2015, IF someone had asked you, “So, where do you see yourself in five years?”, you would have never guessed “smack in the middle of a worldwide shutdown due to a pandemic.”

With that in mind, here’s my best guess for 2022 based upon the last two years.

1. Your sales will continue to increase. It may not be your best year ever again, but it will be darn close. (If this has not been a stellar year for you in some way or form, then you need to invest in help with advertising and especially social media.)

2. Shop sales continue to be friggin’ awesome for almost every store. There are two large generations keeping custom jewelers busy:

  • Millennials: Bridal is the ticket. Yes, they scour the internet for diamond pricing, but custom is a “one on one” sale, highly profitable and they are willing to wait to get what they want.
  • Baby Boomers: Many are in “homes,” up in years and too old to buy jewelry, but boomers today, unlike the “Greatest Generation,” live longer, healthier lives. They still like nice things and will remake their old jewelry. Boomers will also pass down their old jewelry. Many will want to redesign the items, and many will just sell it to you for cash. Another profit opportunity.
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3. Higher priced items are selling from the case. But don’t be slack or you’ll get too much debt. I doubt you’ll see another PPP gift from the government anytime soon. Inventory management comes down to this simple formula: If it sells within six months, order another one the week following. Anything over a year old, move those doggies out through a special sale showcase, sales spiffs, or stock balancing. Eighteen months? It’s outta here, by hook or crook. Scrap, I don’t care.

4. Staffing will still be a struggle. 2021 has seen the “Great Resignation.” If they don’t like their job or pay is too low, they’ll leave and find a better place to work. One multi-store chain I know closed one day a week during the summer and fall to give staff time off to unwind. Then the store handed out raises to everyone in the company and bonus checks. This is not the time to be cheap on payroll. I expect this will continue for at least the first six months of 2022.

5. Store closings: GOB sales are the winner. In eight weeks, they typically will bring in a whole year’s sales, but many stores told me over the last two years that they made a lot more than a year’s income. But there are new startups. The industry is shrinking, but not by much anymore. Opportunity, opportunity.

How do I know this? My guess is about as good as yours, but I do keep my ear close to the ground.

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David Geller is a 14th-generation bench jeweler who produces The Geller Blue Book To Jewelry Repair Pricing. David is the “go-to guy” for setting up QuickBooks for a jewelry store. Reach him at [email protected].

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Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered

Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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