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Editor's Note

That Buzz You Hear? It’s Lab-Grown Diamonds

Regardless of your stance on them, they’re changing the bridal conversation.



SINCE THE PANDEMIC began, many jewelry retailers have seen an engagement boom, with a greater-than-usual amount of young people buying engagement rings. A growing number of those are purchasing lab-grown center stones.

We asked our Brain Squad how the bridal jewelry business has changed in recent times, and one of the most common answers was how much lab-grown diamonds have affected sales, in both good ways and bad. I thought Michael Kanoff’s answer was particularly revealing (he owns Michael’s Jewelers in Yardley, PA). He wrote, “Lab-grown diamonds have changed the business big time. You can now sell something to everyone. It opened doors that were once closed for us.”

Anything that opens up new business for jewelry retailers has to be considered a good thing, at least in the short term. As a pure commodity, lab-grown diamonds provide a critical benefit that’s at the heart of most engagement ring purchases: a bigger diamond for the money. That said, some jewelers are rightly concerned about lab-grown diamonds holding their value in the future. And the so-called ethical benefits touted by lab-grown diamond manufacturers are debatable.


Regardless of where you land on the issue, one thing is certain: lab-grown diamonds have changed the conversation for a significant number of engagement ring shoppers. If you don’t offer them as an option, you need to be able to present a strong reason why not.

As the Pandemic Slows, Jewelers See Opportunity in Specialization

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Use the slower months to build a video vault for your YouTube channel and short videos you can use on social media. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  • Make sure there’s a well-lit area with an appealing background, a selfie studio or a wall for Gen Z to photograph any of the jewelry they try on. (The Big Story, p. 36)
  • Create a brochure to give engagement ring purchasers with a special offer for wedding bands. (Megan Crabtree, p. 50)
  • Offer millennial clients a glass of wine during the presentation; they will stay longer, and the closing ratio will rise. (Shane Decker, p. 52)
  • Set a limit on follow-up texts or calls so you don’t cross the irritation line and irk your customer. (Angie Ash, p. 51)

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



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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