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Editor's Note

The Best Parts of the Big Survey Are the Human Interest Answers

Data is critical to managing a business, but the people are what make our industry special.



NEARLY 750 JEWELRY retailers participated in our 14th annual Big Survey, which makes it the most substantial amount of information ever gathered from retail jewelers across North America. That also makes it one of the most useful articles you’ll read this year.

This time, we delve into crucial areas for every jewelry store owner, including top-performing brands, online sales, lab-grown diamonds, the impact of COVID-19, gold buying, the election, millennials, social media, and driving traffic. Equally as important, we ask retailers to describe their best and worst habits, top promotions, best $100 investments, and time management tips.

In all, it’s a fantastic repository of statistics and best practices — so much so that it’s impossible to fit all the good stuff into the magazine. So be sure to check out for more excellent advice and reactions from The Big Survey.

As always, we also included some fun questions in the mix, like “If you were a gemstone, what would you be?” or “What do you proudly ‘do wrong,’ and why?” We do it because the most interesting thing about the retail jewelry sector are the personalities that comprise it. You’re a varied and fascinating lot. Your experiences are myriad and compelling, your stories entertaining. Bottom line: Those are our favorite answers in the survey, because they tell us who you really are.

As important as they are, statistics don’t tell the story of the jewelry business. Its people do.

Thanks for participating in The Big Survey, and we hope you enjoy reading the results!

Best wishes for your business,

The Best Parts of the Big Survey Are the Human Interest Answers

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
[email protected]

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  1. Send a mailer offering to clean, inspect and provide jewelry advice to your clients. (Ask INSTORE, p. 60)
  2. Set a fixed time you’ll leave your store in order to be more productive and achieve work/life balance. (In Your Store, p. 53)
  3. Extend your return policy to Jan. 30 so that early shoppers don’t have to worry about buying a gift that can’t be exchanged. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 24)
  4. Talk with your sales, advertising and website teams about where you will use store lifestyle images before a photo shoot. (Andrea Hill, p. 57)
  5. Re-engage with online browsers who abandon their carts and see if you can close the sale. (David Brown, p. 58)

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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