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Editor's Note

The Big Survey Is Only “Big” Because Readers Participate

If you’re not part of the Brain Squad, now’s a great day to join.



NATIONAL GALLUP POLLS survey about 1,000 adults and boast an accuracy of plus-or-minus 4 percent. Given that the U.S. population is 335 million-plus, how accurate, then, is INSTORE’s Big Survey, considering we had over 750 independent retail store owners and managers participate out of a total population of about 20,000 stores? On the nose, I’d say.

As a result, the information we gather each year is priceless for understanding both the current state and the future trajectory of the independent jewelry retailer. And it’s only valuable because you participate.

We realize it’s not easy. The survey weighed in this year at a hefty 77 questions, so it took about 30-45 minutes to complete. Some of you take on this task every single year, and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate your time and feedback. If you’ve never taken the Big Survey, I hope you’ll budget some time to do it next year!


The more who take it, the more authoritative the results will be.

Similarly, we email Brain Squad surveys each month to a group of dedicated retailers, but the polls are much shorter — about 10 questions or so.

They’re how we track national sales growth or decline and what’s selling, and they’re our biggest resource for story ideas and subjects. If you’re not a Brain Squad member, please join today at Become one of INSTORE’s true heroes — and get a free T-shirt for your trouble!

Now Introducing The INSTORE Show, Coming to the Chicago Area in 2023!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • During the holidays, do a 10- or 15-minute staff huddle each morning to go over the previous day’s results, today’s goals, and what’s coming up. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 24)
  • Set individual sales goals by product category, units sold and average retail price. (David Brown, p. 66)
  • Use SMS texting to follow up on abandoned carts, solicit feedback on recent orders or ask for reviews. (Andrea Hill, p. 68)
  • Encourage buyers to purchase matching pieces now for future occasions. (Peter Hannes, p. 70)
  • Use a modified “buy one, get one free” offer to liquidate aged inventory during the holidays. (David Geller, p. 72)



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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