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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
[email protected]

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)

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



Retirement, Anniversary or Going Out of Business Sale? Let Wilkerson Handle the Details

When it’s time to run a sale, whether it’s a retirement, going-out-of-business, anniversary or “we’ve got too much merchandise” sale, let Wilkerson handle the details. The Diamond Galleria did just that when they selected Wilkerson to run its liquidation sale. According to Sharon, their CPA, it was the right choice. “We could have done a going-out-of-business sale ourselves and done 30 to 40 percent of what we actually sold with Wilkerson involved,” she says. Seeing the strategies that Wilkerson puts in place for every sale was something that convinced her they had made the right move. “I would highly recommend Wilkerson to anyone considering this type of sale.”

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