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The Big Survey 2018: Selling

See jewelry stores' best performers, top categories and expected breakout products.

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What is selling in jewelry stores today — especially the thriving stores — and how are they selling it? The stores doing best are targeting millennials and professional women, and they’re more likely to prominently discount their “dogs.”

 

10. What are the 3 best-performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?

While the top two names remained the same from last year, Hearts on Fire made a big jump while Pandora dropped three places.

 

11. What do you think will be the next breakout trend in jewelry?

Top 10 Trends:
1. The return of yellow gold
2. Laboratory-created diamonds
3. Custom design
4. Color stones in engagement rings
5. A big look: Huge hoops, big dangles, long pendants
6. Engagement rings without halos
7. Baguettes
8. Estate, antique and vintage looks
9. Responsible sourcing
10. Rough-cut and rose-cut gemstones

 

12. What are the 3 best-performing watch brands that you carry?

2018
1. Citizen
2. Seiko
3. Bulova

4. Rolex
5. Belair
6. Pulsar
7. Tissot
8. Tag Heuer
9. Obaku
10. Movado
10. Victorinox Swiss Army
12. BREITLING
12. Michelle
12. Reactor
15. Skagen
15. Timex
17. Shinola
17. Fossil
17. Luminox
20. Charles Hubert Paris
2017
1. Citizen
2. Seiko
3. Bulova

4. Rolex
5. Belair
6. Pulsar
7. Tissot
8. Tag Heuer
9. Bering
10. Reactor

 

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13. What is your core customer demographic?

This chart indicates the percentage breakdown of thriving stores, struggling stores and average stores by client demographic.

NOTE: The chart makes it clear, it’s more likely you’ll do well when your key customers are also doing well and have cash to spend on life’s nicer things.

 

14. When a piece of jewelry reaches “dog” status, what’s your typical markdown?

Less than 5%
0.4%
5-10%s
2%
11-20%
6%
21-30%
14%
31-50%
52%
More than 50%
17%
I never mark down
6%
NA
13%

 

15. Which age group do you consider your target demographic?

THOSE IN THEIR 20s
Overall
6%
Thrivers
5%
Strugglers
7%
30s
Overall
37%
Thrivers
44%
Strugglers
28%
40s
Overall
32%
Thrivers
30%
Strugglers
36%
50s
Overall
21%
Thrivers
16%
Strugglers
22%
60s and older
Overall
4%
Thrivers
4%
Strugglers
7%

Comment: The thriving stores are clearly focused on a younger cohort, and primarily on millennials, the oldest of whom turned 37 in 2018. In contrast, stores who have struggled over the past few years continue to pursue their older customers. Solving the riddle of how to cater to millennials clearly appears to be one of the keys to thriving in 2018.

 

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16. For every 100 bridal rings you sell, how many do you sell in each metal type?

 

17. Merchandising Box. Please answer Yes or No.

Do you display prices prominently?
33% 67%
Do you have props in your display cases?
81% 19%
Do you have a sales/dogs/goodbye-to-old-friends case?
51% 49%
Do you have a “New Items” case?
19% 81%
Do you know your case sales per linear foot?
26% 74%
Do you offer profiles of artists you carry?
37% 63%
Do you use the Good/Better/Best principle in merchandising layout?
31% 69%

NOTE: Compared to their struggling peers, thriving stores are …
– More likely to have a good-bye to friends case
– Less likely to have a new items case
– More likely to offer profiles of artists
– Less likely to display prices prominently
– More likely to know their case sales per linear foot

 

18. Has the rise of millennials been good or bad for business?

COMMENT: This question produced one of the clearest points of separation between the thrivers and strugglers in 2018: Those stores having their best years have worked out how to ride the Millennial wave.

 

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19. Which of the following would you regard as the demographic group with the most potential in the next 3 to 5 years?

Struggling stores seem to be overly focused on Baby Boomers and not interested enough in professional female purchasers.

COMMENT: Baby Boomers are still “self-indulgent” but they are ageing quickly, notes Sherry Smith, director of business development at the Edge Retail Academy. She adds that jewelers need to do a better job of catering to self-purchasers, especially professional women, who are likely to be in your store more than any other group of customers, particularly gift-buying men who are often the targets of jewelers’ marketing campaigns.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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