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Editor's Note

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

The Big Survey reveals a decade of changes in jewelry retail.

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TEN YEARS AGO, we had a big idea.

That idea became our annual outreach known as “The Big Survey.” By now, you know the concept: to ask jewelry retailers anything and everything about your businesses in hopes of gleaning industry trends, useful advice and even humorous anecdotes. The results have become an encyclopedic resource for anyone seeking to understand the current state of jewelry retail in America.

A lot has changed over the past 10 years, and the jewelry business is in a state of flux unlike anything it has ever seen. This year’s survey examines these shifts using side-by-side comparisons to the results of past surveys. For example, we can see that the princess-cut diamond has dropped drastically in popularity since 2009, while demand for oval and cushion cuts is skyrocketing. Yellow gold, rose gold and silver are hot while palladium, titanium and stainless steel have cooled. Jewelers believe the biggest changes in how they sell jewelry include a greater need to create an “experience” for clients, more desire for customization, better informed customers and an increased use of technology in the sales process.

But as you’ll see in the survey results, what hasn’t changed are the basics: Customers still look for a retailer they can trust implicitly with a purchase that is sometimes technical, often weighty and almost always emotional.

P.S. — What do you see as the strongest competitive threat to your business in 2018, and what specific actions are you taking to address it? Answer this in a 500-word essay and you could win $500. Deadline is Oct. 27.

Trace Shelton
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, INSTORE

[email protected]

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

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