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The True State of Retail — According to Yelp

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Is the ‘apocalypse’ real?

You’ve no doubt been hearing a lot about the “retail apocalypse.”

But just how real is it?

Major chains such as Macy’s and Sears have announced closing after closing, but when you look at the big picture, things aren’t so clear, Bloomberg reports. An analysis by Euromonitor, for example, found that in 2017, the total number of U.S. stores fell just 0.1 percent.

Many mall operators, in fact, “bemoan what they see as sensationalized coverage and doomish predictions” about the state of retail, according to Bloomberg.

For another perspective, Bloomberg looked beyond the usual data sources, such as the U.S. Census. It turned to Yelp.

Harvard researchers have found that the review site’s data can, in some case, be better than the census for figuring out where the economy is headed.

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Unfortunately, the news according to Yelp data is not great. In 2017, the closure rate for stores, at just under 4 percent, slightly exceeded the opening rate. It was the only time that happened in the four years of Yelp data that Bloomberg reviewed.

Jewelers, of course, have industry-specific data available from the Jewelers Board of Trade. The organization found that 817 U.S. jewelry retailers stopped doing business in 2017.

Read more at Bloomberg

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Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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