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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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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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