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These Are the Lessons That Jewelers Learned in 2017

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Jewelers continue to grow and adapt.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the jewelry business this year?

We took to social media — including our own platforms and the popular Jewelers Helping Jewelers Facebook group — to find out.

Here’s what jewelers had to say.

  • Nothing makes or breaks a store like the attitude of an owner! Bad attitude = deflated employees and lackluster customers. Great attitude = motivated team and excited clients! (Yes, “employees” versus “team” and “customers” versus “clients” was intentional.) — Jennifer Farnes, Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Spring, CO
  •  QUALITY still sells best for us. Always rely on what works best for your market. Continue to adapt as needed and always stay positive. — Jody Bond, Just Gold Jewelers, Stuart, FL
  • That sometimes it’s OK to know your limits with certain customers. If I am having no luck, I will find the best sales associate to assist them. — Luisa Valeria Smith, Cornerstone Fine Jewelry, Springfield, MO
  • Niche and unique goods set you apart! — Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI
  • Change is inevitable in this business, and one must be ready to adapt in order to suceed!
    — Teri Vogan, Vogan Gold & Silver Works, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Some of the best deals you’ll ever make are the ones you pass on. — Richard Sherwood, Sherwoods, Sarasota, FL
  • That JHJ is a great group of professional colleagues who’s passions for this industry are sincere! — Greg Sorley, McSorley’s Fine Jewelry, Canfield, OH
  • Sometimes you have to say no to a repair job. — Jessica Ioerger, Lucky Hunter Jewelry Design, Eureka, IL
  • I can never predict my year by what is trending, and after 23 years, that’s a fact for my business. — Alison Shiboski, Shiboski Fine Jewelry Design, Eugene, OR
  • Sometimes it is necessary to take a risk on a large item to test your market. — Billy Smith, Cornerstone Fine Jewelry, Springfield, MO
  • That one better be ready for change, and be open to learning new skills. — Chris Simpson, London, England
  • “I learned it’s best to stand up for yourself even if it means you lose an account or two (trade shop). It makes room for a better client to come take their place!” — David Wilkinson Design, Cleveland, OH


This story is an INSTORE Online extra.

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Big Survey

2019 Big Survey: Wide Pay Gap Persists Among Men, Women Jewelry Store Owners

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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ACCORDING TO THE latest INSTORE Big Survey, women jewelry-store owners continue to earn considerably less than their male counterparts: 33% of the women owners generate less than $40,000 in income from their business compared to just 13% of the men owners. At the other end of the scale, 25% of male owners take home more than $150,000 a year compared to just 2% of women owners. The good news is that gender stereotypes are less evident elsewhere. Nobody can accuse of male jewelers of not being “woke” where it matters. Twenty three percent of the male owners said they always cleaned the floor versus 26% who always delegated it. That’s a sign of progress, right?

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Our questions on earnings and gender were part of our annual look into the lives and business practices of America’s jewelers. While the proportion is rising, women still make a minority of jewelry-store owners or managers (see chart), and generally helm newer businesses (most are first-generation store owners).

What is your gender?

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.
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229 US Jewelry Retailers Closed in the 3rd Quarter

The pace of industry shrinkage edged upward.

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The Jewelers Board of Trade reported that 229 U.S. jewelry retailers closed their doors in the third quarter of 2019.

That number represented an increase from 193 closings in the third quarter of 2018.

The total included 182 retailers in the category of “ceased operations” as well as 43 “consolidations (sale/merger)” and 4 bankruptcies.

The total number of U.S. jewelry businesses that closed, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 286. That was an increase from 226 in the third quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, JBT reported that 57 new retailers opened their doors in the U.S., up from 42 in the third quarter of 2018.

The total number of new jewelry businesses, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was 63. That was up from 51 new businesses in the year-ago quarter.

JBT listed a total of 18,780 jewelry retailers in the U.S. as of the third quarter of 2019, down from 19,300 in the same quarter a year ago.

The group listed 24,795 jewelry businesses in all, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. That was down from 25,537 in the third quarter of 2018.

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The Big Survey 2019: Top Jewelry Brands Revealed

This year marks a three-peat.

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WE ASKED OUR 802 Big Survey respondents, “What are the three best performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?”, and these were the top 20 brands mentioned. Interestingly, Gabriel & Co. and Stuller made it a three-peat, claiming the top two spots in our rankings for the third year in a row. Allison-Kaufman moved up a spot from 4 to 3, and Simon G. was a big leaper, jumping all the way to number 5 from 20 in 2018. (Total votes included in parentheses)

2019 RANK / BRAND2018 RANKCHANGE IN RANK
1. Gabriel & Co. (64)1
2. Stuller (41)2
3. Allison-Kaufman (29)4up 1
4. Hearts On Fire (18)3down 1
5. Simon G. (15)20up 15
6 tie. Pandora (14)6
6 tie. Ostbye (14)10up 4
8 tie. John Hardy (13)9up 1
8 tie. Lashbrook (13)15up 7
10 tie. Benchmark (12)8down 2
10 tie. Frederic Duclos (12)11up 1
12 tie. Roberto Coin (11)23up 11
12 tie. Sylvie Collection (11)22up 10
12 tie. ASHI Diamonds (11)23up 11
15 tie. Berco (10)23up 8
15 tie. Tacori (10)outside top 25 
17 tie. ArtCarved (9)7down 10
17 tie. Le Vian (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. Officina Bernardi (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. SDC Creations (9)15down 2
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