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Editor's Note

This Year’s Coolest Stores Show There’s Lots of Life Left in the Brick-and-Mortar Business Model

They’re taking physical and online retailing to a whole new level.



TO BORROW A quote from Mark Twain, the reports of the death of brick-and-mortar jewelry retail are greatly exaggerated. In fact, the business model still holds boundless potential for growth, as proven by this year’s winners of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Jewelry Stores contest.

Take BC Clark, for example — this year’s Big Cool champ. The operation has been around for 130 years, and yet it’s as innovative and devoted to its customers as ever. Its new location features a second-story lifestyle gift and bridal registry, custom chain curtain to delineate the bridal area, and a 16-foot chandelier.

Or Amanda Deer, our Small Cool champ, whose 800 square-foot showroom fronts a historic Austin building and belies a bustling back-house operation that ships between 800 and 2,000 pieces of jewelry monthly to online clientele.

Or London Jewelers, whose flagship location features 20,000 square feet of retail across seven interconnected storefronts.


Or Raintree, whose gorgeous Brazilian wood and glass showcases rest atop restored antique factory carts.

Or Charles Krypell, the longtime jewelry designer who showcases his jewels under 30-foot-tall ceilings that hark to modern mountain homes.

Or Ellie Thompson + Co., a space that celebrates the magic of jewelry design with sterling jackalopes, a shade garden and a whimsical mural.

These retailers bring the timeless allure of jewelry to life. And that’s what makes them so darn cool.

This Year’s Coolest Stores Show There’s Lots of Life Left in the Brick-and-Mortar Business Model

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Use plants or other organic elements as backgrounds for jewelry photos. (The Big Story, p. 74)
  • Close your store on Black Friday to give your team two days off before the seasonal rush. (The Big Story, p. 54)
  • Give jewelry to local bloggers in exchange for having them shoot video in your store and post to social media. (The Big Story, p. 44)
  • Set up an account at a nearby restaurant where your clients can have a drink while their purchase is readied. (The Big Story, p. 64)
  • Develop a “brand guide” that includes fonts, colors, logos, and everything else you want your brand to incorporate. (The Big Story, p. 46)



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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