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2 in 3 Jewelers Surveyed Report Anxiety Levels from Moderate to Severe Over COVID-19 Outbreak

Only 4 percent are feeling completely calm.

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THE RESULTS OF an INSTORE Brain Squad survey deployed Tuesday, March 17, reveal the level of anxiety retail jewelers are experiencing over the COVID-19 outbreak. Of the nearly 200 retailers who responded, 51 percent rated their anxiety as moderate while 15 percent characterized it as severe. Maria Aguirre, among the 2.5 percent on the verge of panic, vows not to cry in front of employees or the few customers who have ventured into the store. “The big decision is coming and my stomach is in knots and I am praying for guidance and wisdom and protection,” she says. Annette Kinzie of Leonard Jewelry in Stillwater, OK, feels only mildly anxious and vows to not feel intimidated by the fear frenzy. “Shut the media down,” urges Todd Tinder of Tinder’s Jewelry in Bowling Green, VA, who blames the media for his severe anxiety.

Other reactions:

“Fear is an evil, worse than evil itself,” says Mark Rozanski, who falls into the enviable “not at all” anxious category.

“I think the world has lost its mind,” says Laura Sipe of JC Sipe in Indianpolis, who rates her anxiety level as moderate.

“Keep calm and keep sparkling,” says Robin Lies of Burnell’s Creative Gold in Wichita, KS, who is moderately anxious.

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Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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A Liquidation Sale during a Pandemic? Wilkerson Showed Them the Way

For 25 years, Stafford Jewelers of Cincinnati, Ohio, was THE place to go for special gifts, engagement diamonds, high-end Swiss watch brands — in other words, the crème de la crème of fine jewelry. But this summer, the Stafford family was ready to retire. So, they chose Wilkerson to help them close up shop. “One of the biggest concerns was having the sale in the middle of COVID,” says Director of Stores Michelle Randle. Wilkerson gave the Stafford team plenty of ideas as well as safety guidelines, which they closely followed. “All of the employees felt safe, the customers coming in the door felt safe and we did a lot of business,” says Randle. How much business? “The inventory flew,” she says. Translation: They sold millions and millions of dollars-worth of merchandise. Randle calls it, “an incredible experience.” Would she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers who are thinking of thinning their inventories or retiring? “Everyone got more than what they expected out of the sale. You have to hire Wilkerson. They’re amazing.”

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