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What Would You Change About Your Jewelry Store?

Our Brain Squad tells what they would change if it could be any one thing.





If you could change one thing about your store, what would it be?

  • I would open a third store. There are no women-owned jewelry store chains in Connecticut, and it would be really neat to accomplish this! — Daniela Balzano, Water Street Jewelers, Guilford, CT
  • I’d like a trap door to remove some customers. — Peter Tims, White Mountain Jewelers, Show Low, AZ
  • The lighting. It’s such a mishmash. — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • Our location. We are downtown (for 60-plus years) and there are less and less parking spots, less and less retail stores and everyone is moving out where strip malls and restaurants are. — Paul Krueger, Krueger Jeweler, Fort Atkinson, WI
  • I would make it larger, include the upper floor for a private viewing room and a private design area. We have a 600-foot showroom and it is often crowded with overly observant customers who ignore proximity protocol with self-serving interruptions, especially if they are familiar with the customer or the items. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • Have people buy what is in the cases! So tired of “I like this but, can you…” — Doreen Vashlishan, Werkheiser Jewelers, Bethlehem, PA
  • The hours. We are in a mall and our hours our dictated by the mall. I think scheduling and quality of life would be a lot better if we could be open when it makes the most sense. — Becky Bettencourt, Blue River Diamonds, Peabody, MA
  • Putting the repair department in a separate room. It would be so much quieter in my office and the back room. — Valerie Goodwin, Vaughan’s Jewelry, Edenton, NC
  • No front steps. Even the two steps we have are tricky for certain clients. We can’t help our wonderful historic building. — Ellie Mickey, DBS Fine Jewelers, St. Michaels, MD
  • After 30 years of working the store, the only thing I would want to change would be having one of our children involved in the business to take it to the next level. — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • I would get rid of watches. My partner (who is my brother) loves watches, so it is a battle I will not win. — Shari Altman, B&E Jewelers, Southampton, PA
  • A smoother way to manage and consistently stay connected with staff. More consistent team get-togethers that people will want to come to that aren’t a big time commitment outside of already worked longer retail hours. — Christina Baribault-Ortiz, Baribault Jewelers, Glastonbury, CT
  • Location! We are currently located in downtown L.A.’s Diamond District. Which is great for access to items immediately, jewelers, suppliers, out of town vendors, shipping, etc. But it is an inconvenient destination for the general public. Foot traffic and visits would increase if we were closer to our customers. DTLA is also not a pretty or safe place to be. It feels weird selling someone a nice ring or watch and watching them hide it in their bag, or having my customers ask me for a trash bag or paper bag rather than our custom bags because it’s too nice and someone will steal it from them. — Jeremy Auslander, Roxbury Jewelry, Los Angeles, CA
  • Layout design and flow. The store needs to be updated to a more modern layout and less traditional. — Christopher Sarich, Noah Gabriel & Co. Jewelers, Wexford, PA
  • New ceilings, floors and glass to step it up a notch. — Theresa Peregoy, Classic Facets, Edgewater, CO
  • A smaller showroom! Fewer cases! When we built out the store, the largest showroom possible seemed like the best idea, but now our thoughts are fewer vendors, categories, and better curated, which would be easier to manage and likely bringing in the same sales numbers. — Mark Clodius, Clodius & Co. Jewelers, Rockford, IL
  • BIGGER BIGGER to add an art gallery. — Pamela Hecht, Pamations, Calumet, MI
  • I would like a jeweler who could sell and a trustworthy salesperson so my wife and I could move to the mountains but still run the store. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • New cases. We still have the same old scratched-up cases from the ‘80s. — Gloria Horn, Donaldson’s Jewelers, Topeka, KS
  • Our logo. It needs updating. — Kathleen Shaw, Eliza Page, Austin, TX
  • Now that I own it, the building’s mortgage interest rate or mortgage balance. To have the building and property paid off ASAP would really help us manage inflation, especially now that I finally have two amazing and dedicated staff. Rising costs and quality control issues of certain popular manufacturers are destroying our profit margins. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • I’d like to add additional staff so that we may accommodate our clients even better than we do today. I want to continue to exceed client expectations. I worked with a company that had “Service” in their name, but their answer to every obstacle was to cut payroll. That’s when the “Service” began to fail and the company soon went out of business. Creating and maintaining a good service environment is vital to a store’s health. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Find a POS system that integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks and also doesn’t make inventory and assembly of items a headache. Also, I would love to be able to use iPads on the sales floor to check out guests and pull up item information at your fingertips. — Rebecca Larson, Barry Peterson Jewelers, Ketchum, ID
  • I remodeled about seven years ago and love it, except I should have built in a workstation for at least one if not two employees closer to the front. Drives me nuts that customers end up walking clear to the back to find staff and/or get waited on. — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • Made some changes last year! Only open to the public three days a week. Do appointments only for custom work, engagement rings and wedding bands on two days we are closed. Use the time to get things done. Should have done it a long time ago! — Scott McQuaid, In House Jewelers, Jacksonville, MD

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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