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Editor's Note

Why We Shouldn’t Take “Normal” For Granted

It will be good to reconnect during Jewelry Week, but many can’t be there.



AS I WRITE this, I’m sitting in a beautiful condominium in Puerto Vallarta, where my wife and I are staying for the month of July. (It’s something we’ve always promised ourselves we would do once our kids had all moved out.) It’s a gorgeous place and I highly recommend it, but one thing that’s struck me is that here, everyone is still wearing medical masks. COVID-19 is still a big problem in Mexico, and they’re taking it very seriously.

Likewise, our coworkers in Bangkok and India are mostly unvaccinated and staying cautious because the “good vaccines” that we take for granted in the U.S. are more limited there.

With that said, I’m grateful that we’re able to return to some sense of normalcy in the U.S. and that many of us will be going back to Las Vegas for Jewelry Week. I can’t wait to see many of you there, although I know that many still can’t or won’t travel.

Many of you know someone who won’t be in Vegas this year because they were taken from us by COVID-19. One of my dearest friends and coworkers, Fran Zimniuch, is among those. It’s hard to imagine doing the JCK Show without Fran; his inappropriate jokes and over-the-top self-criticism always made me smile, and he was always up for a drink “on editorial’s tab.”

If you see me there, please stop me for a fist bump and say hello. I feel truly blessed to work in this special industry with so many extraordinary people.

Why We Shouldn’t Take “Normal” For Granted


Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  1. Review the past year’s special orders per vendor, and if you spot any emerging hot sellers in the data, order those styles so you have them on hand. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 36)
  2. Maintain a comfortable temperature in the showroom for clients and adjust your staff dress code as needed. (Ask INSTORE, p. 88)
  3. Use a “reserved just for you” message in your marketing to reinforce the specialized treatment your clients will receive. (Brainstorm, p. 82)
  4. Instead of initiating a handshake, opt for a head nod or wait for the client to initiate it themselves. (Sales Signals, p. 83)
  5. On the flight home from the trade show, pull out the materials and information you gathered and sort it by definite buys, potential buys and “save for later.” (Megan Crabtree, p. 86)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at



Time for More “Me Time”? Time to Call Wilkerson

Rick White, owner of White’s & Co. Jewelry in Rogers, Ark., knew it was time to retire. Since the age of 18, jewelry had been his life. Now it was time to get that “me time” every retailer dreams about. So, he chose Wilkerson to manage his going-out-of-business sale. White says he’d done plenty of sales on his own, but this was different. “Wilkerson has been a very, very good experience. I’ve had the best salespeople in the history of jewelry,” he says. “I recommend Wilkerson because they are really the icon of the jewelry business and going-out-of-business sales. They’ve been doing it for decades. I just think they’re the best.”

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