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Your Letters on Retirement and Changes in the Jewelry Industry

Here are your letters-to-the-editor for this month.

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On Retirement

I wish all retirees well and I hope this industry gets strong and hopeful again! — Stacey S. Sachs, Solomon’s Fine Jewelry & Watch, Albertson, NY

It was actually kind of nice to know that after a long time of working in the business, we’re not the only ones thinking of bailing. The last few years have been tough, and if this year isn’t much better, we may be following in those footsteps. — Wadeana Beveridge, Community Jewelry Inc., Brandon, FL

Retirement is a sad, sorry dilemma for many. — Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN

It is so sad that the general public, me included, has shifted to the convenience of online shopping. I’ve had my first challenge against Costco for a 3-carat stone. The point is, many older jewelers are not equipped to attack the learning curve for online shopping. Second, many don’t have a willing family member to inherit or purchase their businesses. So they are leaving the industry. I am grateful for my crazy MacGyver gold skills that have created many a valuable repair, restoration or remodel. But in this day and age, that begs the question of how many young entrepreneurs are that hungry, fearless and not intimidated by the risk/reward of our industry to pick up the void these retirees are creating? — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

I think kids see how stressful the jewelry biz is and are smart enough to not want to follow in our steps! Ha! My 11 year-old does not want to be a jeweler. I, however, am second-generation. — Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI

Trust Earned

We have a lot of people come in for the first time who say, “We trust you.” It’s strange when it’s first-time customers, but I think people are drawn to mom-and-pop stores that have been in business a long time. We work hard to keep our reputation stellar, and it shows in the trust our customers have in us. — Chay Rees Runnels, Rees Jewelry, Nacogdoches, TX

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Change Happens

I think the jewelry industry is a direct reflection of society and businesses in general. Change happens everywhere. Just because there are fewer stores, it doesn’t mean that the industry is in peril. It’s just an ongoing transition and adaptation. — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA

Warning To Disloyal Vendors

It’s amazing to me that as foot traffic and volume have gone down for some longstanding stores that may be thinking about retirement, there are some vendors, — even some on the INSTORE list of top vendors — who are willing to throw their accounts out the door. Just when some stores could use a little support, they get thrown under the bus. My comment to those vendors is, “Success leads to arrogance and arrogance leads to failure!” — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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