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THE

BIG SURVEY WE HAD TWO PRIMARY OBJECTIVES with this year’s Big Survey: to gain fresh insights into what it means to be an American jeweler in 2017, and, given it’s been 10 years since our first such survey, to determine how far jewelers have traveled professionally since 2007. The findings were fascinating. In some areas, it’s as if time hadn’t moved, while in others the changes have been profound. We hope you enjoy the latest installment of this journey as much as we did assembling it.

3,000-3,499 sq feet 5% 6%

Money

3,500-3,999 sq feet

Education

13 would earn under $30K 7 would earn $30-40K 16 would earn $40-60K 14 would earn $60-75K 17 would earn $75-100K 16 would earn $100-150K 10 would earn $150-250K 6 would earn over $250K

3% 4%

1 would have a doctorate 10 a master’s degree 43 a bachelor’s degree 33 an incomplete degree 13 a high school diploma 1 a GED

4,000-5,000 sq feet 6% 1%

More than 5,000 sq feet 5% 5%

comment: Smaller store formats have been one of the big changes across the retail industry in the last 10 years. But it seems no one told jewelers with almost no change in average store size since 2009.

Age 3 would be 20-29 10 would be 30-39 17 would be 40-49 39 would be 50-59 28 would be 60-70 3 would be 71+

Gender 62 would be men 38 would be women

Owners 61 Renters 39

9. Is your spouse your business partner?

2017 vs Yes

Type of jeweler Race

1. If there were 100 jewelers in America ...

Heritage

96 would be white 2 would be Asian 2 would be multi-racial

55 would be 1st-generation jewelers 24 2nd-generation 13 3rd-generation 5 4th-generation 3 5th-generation or more

10. What were your total sales last year? (If you have more than one store, please tell us the average per store).

Less than $100,000 7%

Market type

$100,000-$249,999

9 would be in a big urban market 16 on the outkirts of a big city 17 in a medium-sized city 33 in a small city 21 in a country town 4 in a resort area

70 would be Christian 15 would be Jewish 5 would be “Other” 5 would be non-believers 5 would be agnostic

LOOK TO YOUR RIGHT and you’ll see a clip-art rendering of America’s jewelers. Yes, they are mostly male, mostly white and for the most part casually dressed. They’re also primarily an older demographic, with just 30% under the age of 50.

41% 48%

79 would be fullservice jewelers 8 would be retail only 7 would be custom only 4 would be by-appointment jewelers 1 would be an online retailer

Faith

THE BASICS

2007

12%

$250,000 to $499,999 16%

$500,000 to $999,999 28%

$1 million to $1,499,999 16%

$1.5 million to $2,999,999 13%

$3 million to $5 million 5%

1. In what state is your (main) store located?

WEST Alaska (1) Arizona (14) California (42) Colorado (6) Hawaii (3) Idaho (1) Montana (7) Nevada (8) New Mexico (4) Oregon (4) Utah (6) Washington (12) Wyoming (2) MIDWEST Illinois (34) Indiana (24) Iowa (14)

Kansas (8) Michigan (29) Minnesota (19) Missouri (25) Nebraska (6) North Dakota (2) Ohio (23) South Dakota (2) Wisconsin (27) SOUTH Alabama (17) Arkansas (6) District of Columbia (1) Florida (44) Georgia (15) Kentucky (9) Louisiana (15) Maryland (6) Mississippi (6) North Carolina (18) South Carolina (4) Tennessee (16) Texas (40)

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Oklahoma (7) Virginia (17) West Virginia (4) NORTHEAST Connecticut (5) Delaware (0) Maine (7) Massachusetts (17) New Hampshire (7) New Jersey (16) New York (31) Pennsylvania (33) Rhode Island (0) Vermont (4)

South

31%

Northeast 18%

In a lifestyle center

1% 1%

Midwest

5% 2%

In an office building

31%

West

4. Is your (main) store located

Canada

2017 vs In a mall

15%

4%

3. How many stores do you own?

2017 vs 1

2008 88% 87%

CANADA (26) 2. Where is your store located by region?

6 or more

2

8% 9%

3­5

3% 3%

2007

5% 4%

3% 0%

On the Internet 1% 0%

Others

In a strip mall 25% 28%

On a downtown street 34% 35%

In its own free-standing building 25% 22%

3% 9%

5. How would you describe the market where your store is located?

2017 vs 2009 Big urban market 9% 11%

Suburban outskirts of a big urban market 16% 17%

Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people) 17% 17%

Small city (25,000 to 250,000) 33% 33%

Country town (up to 25,000) 21% 19%

Resort area 4% 4%

6. Which description of your business do you most closely identify with?

Full-service jeweler (offering repairs and other services) 79%

Jewelry retailer

7. Check the paid services offered by your store

Appraisals

2017 vs 2012 Custom design

Consignment

500-999 sq feet

Jewelry repairs

Gold and other overthe-counter buying

1,000-1,499 sq feet

Watch and clock repairs

Jewelry rental

95% 92% 97% 97%

8%

Custom design store 7%

68% 74%

Online jeweler 1%

By-appointment jeweler 4%

Pawn shop

0%

Other, please specify 1%

Other repairs (sunglasses, iPad screens, etc) 21% 28%

Engraving

86% 88%

40% 41%

74% 82%

6% 5%

Jewelry safekeeping 4% 7%

2017 vs

5% 6%

2009

17% 16%

21% 25%

1,500-1,999 sq feet 17% 16%

Larger than 2000 39% 33%

14% 11%

2,500-2,999 sq feet 6% 8%

More than $5 million 5%

2,000-2,499 sq feet

8. How big is your (main) store? 76% 76%

Less than 500 sq feet

comment: Later in the survey we asked jewelers how they felt about showing up for work on the first day of the week, with the response options ranging from “Excited” (33%) to “Depressed” (1%). What was interesting when we ran a cross-tab of that question and this one was that the money the store was making wasn’t really a factor. Thirty-eight percent of those bringing in less than $100,000 chose “excited” compared to 34% for those generating more than $3 million in sales.

OCTOB ER 2 017 | I NSTOR EMAG.C OM 51

The Big Survey 2017

BUYING & SELLING

BUYING & SELLING IN 2007 Nokia was the top-selling cellphone brand, Special K the leader among premium cereals and Fanta a staple of the young. None are faring well today. In contrast to many other product categories, jewelry and watch brands and consumers’ preferences in diamond shapes are a model of stability and consistency. That is not to say things don’t change, they just change slowly. As do the ways jewelers sell their goods.

12. What are the three best-performing brandname jewelry lines that you carry?*

1st Gabriel & Co.

14. What jewelry or watch brand would you most like to add to your cases?

2017:

2007:

1. Rolex 2. Tag Heuer 3. Gabriel & Co. 4. David Yurman 5. Shinola 6. Simon G 7. Cartier 8T. Citizen, John Hardy, Patek Phil— ippe, Tacori

1. Rolex 2. Hearts On Fire 3. Tag Heuer 4. David Yurman 5. Tacori 6. Cartier 7. Omega 8. Patek Philippe 9. Scott Kay 10T. Forever 10, Hot Diamonds, Mikimoto, Simon G

15. What do you think will be the next breakout category in jewelry? Yellow gold was the mostpredicted trend, with custom design and colored gemstones (especially as a type of engagement rings) close behind. Diamonds were also a top prediction in varieties of rough cuts, antique cuts and “big.” “Large silver pieces” were also a popular prediction.

2nd Stuller

3rd

1. Gabriel & Co. | 2. Stuller | 3. Pandora | 4. Allison-Kaufman | 5. Vahan | 6. Hearts on Fire | 7. Lafonn | 8. Simon G | 9. John Hardy, Royal Chain | 11. Benchmark,Lashbrook | 13. Frederic Duclos, Roberto Coin | 15. Alex & Ani, Ostbye | 17. ELLE | 18. CrownRing, David Yurman, Gemsone

2008

2017

Pandora

1. Hearts On Fire | 2. Pandora | 3. Simon Golub | 4. Simon G | 5. Hot Diamonds | 6. Tacori | 7. Stuller | 8. Gabriel & Co. | 9. Allison-Kaufman, ELLE, Leslie’s | 12. A. Jaffe, Roberto Coin | 14. Chamilia, David Yurman, Hidalgo, Scott Kay | 18. Alex Sepkus, Bellarri, Breuning, John Hardy, Lazare Kaplan, Martin Flyer, Rego

NOTE: Gabriel & Co. took the top spot for a second year, with 14 percent of the vote. Stuller improved to No. 2, while Pandora, which had been the top pick for seven years between 2009-15, fell to the third spot.

Yellow gold (35 votes) Custom design (28) Colored gemstones (26) Diamonds (23) Lab-grown diamonds (19) Fashion jewelry (13) Silver jewelry (11) Smart jewelry (9) Bracelets (7) Necklaces (6)

*Our rankings for all the questions in this section were based on a simple tallying of approximately 600 responses.

Citizen

13. What are the three best-performing watch brands that you carry?

Bulova

Seiko 52 INSTOR E M AG.C OM | OCTOBER 201 7

2017:

2009:

1. Citizen 2. Seiko 3. Bulova 4. Rolex 5. Belair 6. Pulsar 7. Tissot 8. Tag Heuer 9. Bering 10. Reactor

1. Citizen 2. Seiko 3. Belair 4. Bulova 5. Pulsar 6. Rolex 7. Tissot 8T. Movado 8T. Tag Heuer 10. Skagen

The Big Survey 2017

BUYING & SELLING

16. Do you stock … 100%

20. Would you consider stocking lab-grown diamonds?

2017 vs Yes

Men’s jewelry

16% 21%

Watches

80%

Maybe

60%

2016

37% 36%

Already do

LGBT jewelry

15% 10%

40%

Never

32% 33%

20%

2010

2014

Watches Men’s jewelry (exc. watches, cuff links and tie pins)

2017

Flatware Giftware Pet jewelry LGBT jewelry Glassware

Children’s jewelry Graduation gifts

21. Do you organize your cases primarily by …

2011

2014

2017

11%

6%

7%

LESS THAN 40 POINTS

12%

12%

11%

.50 CARAT +/- 10 POINTS

19%

17%

20%

.75 CARAT +/- 10 POINTS

46%

51%

43%

1.0 CARAT +/- 10 POINTS

9%

10%

13%

1.5 CARATS +/- 10 POINTS

1%

3%

4%

2.0 CARATS +/- 10 POINTS

1%

1%

2%

MORE THAN 2 CARATS

Bigger diamonds are becoming more important for more jewelers. In 2011, 11% of jewelers were generating the bulk of their diamond dollars from gems that were 1.5 carats or larger. By 2014, that had climbed to 14%. This year, it was 19%.

24. Excluding the round brilliant, what was the most popular diamond shape you sold last year?

2009

Designer

2014

2017

13%

17. What do you think has been the biggest change in the way jewelry is sold inside a store environment in the past 10 years?

Metal Category (bridal, fashion, etc)

2%

38%

Increased price transparency (clear price tags)

To another part of your county

Increased use of technology like iPads

Another part of your state

10%

3%

2%

3%

2%

14%

More customization

27% 29% 7%

67% 61%

Somewhere else in the world — Asia, Europe, etc

Put it on eBay

Don’t offer an e-commerce function

Stock balance with vendor

Cushion

36% 48%

1%

10% 8%

0%

19% 22%

Tungsten carbide

Cobalt

Stainless steel

Decreasing in popularity

Titanium

Silver

Palladium

Platinum

Rose gold

White gold

Maintaining same level

0%

conclusion: Rose gold is on a tear and the alternative five metals are struggling to win over new customers.

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1%

Just wait until it sells 23% 17%

Other

14% 15%

Among the new “Other” options this year were online auctions, offering it as a promotion on social media or selling via an “Etsy yard sale.”

1%

1%

0%

Baguette

4%

1%

4%

Emerald 2%

Pear

Spiff with sales staff

Increasing in popularity

1% Asscher

45% 45%

23%

18. Of the following metals that you may carry in your store, which are ... Yellow gold below 18K

2017 vs 2011 Drop the price Scrap it

21%

20%

Oval

Another part of North America or the Caribbean

28%

More informed consumers

40%

1% 3%

22. What strategies do you use to move old inventory?

6%

More event-based selling (trunk shows, etc)

26%

19%

31%

More self-directed buying (play and try on)

80%

Aesthetic

Another part of the U.S.

14%

60%

Princess

2%

19. What’s the most distant online sale you’ve made?

32%

78%

61%

Price point

Increased importance of creating a customer “experience”

100%

57%

5%

Side-by-side selling

Yellow gold 18K+

0%

comment: The numbers indicate fewer jewelers are considering stocking lab-grown diamonds compared to last year. But when you look at the “already do” responses in 2017, it makes sense: they made good on their intentions, although these figures also suggest we may have already hit a plateau with man-made diamonds.

23. What size diamond accounts for the majority of your diamond sales dollars?

1%

1%

2%

Marquise 1%

The Big Survey 2017

BUYING & SELLING

25. What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever picked up a sales lead?

1. On an airplane or at the airport lounge. “I lost luggage and another woman did, too; we bonded at the airport and she is now a good client.” 2. While getting medical treatment. “During labor, the anesthesiologist giving my epidural noticed my employer is a jewelry store and went in that day and purchased a gift for his wife.”

3. In the wilds.

“I put a message in a bottle while fishing offshore in Nantucket. Two months later, I got a phone call from a woman from Wisconsin. She found the bottle on Cape Cod and purchased a diamond and custommade ring!”

6. Playing sports, particularly golf but oddly, also hockey. “After making a save, the guy said I played like a ‘jewelery bandit’ and I told him I am a jeweler. After the game, he came and asked if I sold engagement rings. Made the sale.” 7. Funerals. “Funerals lead to a lot of probate work.” 8. At a bar/restaurant. “I frequent a certain restaurant and always sit at the bar. Six of the regulars have become clients.” 9. At a pro sports event/ music concert. “Sat next to a darling couple at an NBA game. When I asked how long they had been married, they said they had been dating eight years. Told him, “You better marry her” and handed him a business card. He called me the next day and ordered a 2.50 carat brilliant round sight unseen. He said he just needed a little push and I was the one who pushed!”

4. While shopping for food. “I cannot tell you how many leads I have gotten or repairs I have taken in on my weekly grocery shopping trip! The produce area seems to be a hot spot!” 5. On vacation. “Standing in line at Space Mountain. Resulted in an $80K sale.” (Honorable mention: “A customer who told us he was referred at a swim-up bar in the Dominican Republic by a guy sitting next to him.”)

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10. Public bathroom. “No need to tell them I’m a store owner when they compliment my ring while washing my hands, just tell them I had it custom-made at (insert store name). That way, they don’t feel it’s out of reach because I got a big discount as an owner.” Other popular spots included the hair or nail salon, church, gym, casino table and local coffee shop. And then there were the ones that were truly impressive acts of salesmanship, such as to an IRS agent, in an elevator, at a cattle auction, at a grief group, “wrong telephone number on a collection call,” to the wife’s exboyfriend, to a responding EMT officer, and perhaps best of all, “in a competitor’s store.”

26. Which of these alleged chain-store practices Sometimes That’s good business practice do you use? Never Mark it up to mark it down Offer extended warranties Imply there is good re-sale value in jewelry Refer to a grading report in the first 3 minutes Use re-marketing cookies on your website Mostly sell pre-set rings Sell mass-manufacturing Aggressively promote financing Slash the price of a slow seller by 25% or more Attire your staff in black Teach sales staff to mimic customers 0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

PERFORMANCE

PERFORMANCE

29. Over the last 10 years, have your total sales grown, stayed stable or shrunk in the following categories? Grown

WHEN IT COMES to any survey of a small business sector, the bottom line is ... well, the bottom line — how much flows down to the owners, what’s driving those earnings, and how the local competitive environment might be impacting the returns (and as our respondents told us this year, dealing with Amazon is one thing, having to fend off a local rival’s claim he made your wife’s engagement ring quite another).

4%

Your great marketing/sales strategies 7%

Your great products 9%

Your superior prices 2%

Quality of service 29%

Trust

comment: The most common “other” response was proactive sales staff, or in one case, “Our good looking staff ”, which is arguably different from quality of service. We also grouped the eight jewelers who said “reputation” under Trust.

5% 9%

30. Who is your toughest competitor?

October 5% 4%

March 6% 6%

2017 vs 2008 Internet retailers

November 8% 5%

Other local independent jewelers

32% 41%

biggest changes: The declines of December and February and gains in just about every other month. Credit millennials and their determination to be different.

June

9% 5%

“Wholesale” retailers 6% 6%

Designers/vendors with retail outlets

38% 23%

December

10% 12%

29% 32%

2% 1%

Other

5% 12%

comment: Internet retail has surged to become the biggest perceived threat to independent jewelers, while the competitive pressure from other local jewelers and chain jewelers has receded.

Jewelry chain stores 14% 19%

Big Box stores 5% 7%

31. In the last decade, have any of these dates on the calendar become significantly more important to you?

38% 25% 1

%

St. Patrick’s Day

3

%

Prom season

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Custom design

Silver jewelry

2% 3%

February

May

3%

0%

September

11% 9%

Other

20%

5% 2%

2% 2%

Shrunk

Gold jewelry

August

4% 3%

Colored stone jewelry

2017 vs January

40%

Loose diamonds

July

April

46%

60%

28. What is your busiest month for selling engagement rings?

2007

Other diamond jewelry

Your great location

80% Bridal mountings

27. The No. 1 factor driving sales in your store is:

Stayed stable

100%

Watches

The Big Survey 2017

41

%

Valentine’s Day

7%

5%

Cyber Monday

Father’s day

Graduation

21%

Small Business Sunday

Tax-return season

The Big Survey 2017

PERFORMANCE

32. How much did you earn last year from being a jewelrystore owner (including salary and share of profit)?

40 35

$100,000 was the most frequently cited figure. That was below the average, $110,971, but better than the median, $90,000.

30 25 20 15 10 5 0 $0

$35,000

$57,000

33. Are your prices negotiable?

Always 14%

Usually

20%

Sometimes

$100,000

$175,000

$550,000

35. How much debt is your store carrying? 2017 2007

57%

Never

17% 13%

34. Last year, how much did you make compared to your average staff member?

Less than $20,000

9%

2017 vs 2011 I made less

33%

24%

10% 10%

I made about the same 11% 10%

25% more 20% 17%

None

100% more 10% 11%

3x more 13% 12%

5 or more times 6% 8%

No staff/NA 15% 15%

comment: The past six years have been a little kinder to store owners compared to their employees, although more than one-third of store owners still only make marginally more than their staff. Even at the top end, the share of spoils is extremely modest compared to bosses in the corporate world.

60 I N STO REM AG.C O M | O CTO B ER 2 0 17

$20,000$50,000

12%

5% $100,000$500,000

18%

$50,000$100,000

17% 23%

50% more 16% 19%

15% 15%

7%

More than $500,000

The Big Survey 2017

PERFORMANCE

be real, that it must be synthetic and to demand a lab report or money. We gave the money back, got a lab report, called the customer, and he was upset because he had purchased another sapphire from the competitor’s wife and could not return it!

5 Written fake reviews and attempted to hijack my website.

5 Our color stone dealer opened a retail store across the street from us, without telling us and while we were planning an event together.

36. What’s the most unethical thing a direct rival has done to you in the name of competition?

5 Our local rival once told a potential client that we were known to have cocaine problems and informed the potential customer we were engaged in unethical behavior so we could pay for drugs.

5 Told our customer the diamond they bought from us was junk!

5 Used a picture of my late husband in his Corvette in his ad, stating they pay more for gold because they don’t have a Corvette.

5 Reported us to the IRS!

5 We refer horrible customers to each other. 5 Said that they made my wife’s engagement ring! 5 Told people my watches were counterfeit.

5 Stopped by my store and in the middle of a presentation of loose diamonds told my customer, “Hmm, that’s nice. But you should come see what I have at my shop.” 5 Appraised an item and told the client that the sapphire we sold the client was too good to

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5 Pretended to be me. 5 Put our name on their website.

5 Said they had never heard of our store when a potential customer walked into their location in error. 5 Said we were crooks. My response was that we did take $50,000 of sales from them last month, so guilty as charged! 5 Said our prices are lower because we sell stolen merchandise. 5 Hired an ex-employee and had them send postcards to my customers. 5 Told people I was unstable and might not be in business much longer.

The Big Survey 2017

YOU THE JEWELER

YOU, THE JEWELER

38. 2017 is the new 2007. (Based on the most commonly provided answers)

AFTER A DECADE of prying into every part of your lives we feel we’ve gotten to know you, our readers, well. We know how hard you work, how much you drink, what scares you and what excites you. For one in three of you, that’s Monday morning. It’s a remarkable love of the trade that hasn’t flagged in 10 years (see Q. 41).

37. What song title sums up your last 10 years in business?

19% YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

A COUNTRY BOY CAN SURVIVE

19

Rolling Stones

%

Hank Williams Jr.

MY WAY

15%

Frank Sinatra

Custom design

A. is the new Pandora/Journey (upcoming trend) B. Amazon is the new Walmart (big corporate rival) C. Jewelers Helping Jewelers is the new Polygon (online community) D. 2.5 is the new keystone E. CAD is the new laser welder (must-have piece of technology) F. Synthetic diamonds are the new “Blood Diamond” (potentially damaging social issue) G. Facebook boosts/geofencing is the new weekday morning drive time (best advertising placement) 70 H. is the new 65 (retirement age)

11%

HAPPY Pharrell Williams

THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER

21%

Howard Jones

39. What’s the greatest source of stress in your business?

3

%

Finances

BARELY BREATHING

26%

1

%

Duncan Sheik

Customer expectations 7%

AMERICAN IDIOT Green Day

2

%

Family expectations 4%

The mad rush to get everything done 25%

MO MONEY, MO PROBLEMS

Dealing with staff

The Notorious BIG

16%

Competitive pressures AND A FEW MORE TITLES SUGGESTED BY SURVEY-TAKERS, FROM THE DARK TO THE MORE HOPEFUL: “Highway to Hell” by AC/

DC, “U Should’ve Known Better” by Monica; “Back on the Chain Gang” by The Pretenders, “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles, “Blue Ain’t Your Color” by Keith Urban, “Lesson Learned” by Carrie Underwood, “Hunky Dory” by David Bowie, “It’s a Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke, and “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

40. What most closely describes your typical attire at work? 2017 vs

2007

6%

Environmental concerns 1%

The economy 16%

11% | 17%

8% | 21%

73% | 56%

1% | 3%

6% | 3%

.3% | .4%

Suit (and tie)/ pant suit

Business Casual/ Designer outfit

Smart casual

Black turtleneck and dark pants or skirt

Jeans and a t-shirt/Polo and Bermudas

Italian swimsuit (i’m semi-retired)

comment: Like the rest of society, jewelers are dressing more casually than 10 years ago. As one jeweler told us: “We have learned to dress more like our customers, depending on season. Makes them much more comfortable and does away with the ‘this must be expensive’ thought from our suit-and-tie days.”

64 INSTOR E M AG.C OM | OCTOBER 201 7

The Big Survey 2017

YOU THE JEWELER

41. How would you describe your feelings upon returning to the store to start a new week?

2017 vs Excited

2007

33% 33%

Challenged 28% 30%

Duty calls 19% 21%

Back to the grindstone 14% 11%

Overwhelmed 5% 4%

Depressed 1% 2%

comment: Amazing really: Ten years pass, the retail industry undergoes revolutionary changes, the economy passes through a severe recession and we have a mostly new pool of survey-takers, and yet the answers to this question barely change. 42. What’s your religion?

Christian

71%

Jewish 11%

Muslim

0%

Buddhist 0%

Other 5%

Agnostic 6%

Non-believer 7%

43. What’s the highest educational/vocational training level you reached?

GED

44. What do you miss most about being a jeweler in 2007?

45. What do you miss least about being a jeweler in 2007?

5 Everyone didn’t have a smart phone in hand with an item she saw on Pinterest only for her to see it live and realize it didn’t look as good on her hand as she thought it might.

5 Running my ass off selling $3 silver hoops.

5 Impulse buying of affordable fine jewelry: “While I’m waiting for you to change my battery, how much is that gorgeous 14K gold bracelet? $350, really? I’ll take it.” 5 Face-to-face interaction. A lot of customers hide behind text or email. 5 I miss the ease of customers buying readyto-wear, pre-set pieces. Nearly half of everything we send out the door is custom-made now. 5 Good diamond margins and $700 gold.

1%

High school diploma

5 Banks were easier to work with.

Unfinished college course

5 Not worrying about my online presence

13%

33%

Bachelor’s degree 43%

Master’s degree 10%

Doctorate 1%

5 The bustle, the liveliness, the optimism and carefree attitude. People are much more worried about the future now. 5 There was little online competition. 5 Being 10 years younger!

66 I N STO REM AG.C O M | O CTO B ER 2 0 17

5 Long mall hours. 5 The watch business. 5 Having to entertain sales reps in our store all the time. 5 Having to keep a giant bookshelf of catalogs and spending hours on the phone trying to source diamonds for client calls. 5 Not having the ability to manage remotely. 5 Lack of customer records and inventory management control. 5 I never did like advertising in local print and using local TV and radio. It was always extremely expensive. Now, with the world glued to the Internet, we get most of our advertising done through social media and other free services like Google reviews. One Google review is worth 10 front page ads to us. 5 Not having the experience of CAD and 3D printer. 5 Nothing. I was young then; everything was perfect.

The Big Survey 2017

YOU THE JEWELER

46. What in your jewelry life did it take you a surprisingly long time to realize you’ve been doing wrong all along.

repair business and custom design business has grown immensely over the past 6.5 years.

I seem to interchange “bail” and “bale” in writing repair slips. I noticed this 31 years after opening this store.

but after an excellent, or not so excellent, sales presentation, I do not ask for the sale. What was I thinking?

Taxable/non-taxable sales — reported them incorrect for years.

I own the business. I can take Saturdays off, and if there is an event, I could get away with wearing something special from my inventory and not get into trouble with me, myself and I.

Not employing enough staff. Thought more staff equals higher wage bill, more expenditure in both time and money, yet getting the right balance has made the business grow, become more profitable and given me more time personally.

I discovered that I could just say no to projects that hoover up all of my time. Pronouncing the term “kiln.” I thought it ended with an m. Pronouncing peridot (it has a silent t). Retipping — often it is easier to sell them a new mount. More concerned with the top line than gross profit. GP is everything.

Pricing estate items in an appraisal too high. Most estates sold items for less than the value I thought they would sell for. Quickbooks. We had a bookkeeper help set up our business, and it took a real accountant four years to iron out those bugs.

I realized that I never asked for the sale. It’s an odd thing to think you have done wrong for so long. We are taught how to sell and how to sell well

Realizing it’s OK to send out work. Thirty or so years to learn how to relax.

Using a prong lifter — proper technique was on YouTube.

Thinking I could do it all. Did not buy gold early enough before 2008. Asking for better prices and terms. It is available! Just have to ask. Sucking up to brands. Wanting them so bad only to find that I have another entity to satisfy. Not hiring the best salesperson. I could work 24/7 and still not get everything done. Take time off to relax! Everything will still be there when you get back. Selling things too cheap to get an edge.

That I’m in charge and I guide the client and transaction. Quit trying to compete with the Big Boys and find another way. Thinking that the customer was always right. Selling diamonds by talking about diamond grade primarily. That is wasn’t so important that everything was done my way. There are some very talented employees who have some great ideas and alternative ways of doing things. X Ordering too much

rs, yea ow y l el ar y e ucts b er. It m h hat . In rod hig ing d all p ey or ider w hat c i Pr arke 3x k ons nd w ur o c I m 0 at not ffers a or y ble, 0 $3 ake to dor o do f flexi ed! n s e n st mi he ve ts ca mor ncrea a t s c g si t a n u r i w po rod be gin sup ir p s. By mar e th sines s and bu r sale ou

68 INSTOR E M AG.C OM | OCTOBER 201 7

inventory at a time; now I order small amounts from vendors more often.

X It took me 30 years to

realize I wasn’t charging enough for repairs. I was always charging my customers $8-12 for a solder, $20-25 to size a gold ring, $6-7 to re-tip a prong. Now I am charging double, triple and even quadruple the amount. Maybe one in 50 people question me; however, my

Tracking findings, stones, and metal inventory properly. Not using a flex shaft tool way, way sooner. Not hanging onto Christmas cash enough. Overexplaining repair situations to clients. They don’t want to feel scolded! Selling what I liked instead of what customers wanted. I made the mistake of being a bench jeweler, owner, sales marketer and taking charge of all financials. I should have brought in a vested partner to handle the business end of the store. I am better at the bench.

Realizing you don’t have to know everything with a customer. If you treat them right and take care of them, they don’t mind if some things are a learning process for all of us. Understanding ROI. How our store was laid out.

I opened at 9 o’clock for 30 years and should not have. 10 o’clock works just as well and allows me more free time. The way I approach larger price points has changed drastically. I used to be intimidated to show anyone the most expensive thing in the cases. Now it’s my starting point! Too much empathy for poorly performing employees. Not documenting where on the chain we made the repair. Not documenting length and weight on a chain repair ticket.

Being too friendly with customers. Retirement planning. Not taking enough money out to put into an IRA. Measuring success. Rhodium plating. Thank you, Dave Fiske in Oak Harbor.

O CTO BE R 2 0 1 7 | I N STO R E M AG.C O M 69

The Big Survey 2017

MARKETING & OPERATIONS

MARKETING & OPERATIONS

51. What kind of promotion is consistently the most successful in getting people in the door?

THE ONLINE REVOLUTION IN MARKETING has been well documented, but it is not the only operational part of the business that has undergone great change in recent years. In the shop and on the security front, there are new challenges facing jewelers, as they describe in the following pages. 47. How many days do you promise to turn around a repair during “normal” periods of the year?

2017 vs 2013 vs Fewer than 3

8-14

2010

48. What is the most advanced piece of equipment you have in your shop?

2007

3D printer 11%

CAD/CAM system

12% 18% 19%

3-7

2017 vs

14%

Laser welder 38%

Flex Shaft

56% 55% 53%

11%

Basic soldering torch 8%

Others

29% 26% 27%

13%

(“Others” included pulse arc welders 3%, laser engravers 3%, Benchmate 3%, Sarin grading machine 1% and Benchscope 1%)

No promises. it’ll get done when it’s done. 2% 1% 1%

Don’t do repairs

49. Do you offer in-store financing?

1% 1% 1%

comment: Is it a sign of deteriorating service standards that wait times are getting longer? Not really, says repair guru David Geller. The longer turnarounds are a reflection of the rising demand for custom work and the “huge” shortage of bench jewelers. “What’s missing here is that the jeweler’s repair box probably has other, better paying jobs,” he says. “The average custom sale is $1,500 to $3,000. So the jeweler thinks, we can wait a bit to do this repair while I take care of the big money job’.” Geller notes that over 80 percent of bridal — a big custom sale — is still sold in brick and mortar stores. In contrast, the average repair is $125, he says.

2017 vs Yes

2009 53% 51%

50. Main source for new customers is:

2017 vs 2007 Referrals/word of mouth 74% 73%

Foot or drive-by traffic 6% 6%

Advertising 15% 17%

New residents in the area 1% 2%

53. Which social media/ business networks do you actively use on a professional basis? 2017 vs

2012

70 INSTOR E M AG.C OM | OCTOBER 201 7

Changing demographics 1% 1%

Other 2% comment: In the age of online reviews, what constitutes a referral has changed. Similarly, Siri and Google Maps have changed the way people find a “local” store. Still, as these figures show, word of mouth and “trust” remain key for jewelers, and prompts the question, do you have a plan in place to drive WOM?

52. How many hours a week do you invest keeping social media up to date/ relevant?

2017 vs 2012 Less than 1 hour

12% 5%

NA

7% 14%

16% 35%

1- 5

More than 10

With new technologies come new opportunities, and also new demands on your time. Almost one in three jewelers are spending an hour or more a day on keeping their social media sites up to date, versus about one in 10 who were investing that much time 5 years ago.

47% 39%

5-10

18% 7%

93%

20%

26%

18%

92%

33%

27%

17%

34%

58%

7%

24%

4%

0%

None

5% 16%

The Big Survey 2017

MARKETING & OPERATIONS

MARKETING & OPERATIONS

54. Describe the edgiest advertising campaign you’ve done. What was the reaction to it?

mistakenly aired during an NFL game and we received calls about the ad’s inappropriateness from middle-aged conservative women. 5 Many of our billboards are edgy but in good taste. “Two studs and one lady” raised some eyebrows.

When gay marriage was still a hot button and in the courts, we ran an ad featuring two grooms showing off their bands at the altar. The text read, “We can’t make the laws but we can make your day. Everyone is welcome at Drummond’s.” We got backlash from some self-described conservatives, but we got a lot of praise, and new customers, too.

5

5 Print campaign: “Put a little ice down her blouse.” We had calls about it being inappropriate. 5 My wife said, “This’ll blow her pants off,” in a radio spot. People thought it was funny. 5 “This ring will make her clothes fall off” (our college rep ran it without

permission). No one was really thrilled about that. 5 A TV spot targeting young men featured a young lady in underwear crawling over a young man’s lap because he gave her a piece of jewelry. Reaction from the intended audience was good; we seemed hip. The spot

5 We did a commercial with a lady, and I asked to see her diamond. She said, “It’s a half-carat and we’ve been married 25 years. My daughter-in-law has a 2-carat.” I say, “It’s time to trade up the diamond or trade up the husband.” Male customers called me with all kinds of hate. 5 We utilized one of our pear-shaped diamonds and a hand-fabricated copyrighted ring design with a stunning Coke bottle-like silhouette and the tag “pear shapes are sexy no matter the medium.” We enjoyed the chance to be cheeky. 5 A picture of a guy wearing only a dresser drawer. He had a bubble above his head that said, “Do you have valuables in your drawers?”

55. Which of the following gets the largest portion of your advertising budget? 40% Print 35% 30% 25%

Internet

20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

2007 PRINT

2008

2009

INTERNET(including social media) DIRECT MAIL (including catalogs)

72 I N STO REM AG.C O M | O CTO B ER 2 0 17

2010 OUTDOOR

2012 RADIO

2017 TELEVISION

COMMUNITY EVENTS (including sponsorships)

Armed robbers 32% 25%

Burglars 12% 9%

Internet scammers 10% 6%

Staff 56. Please rank the following forms of payment, from most frequently used to least used.

1. Credit card 2. Debit 3. Cash 4. Check 5. Layaway 6. Store credit line 7. Gift cards 57. What security threat do you consider to be the greatest potential cause of financial loss to your business?

2017 vs 2013 Shoplifters 15% 18%

Smash and grab thieves 20% 17%

8% 19%

58. On a scale of 1 to 5, rate these “tells” indicating a possible criminal threat in terms of how they set off alarm bells in your head. 1-bell alarm

2-bell alarm

3-bell alarm

4-bell alarm

5-bell alarm

Nervousness Sunglasses ”Street” fashion

Home invasion/kidnap gangs

An ostentatious piece of clothing

To be sure, an armed robbery is a frightening prospect but it may not be the No. 1 threat to your financial security. John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, expressed concern that some jewelers may be “greatly underestimating” the danger of burglary, noting that in the first six months of 2017, it was the biggest source of financial loss for American jewelers both in number of events (103) and dollar losses ($8.9 million). “With respect to burglary, jewelers can’t rely on TL-15 or TL-30 safes; they need line security for their alarms; and must respond with police to every alarm condition,” he said.

Entering as a group and then splitting up

2% 6%

The Big Survey 2017

Use of a cell phone in or just outside the store

Asking to hold and compare more than one item at a time Telling a long, distracting personal story Seeming interested in everything A phone request for an item to be shipped immediately to a distant address Shills — Like a woman having a wardrobe malfunction or medical emergency 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

comment: Other “tells” the JSA advises jewelers to be on the lookout for: 1. Hats pulled low, 2. The placing of bulky items like coats or bags on the showcase, 3. Asking to see your most expensive diamond or watch, 4. A “customer” keeping their hands in their pockets and not touching anything, 5. A “customer” wearing bulky or unseasonal clothing (to conceal a weapon, hammer, etc.)

The Big Survey 2017

MARKETING & OPERATIONS

59. Do you have a favorite dumb criminal story? 5 Two college-aged boys tried to sell us a baggie full of ladies’ rings that varied in size from 4 to 9.5. They claimed the rings were their grandmother’s. The police determined they’d stolen them from local elderly ladies in parking lots. 5 A sickly, frail elderly man once had to be removed with (gentle) force because he became violent and disruptive when we informed him that his EcoDrive watch wasn’t damaged during battery replacement because there is no battery and we’d never met him before! He was arrested despite our pleas to simply take him elsewhere.

5 We had a woman who came into the store and asked if we had a warranty for our diamond ring that she had “lost.” I thought maybe I had heard her wrong, so I repeated the question, “You want to know if we have a warranty on the ring that you lost?” Yes, she said. So I told her, “No, we would not replace the ring because you lost it. But if you have it on your home insurance policy, you could make a claim to replace it.” She looked really confused and said “I don’t have that. Can I get that from you?” No, I said, you would get homeowners insurance from your insurance company, but at this point since you’ve lost the ring, it wouldn’t help you very much.” She then said, “Well, can you just, like, forget that I said it was stolen?” Really?

MARKETING & OPERATIONS

worked! 5 After being warned, a young lady took so long badly hiding items from our sister (gift) store on her person that a police officer arrived, waited outside and arrested her the moment she cleared the door.

5 It was a Monday. Two guys wearing masks parked behind the store and ran around the store and into our front door. We are closed on Mondays. Insurance fraud for you? No thanks! 5 Wheelchair bandit. Guy comes in wheeled in by another man. The wheelchair guy’s shoe heels were all worn out. The person pushing the wheelchair had no clue how to wheel him around. 5 A customer stole the ring that she came in to make a layaway payment on. I noticed it was gone after she left, so I called the police and gave them all of her contact info that we had on her layaway file, the police called her and asked her to come down to the police department. She went to the police and handed the ring to them. 5 Guy stole a ring and we got the car’s plates. He put the ring in a “cavity” and it came out in the corner of the holding cell. We called it the poop ring and put a $100 spiff on it. 5 The guy who came in to steal something with a nametag on and a shirt from the store where he

74 I NSTO REM AG.C O M | O CTO B ER 2 0 17

5 We had a couple reach inside the case and grab a tray of jewelry. When they realized (outside the store) that the jewelry wasn’t live, they brought it back and told us they were “trying to teach us a lesson.” Yes, we filed charges. 5 Had a young man come in with a large emeraldcut diamond in a platinum mounting wanting to sell it. I had just hired a new person who had been a jeweler at the Riddles store in the local mall. She recognized him as being

a friend of a part-time worker at that store. We called the store and asked if they had a customer that may have lost the ring and they replied that they were searching in the shop for the ring that had disappeared. We called the cops

and they came, arrested him and as they were cuffing him, he asked “Does this mean that I can’t go to work tomorrow?” “Yes” was the reply. “Then could you call in and say I would be coming in as soon as I can because I need to keep

5 One man tried to convince us Chuck E. Cheese tokens were actually gold coins.

The Big Survey 2017

the job.” 5 Man telling us he has a gambling debt and needs to sell off his Patek Philippe watch he’s had for a few years (still in original purchase casing) and then changes story to paying off a car and then lowers the price to pay off his electric bill. A quick call to our buddies, the police, had him singing a different tune. 5 We had a smash and grab on alternative metal bands. 5 Grab-and-runner did not see the manager throw the deadbolt on front doors right before he tried to run out. Face planted with nose print through the glass.

The Big Survey 2017

MARKETING & OPERATIONS

STAFF & MANAGEMENT

STAFF & MANAGEMENT

60. If a favorite aunt left you $250,000 to invest in the business, where would you put it?

5 Tried to steal $2 out of our jar for the no-kill animal shelter. He couldn’t get his hand in far enough.

2017 vs

2008

3 Toward opening a second store 4% 4%

3 Finding a new location for my current store

5 The time my sister chased an over 6-foot man through the parking lot who had just stolen a ring. What would have happened if she caught him? 5 Don’t really want to share. But anyway... Around Father’s Day, three guys in street clothing and one asks if we sell Rolex (Alarm 1). We don’t. Proceeds to tell me long story how he and his brother want to buy something nice for their dad (some legitimacy). Guys have baseball caps pulled low over eyes (Alarm 2). They then ask to see men’s diamond rings (Alarm 3). One guy walks out of store. Asks to see a sweet diamond ring we fabricate. I pull it out of the showcase, they admire for a moment and then the grab and run happens ... Yeah, has left me with major trust issues with young punks. Expensive lesson. 5 Sometimes I invite interested customers to see my fabrication area. My purse was sitting out (I usually have it hidden).

76 I N STO REM AG.C O M | O CTO B ER 2 0 17

My wallet was stolen. 5 Guy looking at a chain decides he is going to run out of the store without paying for it. Little did he know I was at the peak of my training for my half marathon. Caught him and he goes to jail and I get my $2,000 chain back. Wish he would have gotten away with it and insurance would have paid me for it. It was a dog! 60. Do you have a gun in your store?

2017 vs Yes

2007

50% 37%

COMMENT: The JSA’s Kennedy viewed the rise in gun ownership with concern. “It almost never happens that a jeweler who doesn’t resist suffers a fatal injury, while jewelers who resist with a gun or by other means almost always lose the struggle,” he said, pointing out that since 1996 there have been 118 jewelers killed during robberies, and almost every one of them tried to pull a gun or resist in some way. “Armed robbers go into stores ready to use their weapons if they have to, while jewelers can only be in a defensive position, having to react in second place. Unfortunately, the jeweler almost always loses, or causes an innocent person to be shot or hurt, either an employee, customer, passer-by or police responder. Don’t resist, rely on your insurance coverage, and stay alive.”

3 Buying advanced equipment

61. In the last 10 years, what area has seen the biggest change in your main operating expenses? 17% 25%

Wages

Insurance

3 Invest in more high-end inventory

Utility fees

Managing inventory/buying

Accounts

23%

1% 6%

2%

Other 3% 2%

3 Bank it or invest it for later use

Travel-related expenses/ entertainment

3 Paying down debt

3 Other

23% 32%

23% 16%

43% 20%

3 Remodeling my current store

4% 11%

Working in the shop (inc. repairs, appraisals, grading, designing)

28%

10% 8%

29% 20%

12% 21%

Admin & managing (handling staff, dealing with clients, emails, etc.)

Marketing

6% 5%

15% 10%

Strategizing, planning and marketing

5% 10%

Rent

Security

9% 9%

And it’s not always the bad guys who forget to think …

SOME ARE BORN TO LEAD, and the rest of us to try to figure out what works best when it comes to inspiring those we hire. Here we look at the challenges store owners face, how they allocate their time and what they pay and promise to ensure a smooth-running operation.

3%

2%

62. What takes up most of your time?

2017 vs Selling 13% 25%

The Big Survey 2017

2008

comment: In 2008, we asked industry consultant Kate Peterson how she’d prioritize her activities if she were running a store. Her top four priorities were: 1. Training; 2. Active client development; 3. Sales floor management; and 4. Brand development, which includes marketing. These numbers suggest store owners are doing as she recommended.

The Big Survey 2017

STAFF & MANAGEMENT

STAFF & MANAGEMENT

The Big Survey 2017

65. SALARIES BY

MARKET TYPE MIDWEST WEST

SOUTH

BENCH JEWELER

SALES: $45,909 BENCH JEWELER: $59,375 ADMIN WORKER: $42,273 MANAGER: $64,400 GEMOLOGIST: $50,690 DESIGNER: $55,000

SALESPERSON

SALES: $41,582 BENCH JEWELER: $50,484 ADMIN WORKER: $38,913 MANAGER: $58,137 GEMOLOGIST: $49,405 DESIGNER: $46,842

SALES: $41,337 BENCH JEWELER: $47,714 ADMIN WORKER: $40,857 MANAGER: $64,182 GEMOLOGIST: $55,610 DESIGNER: $50,441 SALES:

$50,769 BENCH JEWELER:

$53,000

ALABAMA

Salesperson: $43,500 Bench jeweler: $40,714 CALIFORNIA

Salesperson: $49,375 Bench jeweler: $60,000 Admin worker: $40,000 Manager: $71,250 Gemologist: $55,909 Designer: $49,444

FLORIDA

INDIANA

Salesperson: $40,000 Bench jeweler: $56,667 Admin worker: $46,667 Manager: $63,125 Designer: $46,429 IOWA

Salesperson: $41,875 Bench jeweler: $50,000 MASSACHUSETTS

Salesperson: $46,364 Bench jeweler: $48,333 Admin worker: $37,500 Manager: $78,333 Gemologist: $60,500

Salesperson: $50,000

ILLINOIS

MINNESOTA

Salesperson: $46,154 Bench jeweler: $49,167 Admin worker: $35,000 Gemologist: $47,143

78 I N STO REM AG.C O M | O CTO B ER 2 0 17

MICHIGAN

Salesperson: $36,364 Bench jeweler: $50,000 Manager: $56,429 Salesperson: $47,000 Bench jeweler $65,000

MANAGER:

MISSOURI

Salesperson: $35,000 Bench jeweler: $47,500 Admin worker: $20,000 Manager: $54,375 NEW YORK

Salesperson: $46,154 Bench jeweler: $50,000 Admin worker: $47,000 Designer: $51,428 NORTH CAROLINA

Salesperson: $40,556 Bench jeweler: $50,000

$52,333 $60,714

GEMOLOGIST:

$64,000

PENNSYLVANIA

Salesperson: $41,176 Bench jeweler: $46,250

Big urban market

$48,750

160

42

Country town (up to 25,000)

$35,189

185

80

Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)

$46,961

270

72

Resort area

$45,625

31

11

Small city (25,000 to 250,000)

$40,885

531

138

Suburban outskirts of a big urban market

$51,081

234

57

Big urban market

$52,368

69

34

Country town (up to 25,000)

$38,571

56

47

Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)

$51,087

120

66

Resort area

$65,000

9

6

Small city (25,000 to 250,000)

$53,235

194

105

Suburban outskirts of a big urban market

$53,250

92

51

Big urban market

$46,154

50

23

Country town (up to 25,000)

$30,000

35

29

Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)

$41,200

74

39

Resort area

$35,000

7

5

Small city (25,000 to 250,000)

$41,563

147

77

Suburban outskirts of a big urban market

$48,125

49

36

$52,143

Manager: $53,333 Gemologist: $44,444

AVERAGE $

TENNESSEE

Salesperson: $36,429 TEXAS

Salesperson: $41,875 Bench jeweler: $49,545 Admin worker: $43,000 Manager: $62,667 Gemologist: $57,143 VIRGINIA

Salesperson: $46,000 Bench jeweler: $55,000

OHIO

Salesperson: $44,545 Bench jeweler: $50,000 Gemologist: $47,143

POSITIONS

STORES

DESIGNER:

FULL-TIME MANAGER

64. Average incomes by state (minimum of 8 stores reporting), including all bonuses, commissions and other forms of compensation.

SALES: $44,184 BENCH JEWELER: $50,625 ADMIN WORKER: $50,000 MANAGER: $65,192 GEMOLOGIST: $56,136 DESIGNER: $54,750

GRADUATE GEMOLOGIST/ APPRAISER

REGION

ADMIN WORKER:

WISCONSIN

Salesperson: $41,923 Bench jeweler: $48,750 Manager: $57,857 Gemologist: $60,000

JEWELRY DESIGNER

63. AVERAGE SALARIES BY

NORTHEAST

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

CANADA

AVERAGE $

NUMBER OF STORES

Big urban market

$67,222

19

Country town (up to 25,000)

$46,552

29

Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)

$74,167

31

Resort area

$47,500

2

Small city (25,000 to 250,000)

$60,286

70

Suburban outskirts of a big urban market

$79,444

21

Big urban market

$61,071

19

Country town (up to 25,000)

$49,000

19

Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)

$55,172

38

Resort area

$55,000

5

Small city (25,000 to 250,000)

$50,982

64

Suburban outskirts of a big urban market

$53,095

28

Big urban market

$51,250

26

Country town (up to 25,000)

$34,118

20

Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)

$53,125

30

Resort area

$75,000

4

Small city (25,000 to 250,000)

$51,744

51

Suburban outskirts of a big urban market

$56,154

15

O CTO BE R 2 0 1 7 | I N STO R E M AG.C OM 79

The Big Survey 2017

STAFF & MANAGEMENT

66. Benefits provided to staff 100%

80% Paid vacation

60% Health insurance

40%

20% Pension plan

0% 2007

2008

Employee discounts Pension plan

Paid vacation

2013

2010

41% 40%

Paid sick days

Life insurance

Dental insurance

Salary plus commission

The gift of gab

100% commission

Intelligence

7% 8%

2% 3%

Salary plus portionof profit 5% 6%

Hourly plus commission 32% 27%

2% 3%

3% 4%

Loyalty

Salary

14% 16%

2017

Health insurance

Paid maternity leave

67. How do you pay your sales staff?

2017 vs Hourly

2011

68. What single attribute do you value most in a salesperson?

2017 vs 2007 Ability to close a sale 23% 20%

8% 9%

Thick skin 0% 0%

Kindness 4% 3%

Sense of humor 1% 2%

Honesty

32% 31%

Work ethic 24% 27%

Other 2% 2%

THIS YEAR’S BIG SURVEY was conducted online throughout July and August. With 717 readers responding, it represents one of the biggest-ever analyses of the lives and business habits of American jewelers. Thanks to all who took the time to fill in the survey. To sign up to receive INSTORE’s daily tips and e-bulletins and to get on the mailing list for next year’s survey, go to instoremag.com/bulletins.

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