Retailer Hall of Fame: The Issues Keeping Jewelers Up at Night

IndependentsOct 31, 2023

Retailer Hall of Fame: The Issues Keeping Jewelers Up at Night

From customers being robbed to post-pandemic trends, National Jeweler polled jewelers to find out what’s worrying them most.

Stock image of man with insomnia
Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in the print edition of the 2023 Retailer Hall of Fame. Click here to see the full issue.

For the “Final Thoughts” feature in the 2023 Retailer Hall of Fame issue, National Jeweler polled past inductees to find out what about the jewelry business currently has them wide awake at 3 a.m.

Here’s what they had to say.

“The alarming increase in attacks on shoppers in the mall, indoor or out, and being followed while driving home, then attacked. It’s happening more and more [and it’s] very concerning that clients will stop buying due to fear.” 
— Lawrence Bock, Bachendorf’s Jewelers 

“There’s been a trend of higher-price-point sales, which of course sounds like a great problem to have; the concern is that it’s been coupled with lower unit sales and fewer transactions overall. Thinking about how this will play out in the future should higher-ticket sales start to slip is on my mind quite a bit.”
— Christina Gandia Gambale, Greenwich St. Jewelers 

“The access to view things online, yes, it’s wonderful, it’s great for learning and inspiration and for people who don’t have great places to see things. But it does take away the, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never seen anything like that before ever,’ [reaction] in person when you go to see it.” 
— Lauren Kulchinsky Levison, Mayfair Rocks

“Highly sought, premium product remains [hard to get] and the scarcity of experienced goldsmiths is being felt across the industry. We are not losing sleep over it … [but] we may toss and turn a little trying to figure out how to be first in line when new items become available.” 
— Larry Pelzel, Neiman Marcus

 Related stories will be right here … 

“The most important challenge for our business is the utilization of technology to personalize and enhance our customer’s experience without being intrusive or annoying.” 
— Jeff Corey, Day’s Jewelers

“As technology is evolving so quickly with new platforms every few months, we continue to think about how to ensure our current in-store culture translates to these new ways of communicating.  Reinhold Jewelers is rooted in relationships, creating an intimacy between ourselves, our clients, and our designers and we want to ensure this core piece of our identity is not lost in the digital world.”  
— Marie Helene Reinhold, Reinhold Jewelers   

“During the past several years, COVID has caused some of the most dramatic lifestyle changes I’ve ever witnessed. Initially, we spent little on travel, big parties and the accessories needed for them. People had lots of unspent income, which led to a boom in sales. We are now [experiencing] a slowdown in sales, with the exception of luxury watches. This has left me to constantly ponder the issues of the level of inventory needed as well as matching it to how people are living their lives. The question remains as to what the lifestyles of the consumers will look like in the near future and how to remain relevant to them.”
— Jim Rosenheim, Tiny Jewel Box

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