The jewelry industry as a whole grew again in 2018, and a fair number of new businesses opened for the first time. But overall, the number of manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers declined by about 4%, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade. A decline in brick and mortar stores, in particular, isn’t new to any of you, but there are a number of interesting things to consider as one looks at the industry landscape. Let’s look at a few of them.
1) People aren’t going out of business for the same reasons they did during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Most of the retailers we speak to are choosing to retire because they have reached that age and have family members who have chosen their own career and do not wish to take over the family jewelry business.
2) E-tailers and online sales are certainly increasing, but healthy brick and mortar stores are also doing well. I believe the future of the retail jewelry industry will be in the hands of those jewelers who have strong family businesses, manage their inventory well, adapt to today’s consumer, bring a great experience to the public, and continue to maintain and even enhance the trust factor in their community.
3) Jewelers going out of business leave an opportunity for those that remain. Look around your own town and count the number of jewelry retailers, both large and small, that have closed their doors. People who frequented these stores are going somewhere else to buy their jewelry. Market share is there to take if you are innovative, market savvy, and truly focus on your customers.
4) Options exist for those who want to stay in the game. Some jewelers are going in a new direction, sometimes with a store move because of a declining location or population. Some are becoming “by appointment only” jewelers. Others are doing online sales and working social media. Many have minimized inventory levels to retain capital. Bottom line, there are plenty of options to consider.
The industry is changing and we have to change with it. People look to us for help, and if we can assist you with a sale event that will help you retire or get a fresh start, please contact us for some free, experienced advice.
Jeff Gordon, CEO