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Home News One in Three Jewelers Experiencing “Extreme” Levels of Output

One in Three Jewelers Experiencing “Extreme” Levels of Output

by Madonna

While the wider economy has seen a historic drop in productivity, independent jewelers are reporting a surge in output at their stores. According to the 2023 INSTORE Big Survey, jewelers are witnessing a remarkable increase in productivity. About 22% of jewelers stated that their stores had become “dramatically more productive” in recent years, with an additional 45% reporting a “modest increase in productivity.” Only 9% noted a decrease in productivity with the same or increased inputs.

This boost in productivity can be attributed to enhanced efficiency and the adoption of new technology. However, it also stems from the fact that fewer hands are performing the work, particularly in the shop. In fact, 34% of jewelers mentioned that their bench operations had become “extremely productive” in recent years, compared to only 21% who rated their overall store as highly productive.

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The shop’s extraordinary performance is driven by a combination of rising demand and a shrinking capacity to meet this demand. Many jewelers that offer repair and custom work are closing, while finding experienced bench jewelers is becoming increasingly challenging. The consequence is having to accomplish more with fewer resources.

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For some, the surge in work has left them exhausted, particularly those in their 60s or 70s. They are facing too much work and not enough staff, resulting in overwhelming conditions.

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Some jewelers find the missed opportunities across their stores frustrating. While in-store sales have been strong, e-commerce efforts have often failed to yield significant returns. Maintaining websites requires constant investments of time and money, and customers still prefer to visit in person to see the jewelry they intend to purchase.

Despite the challenges, some jewelers see potential in the next generation for a shift in the role of websites in their business. But for now, they are adapting their websites to serve an informational role rather than facilitating online sales.

In a rapidly changing industry, independent jewelers are navigating the delicate balance of increased demand and reduced capacity, with many working tirelessly to meet the needs of their customers.

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