The Jewelers Board of Trade's figures earlier this month showing the ongoing closure of jewelers is "sad and alarming. But it also reflects the structure of our industry," writes the JCK's Rob Bates According to the latest U.S. economic census, in 2012 there were 23,477 jewelry stores, down 15 percent from five years earlier. However, the number of stores in every other business sector is also declining, and in many cases by a larger percentage than for jewelers.
“The jewelry industry is not seeing a huge rate of decline compared to other industries,” says Dione Kenyon, president of the Jewelers Board of Trade. “There is still a very large number of independent sellers.” On top of that, “the current store closing numbers are nowhere near where they were in the 2008–2009 recession.”
Bates adds: "These are not easy times. While the economy is doing better, it’s also an era of great change and disruption that is challenging retailers of all types and sizes. But let’s not forget that independent jewelers are holding up as well as, and in many instances even better than, retailers in other sectors."