Mt. Pleasant, SC--Our numbers are finally in and I am pleased to report that the Ideal Marketing Group of stores posted a record 18.15% average growth in sales for December 2010. (A few stores had computer-accounting issues, so final numbers were delayed a few weeks, but they were worth the wait!)
The 18.15% average increase in 2010 comes on top of a strong 15.78% increase in December 2009.These are the largest December increases since 2002, when IMG stores grew 11.41%.
Several IMG stores are now well above the high figures of 2005-2006, having had their best years ever in 2010.
Here were the top performing IMG stores in December:
Springers Jewelers, Portland ME, was up a solid 15.32% in December, a big move for a three-store operation.
Jones Bros., Peoria, IL, topped another big year with a 16.55% increase.
Perry's Emporium, Wilmington, NC, snowed his way (literally) to a very solid 16.64% increase.
Hal Davis, Boise, ID, was up 18.13% with the best Christmas in years.
Wells & Co., Virginia Beach, VA, was up a big 28%, with the best traffic in years.
Ringmaster Jewelers in Winston-Salem, NC, posted a 33.15 % increase.
Williams Jewelers in Denver, CO, grew a huge 41.93%.
Toledo, OH-based David Fairclough closed out his best year since 2005, with an amazing 51.71% December.
Finally, Romm Diamonds in Brockton, MA, came in as our big number-one with a monster 59.28% increase over 2010!
Real estate still a downer. Only four jewelers in the IMG posted negative numbers, and of those, the worst was only down 14%. But what I noted was that stores posting negative December numbers all were located in states that have yet to recover from the real estate collapse; ie., in Florida, the Southwest, and California. Our top performing stores started in Maine and stopped at the Rocky Mountains.
I'm afraid those soft real estate markets still have a tough year or more ahead, but that also means opportunity for market share growth as your competition stays in survival mode. The best defense is always a strong offense.
Outperforming the competition. Once again, proof is in the numbers. Market dominant advertising is the key to better than average performance. We MUST bring in new customers every day. With only a few exceptions, IMG stores are the dominant fine jewelry advertisers in their markets. We approach every year with this question: How can we reach the most upscale consumers with our message of quality and lasting value, every month of the year, cost effectively? How can we become number one in "top of mind" awareness and what do we need to do to stay there?
We're going to build on a great 2010 with solid, steady growth in 2011. Let's get started!