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Industry News: New Benchmarking Study; Jewelry Night Out; Sustainability Events; More September 04, 2019 (0 comments)


JA, JBT Launch Retail Jewelers Benchmarking Study

New York, NY—Jewelers of America (JA) and the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) have partnered to launch the Retail Jewelers Benchmarking Study. The study, formerly known as the Cost of Doing Business Survey, is a financial benchmarking tool that allows retail jewelers to easily input their key data and run dynamic reports in an online platform powered by Dynamic Benchmarking.

This comprehensive study is designed to bring retail jewelers the information they need to make informed decisions about their businesses that can improve profitability. The report will provide comparative information an organization can use to assist in making crucial business decisions.

"Benchmarking shows not only what we're really good at, but also where there's room for improvement to help the bottom line. I’m thrilled that JBT has partnered with JA to produce this valuable tool and encourage all retailers to participate," says Jeff Corey, owner of Maine-based Day’s Jewelers and a JBT board member.

JA and JBT are asking retailers to complete the survey by October 1, 2019. Retailers who complete the survey by September 17 will be entered to win one of five $100 gift cards.

Once the data collection period ends, participants who complete all required questions will not only have access to aggregated data, but will be able to compare their financials and key performance indicators (KPIs) using dynamic filters based on demographics of their choice (location, store size, etc.).

Some of the KPIs include merchandise units sold, inventory turn, net sales per square foot, employee expenses, cost of goods sold, gross profit and gross profit margin. Questions about lab-grown diamond sales have also been added to the survey for the first time.

Jewelers of America previously published the Cost of Doing Business Report. The last year the report was published was in 2015, based on 2014 data. “We are thrilled to be working with JBT to bring back a benchmarking study. We know it will be a valuable tool for participants and the industry at large,” says JA president and CEO David J. Bonaparte.

Retailers can complete the Retail Jewelers Benchmarking Study here: Only companies that complete the survey will have access to the interactive and customizable comparative data tables, charts and reports that will assist them in having a clear picture of their organization’s operational and financial performance. All participant information is confidential; reporting is only presented as aggregated results with a minimum of ten respondents. Following the data collection period, non-participants can purchase access to the aggregated industry data for $295.


JSA Endorses Health Insurance Program For Jewelry Industry

New York, NY--The Jewelers Security Alliance has joined with Jewelers of America and the American Gem Society to endorse a health insurance program for the jewelry industry. The program, sponsored by MJM Global Insurance Brokerage Group, is designed to provide cost savings, a simplified enrollment process, flexible benefits, and wellness solutions for its member firms.

Jewelry companies wishing to use the new insurance program must be a member of one of those organizations, which harnesses the buying power of multiple participants to reduce costs and increase benefits.

JSA president John Kennedy said, "It is very rare for JSA to venture outside the realm of crime prevention. However, JSA has felt the tremendous challenges faced by its 21,500 member businesses in securing quality and affordable health insurance, which can be one of a member's largest business expenses. JSA believes that this program with MJM is the right solution for improving healthcare coverage options for its members, their families, and employees.

The program enables and 8% to 12% average savings on health care coverage, and offers national coverage with every major carrier. In addition to the cost savings, the program offers assistance through a Health Advocate benefit and on-demand, rapid healthcare advice through a telehealth benefit.


WJA Annual Jewelry Night Out Set For September 12

New York, NY—The Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) will host its seventh annual WJA Jewelry Night Out on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. The festivities will kick off in the early evening in more than 20 cities throughout the United States: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Houston, TX; Lake Oswego, OR; Lakewood, CO; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, WI; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Providence, RI; Raleigh, NC; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA. Other cities will be added closer to the event.

WJA Jewelry Night Out welcomes designers, retailers, marketers, appraisers, salespeople, manufacturers, and members of the media and jewelry and watch industry organizations to its annual get-together. Exact locations and start times for each event, plus event registration, can be found here. WJA encourages attendees to use the hashtag #WJAJewelryNightOut during the evening to connect events nationwide on social sites.

In celebration of the event, new members who sign up during JNO will save 25% on the $175 membership fee, and renewing members save 10% on the renewal fee of $150. For current and prospective members not close enough to attend a live event, a variety of activities and discounts are available during WJA’s Membership Month, including a dues discount, a mentorship and leadership development program, and the member-to-member online community called WJA Connect, which is an active platform for members to collaborate, share knowledge, and build relationships. Click here for more information

"As we celebrate growing recognition of women’s achievements in the jewelry industry, our annual Jewelry Night Out ensures that all our members get a chance to network,” says WJA president Jenny Luker. "It’s a collective celebration that inspires camaraderie and builds excitement in our chapters."

"WJA Membership is one of the most important gifts you can give your jewelry industry career," says Clare Ullman, membership chair. "From the networking at Jewelry Night Out and at a variety of trade shows, access to our scholarship and grant opportunities, mentorship and leadership development, and WJA Connect, it's worth the price of admission." 

Jewelry Night Out's lead sponsors are Kay Jewelers, Zales, Piercing Pagoda, and Jared, the retail brands of Signet Jewelers. Events are sponsored locally by companies in each chapter area; see individual events for local sponsor details, or for more information on Jewelry Night Out, individual and corporate membership benefits, and more, contact WJA membership coordinator Rachel Jurisz, (845) 473-7324 or


Selling To Women Webinar Now Available Online

Englewood, NJ--The Plumb Club's most recent webinar, Understanding The Self-Purchasing Woman, is now archived and available to view online. The webinar, the Plumb Club's highest attended to date, was held August 6. It is now available to hear online at

The 45-minute presentation features Stephanie Holland, co-owner of Holland + Holland advertising, as well as the author and founder of She-conomy, and retail marketing consultant Andrea Hill of the Chicago-based Hill Management Group and the Werx Brands.


Stephanie Holland and Andrea Hill

Women spend more than $20 trillion worldwide and $7 trillion annually in the United States alone, but jewelry stores are still designed around men and how they buy jewelry for women. What motivates a woman to buy jewelry for herself? According to many studies, the top reasons are: to get what she wants, to reward herself, to commemorate a memory, and ‘just because’.

Webinar panelists explore these topics and more, providing immediate and actionable steps jewelers can take to effectively communicate with and entice modern, self-purchasing women to buy more fine jewelry. A related article also can be found here.  


Responsible Sourcing: Jewelry Industry Summit Webinar, Chicago Conference Both In October

New York, NY and Chicago, IL—Two key industry events focused on responsible sourcing are set to kick off in October. The first is a free webinar conducted by the Jewelry Industry Summit, scheduled for October 11 at noon Eastern time. Then the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference will kick off October 25 with a global speaker lineup dedicated to helping every sector of the industry supply chain implement responsible sourcing practices.

The Summit webinar, titled “Tools to Kick-Start Your Responsible Sourcing Journey,” is sponsored by Rapaport. Registration is free and open to all. It will be the first in a series of informative and timely webinars designed to support and activate businesses engaging in responsible sourcing.  The series, “Fast Forwarding Sustainability” will run throughout 2020 and provide guidance and real actions that jewelers can take to engage in sustainable practices. 

“Tools to Kick-Start Your Responsible Sourcing Journey” will provide up-to-date insights on how jewelry designers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers can set their business on a sustainable path.  Experts in field of sustainable practices will teach how to:

Panelists include:  Christina Miller, Christina T Miller Sustainable Jewelry Consulting; Fabiana Di Lorenzo, Levin Sources; and Julija Menise, CIBJO/TDI. It will be moderated by Cecilia Gardner, board chair of the Jewelry Industry Summit.  As with all events hosted by the Jewelry Industry Summit, there will be ample opportunity for input and participation by by attendees. 

Said Martin Rapaport:  "The community represented by the Jewelry Industry Summit offers practical information to allow companies to start or continue their responsible sourcing journey.  I am proud to support the Summit's efforts to make it possible for jewelry professionals to take steps to engage in more responsible business practices"  

To register for this free webinar, visit the Jewelry Industry Summit web site, or click here.

Two weeks later, the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference will offer an unprecedented gathering of leaders from the jewelry industry, government, and NGOs, all focused on creating more responsible jewelry supply chains.

Set for October 25-26 at Columbia College in Chicago, it is the only U.S. gathering—and one of only two international gatherings—that brings together members of the entire jewelry supply chain, and also engages governments, NGOs, and law-enforcement as well to discuss challenges and solutions to responsible jewelry supply chains. Now entering its third year, the CRJC has already contributed to the development of new educational, industrial, and community initiatives.

Some highlights include discussions about deforestation with writer Paul Tullis from National Geographic; a panel on the impacts of illegal gold mining, featuring the FBI, Google Earth, the Enough Project, and the U.S. State Department; an exploration of sustainable pearl mining featuring Enrique Arizmendi of Cortez Pearls; and a presentation by the chiefs of the Amazonian Paiter-Surui Tribe. The conference will also feature the US premiere of Shadow of Gold, a documentary that investigates the global gold trade from raw material to market, and explores its impact on human lives, economies, and the planet.

Breakout sessions will offer conference attendees opportunities to learn more about the Better Without Mercury initiative, future U.S. State Department guidelines on jewelry material sourcing, the Gemstones Glossary Project, and the Diamonds for Peace Project.

Preceding the conference on October 24 will be a Responsible Gem & Jewelry Boutique, with 10 gem and jewelry companies offering gemstones with clear provenance and verifiable responsible practices. The Boutique will be held at the 5 S. Wabash building, 18th floor, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. No tickets are required for this. MJSA will be providing a day of jewelry designer training, co-located with the Boutique. Tickets to that event will be available through MJSA, and will be discounted for Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference attendees.

The conference will take place at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash in Chicago. Tickets are $350 for both days, or $175 for one-day access. Special rates are available for students, and members of several jewelry industry associations have access to discounts. Press passes are available for verified members of the press. To learn more about the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, please visit the website at


IGI Head Jerry Ehrenwald Leaves To Launch Lab-Grown Diamond Exchange

New York, NY--Jerry Ehrenwald, who has headed the International Gemological Institute (IGI) since 1991, is leaving to start a trading platform for lab-grown diamonds, JCK reports. He will be succeeded at IGI by Ari Levy, a longtime manufacturer in the diamond jewelry sector.

Ehrenwald told JCK he's starting the Laboratory Grown Diamond Exchange  because “someone must be able to substantiate the true value of lab-grown diamonds.” Read more here.

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