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Attrition in the jewelry industry


#1

I am a doctoral student doing research on attrition in the jewelry
industry. Have been in the industry my whole life and was told by my
chair to do something I know. In past positions as a manager, I have
always noticed that people seem to leave or get fired more so than
other retail jobs and I want to know why. My goal is to see if there
is a relationship between job satisfaction variables such as
management, hours worked, pay etc. and if this is an indicator of
attrition. Small stores vs. Corporate. Does anyone on this list know
where I can get some stats on these items?

Thank you for all your help!
Eva


#2

Take a look at the following publications for this kind of data.
Jewelers Circular Keystone, Modern Jeweler, National Jeweler,
Professional Jeweler. I believe its Jewelers Circular Keystone that
does an annnual report on employment/industry statistics.

Ed in Kokomo


#3
In past positions as a manager, I have
always noticed that people seem to leave or get fired more so than
other retail jobs and I want to know why.

Hi Eva;

I doubt that you’re going to find many stats on such
but you might try the department of labor. This I
believe, is usually collected on a state by state basis. New York
and California, to my knowlege, have the largest pool of labor for
the jewelry industry, possibly Rhode Island too, as there is still a
lot of manufacturing there. But I’d be glad to share with you my own
experiences and my theories on this issue. Having been in the jewelry
trade over 30 years, I’ve observed a lot of practices and business
habits that I think contribute to this problem.

David L. Huffman


#4

Thank you, I will look into the Department of Labor. The other thing
I was thinking of doing as a pilot is to do a survey at the mall,
target the different stores. I am sure too if I wanted to pay I could
contact JCK or some other magazine.

But, now that you have me thinking about best practices that could
be another avenue to look at.

Thank you!
Eva


#5
    Thank you, I will look into the Department of Labor. The other
thing I was thinking of doing as a pilot is to do a survey at the
mall, 

Hi Eva;

Sorry to say this, but the mall stores are, in my opinion, going to
be the least informative sources you can find about the jewelry
industry. They are mostly chains under the umbrella of huge
conglomerates like Sterling. Some of these companies have up to 500
stores. They generally don’t hire knowledgeable people to deal
directly with customers. And you won’t get to the higher-ups. They
have layers of PR staff and management, and what their underlings
know is on a need-to-know basis. My theory is that they understand
that they have better odds at selling their inferior products with
sales people who don’t know what kind of crap they are moving.
Example: these chains were selling so many high clarity, low, low,
color diamonds that they actually drove up the wholesale prices on
VS2, J,K,L color diamonds. Ask them what the GIA grading is on this
or that diamond, and they’ll just look puzzled or suspicious. They
use razzle-dazzle halogen spots on the cases so everything is
blindingly sparkly. If you know about inventory, you will realize
that they actually don’t have much product, in dollar value, in their
cases. Usually a lot less than you’d find at a decent downtown
mom-and-pop store. The malls are just one step away from Wal Mart.
You want to know all about the real jewelry industry? Talk to the
veteran sales reps. And the people at the top levels in those big
companies are some of the worst sharks in the industry. Pay their
vendors once a year, and time their bankruptcy for the month before
the bills are due. Tell you what. Before you decide on exactly the
angle of your research, why not get a copy of a book called “Kitchen
Confidential”. It’s about chefs in the restaurant business, but it’s
the closest thing I’ve seen to describe the life of a jeweler. Might
give you some insights about why this field has it’s turnover
problems.

David L. Huffman


#6
Before you decide on exactly the angle of your research, why not
get a copy of a book called "Kitchen Confidential".  It's about
chefs in the restaurant business, but it's the closest thing I've
seen to describe the life of a jeweler.  Might give you some
insights about why this field has it's turnover problems. 

I read that book. I’d be interested in hearing you elaborate in the
commonalities between the two industries. I haven’t worked in the
industry for as long as you have.

Elaine
Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#7

Thank you for the suggestion. Fortunately, I had class today and we
all went over our projects. I have a bit more direction on getting
data, if it works will share my outcome. The one issue that came up
is that you have to compare to something. So, I would more than
likely choose a retail situation, pseudo trained staff etc. Perhaps
like the electronic industry. Tomorrow I am going to beg for data
from JCK!!! Otherwise, I will run a small study with original survey
at the mall and ask permission from the leasing manager to implement.
Fortunately, the only year out of my 30 years in jewelry was spent as
a manager for Dell at my local mall. Which by the way it is so much
easier selling computers!!!

I think a lot of turnover in our trade has to do with job
satisfaction. For example in my last position I was not compensated
for many things that I did thus I had low satisfaction and left. You
can always tell the tempo of a small store when the employees have
been there a long time. Means that yes pay is a motivator of course,
however there are other factors, like getting treated like a human
and not a disposable item.

Thanks again!
Eva