JCK magazine invites retailers to join monthly panel

JCK magazine is inviting retailers attending The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas to become part of the JCK Retail Panel. Each month, members of the JCK Retail Panel share their views with JCK editors on important topics in the jewelry industry.

Since Donald S. McNeil launched the JCK Retail Panel in 1961, it has been one of the jewelry industry’s leading barometers of statistical information about jewelry sales and business trends. The Panel survey is generated by the editors, usually with specific articles in mind. The staff-written “JCK Special Report: How Jewelers Do Business Today,” published in the August 2003 issue, was based on a Panel survey. Jennifer Heebner, senior associate editor, has used Panel data consistently for her Business Report, specifically “Jewelers & Buying Groups” in June 2004, and her feature article “Bad Business” in May 2004.

Senior editor William George Shuster used Panel data when writing “Who Ya Gonna Call? Stress Busters!” published in October 2003, as well as “Watches! Who Needs ‘Em?” which appeared in March 2004, and “Store Branding: A ‘Private’ Matter” for the May 2004 issue.

Information for the JCK salary survey report, published each year in the magazine’s November issue, comes directly from the Retail Panel. The findings from this annual survey have become the industry benchmark because no one in the industry or the government reports this important information. Not only do members of the industry rely on Panel data to make business decisions but JCK also gets frequent requests for Panel information from banks, business analysts, the general media, various advertising and marketing agencies, and the government.

The Retail Panel works like this: Panelists receive a short questionnaire, only two single pages, each month. It typically asks a few questions about two to four business topics. Panelists are not required to respond to every poll or even every question on a survey. JCK calculates statistics from the number of responses received to each question, so panelists are never pestered with phone calls.

JCK Retail Panel members know that their voices help identify industry standards and they find the experience to be interesting and thought provoking. Panelists also get to see how their responses compare to their colleagues’ responses. Panelists may remove their names at any time and are guaranteed anonymity. Unless a Panelist volunteers to allow his or her name to be used (by supplying the name in a space provided on each questionnaire), their identities remain unknown and their names don’t appear in print. Their answers are simply calculated in with hundreds of others to add to the Panel’s statistical validity. Of course, many Panelists enjoy being quoted in stories that appear in JCK.

Any retailer interested in signing up for the panel may simply drop a business card at either of the JCK booths or they can e-mail assistant editor Barbara Wenger at bwenger@reedbusiness.com or call (610) 205-1132.