JCK’s Annual Salary + Operations Survey

Key Findings

  • Among retailers who responded to the survey, approximately two-thirds own one store. As a whole, respondents’ companies operate an average of two stores.

  • Roughly half of respondents said their companies had no staff turnover in 2008. However, 47 percent reported their companies had either layoffs or a hiring freeze in the past year.

  • Average base salaries have gradually decreased from $72,400 in 2006 to $70,854 in 2007 to $63,793 in 2008. Between 2006 and 2008, salaries decreased 12 percent.

  • Consistent with previous years, having sufficient operating budgets is the leading concern for one-third of respondents. Other top business concerns include job security and keeping up with technology.

  • Not surprisingly, with few staff, respondents are working longer hours than in the past. However, two-thirds still say they are extremely or very satisfied with their jobs, mainly because they are passionate about the jewelry business. Job satisfaction remains high, with 68 percent reporting "extremely" or "very satisfied" and 23 percent reporting "somewhat satisfied."

  • On the operations side, about 7 in 10 respondents reported hosting at least one annual sale (70 percent) or in-store event (71 percent). Another two-thirds (63 percent) reported a decrease in midyear sales for 2009 compared with midyear sales the previous year. Just 21 percent reported midyear sales were up compared with last year.

Methodology The online survey took place Sept. 3–15, 2009, with 14,000 e-mails sent to JCK readers, Retail Panelists, and e-newsletter subscribers. Results are based on 404 responses from retailers.

U.S. Retail Jewelers by Number of Stores Owned
[2006–2008]

No. of Stores 2006 2007 2008
Note: Jewelers owned, on average, two stores all three years.
1 67% 66% 69%
2–5 13% 6% 13%
6+ 20% 19% 18%

U.S. Retail Jewelers by Annual Revenue

Annual Revenue % of Respondents
Note: Does not add up to 100% because of rounding
&$100,000 9%
$100,000–$299,999 10%
$300,000–$699,999 17%
$700,000–$999,999 10%
$1 million–$1.9 million 15%
$2 million–$4.9 million 12%
$5 million+ 26%

Average Annual Jewelry-Related Sales
[2006–2008]

2008 $3.857M
2007 $4.207M
2006 $2.654M

Median Number of Employees

2008 7
2007 8
2006 9

U.S. Retail Jewelers by Number of Employees

No. of Employees % of Respondents
Note: Does not add up to 100% because of rounding
1–5 43%
6–20 31%
21–100 7%
100+ 18%

Percentage of Jewelers Who Implemented Staffing Changes
[2008]

Change % of Respondents
Note: Adds up to 110% because respondents were not limited to one answer. Some companies with a hiring freeze also had layoffs.
Layoffs 29%
Hiring Freeze 20%
Add Staff 10%
No Change 49%
Not sure 2%

Respondents by Job Title
[2006–2008]

Job Title 2006 2007 2008
Note: May not add up to 100% because of rounding
Total, Senior Management 60% 64% 62%
Owner/Partner 47% 51% 51%
Chairman/CEO/COO/President 9% 8% 6%
Executive (SVP, VP, other C-level exec.) 4% 5% 6%
Director/Manager/Supervisor 13% 12% 16%
Marketing/Sales 7% 6% 7%
Buyer 5% 5% 4%
Gemologist/Appraiser 3% 3% 3%
Designer 2% 2% 2%
Office administrative 1% 1% 1%
Treasurer/Controller/Bookkeeper/Accountant 1% 2% 2%
Other 6% 5% 1%

Biggest Wish for Store

1) Education for staff
2) CAD-CAM system
3) New show cases and/or displays
4) Store renovation

Number of Hours Worked per Week
[2006–2008]

    % of Respondents  
No. of Hours 2006 2007 2008
&40 13% 15% 12%
40–49 43% 42% 43%
50–59 28% 26% 27%
60+ 16% 17% 19%
Average 47 hrs 47 hrs 48 hrs

Change in Number of Hours Worked Over 12-Month Period
[2006–2008]

    % of Respondents  
Change in Hours 2006 2007 2008*
Note: Does not add up to 100% because of rounding
Increased 20% 21% 24%
Unchanged 70% 70% 63%
Decreased 10% 9% 12%

Average Compensation Across All Job Titles
[2006–2008]

Type of Compensation 2006 2007 2008
Base Salary $72,400 $70,854 $63,793
Bonus $11,805 $4,715 $4,718
Commission $3,032 $2,023 $3,371
Other $11,346 $5,458 $5,178
Total $97,044 $83,050 $77,060

Benefits Offered
[2006–2008]

    Percentage of Respondents  
Benefit 2006 2007 2008
Note: Respondents could select more than one benefit.
Paid vacation 86% 86% 84%
Paid sick days 71% 67% 66%
Medical insurance 77% 76% 72%
Dental insurance 40% 34% 37%
Merchandise discounts 82% 81% 78%
401k plan 44% 45% 40%
Life insurance 39% 35% 33%
Financial support for education 44% 41% 36%
Disability insurance 31% 28% 30%
Paid maternity leave 20% 15% 18%
Pension plan 17% 14% 12%
Other 13% 10% 4%

Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction
[2006–2008]

    % of Respondents  
Factor 2006 2007 2008
Feeling of accomplishment 50% 56% 53%
Relationship with customers 36% 43% 36%
Flexible time/hours 30% 29% 29%
Company’s financial stability 28% 26% 28%
Salary 27% 17% 22%
Relationship with colleagues 22% 24% 24%
Job security 22% 20% 22%
Feeling of recognition 19% 19% 15%
Benefits 15% 16% 17%
Advancement opportunities 10% 8% 7%
Travel 9% 11% 8%
Managing people 5% 8% 6%
Workload 4% 5% 5%
Satisfaction of owning business 5% 3%
Tuition reimbursement 1% 1%
Other 7% 2% 2%

Specific Job Concerns
[2006–2008]

    % of Respondents  
Concerns 2006 2007 2008
Sufficient operating budget 32% 33% 35%
Keeping current with technology 18% 17% 13%
Management support 13% 6% 6%
Job security 9% 12% 16%
Salary 11% 13%
Lack of training/education 7% 2% 5%
Impact of economy 5% 4%
Company merger/acquisition 4% 2% 3%
Outsourcing 3% 2% 2%
Other 14% 10% 4%

Job Satisfaction
[2006–2008]

    % of Respondents  
Level of satisfaction 2006 2007 2008
Extremely satisfied 33% 28% 27%
Very satisfied 36% 38% 41%
Somewhat satisfied 24% 24% 23%
Not satisfied 7% 10% 9%

Annual Number of Sales Held by Jewelers

No. Sales % of Respondents
1 22%
2–3 28%
4–5 9%
5+ 11%
None 30%
Average no. of sales: 2

Annual Number of In-store Events Held by Jewelers

No. Events % of Respondents
1 10%
2–3 27%
4–5 15%
5+ 19%
None 29%
Average no. of events: 2.5

Sales Increases vs. Declines
[June 2008–June 2009]

Change % of Respondents
Increase 21%
Unchanged 10%
Decline 63%
Don’t Know 6%

Sales Increases
[June 2008–June 2009]

% Increase % of Respondents
1–5% 42%
6–10% 31%
11–15% 12%
15%+ 15%
Average sales increase: 8%

Sales Declines
[June 2008–June 2009]

% Decline % of Respondents
1–5% 4%
6–10% 20%
11–15% 23%
15%+ 53%
Average sales decrease: 14%

Number of Customers That Leave Store Without Buying, per Day

Number % of Respondents
None 5%
1–3 38%
4–6 29%
7–10 12%
10+ 16%
Average no. of customers: 5