Retirement Plans for Employees

Do you offer any kind of retirement savings program for your employees?

Yes 54.4%
No 45.6%
If so, detail all that apply:
401(k) 46%
Profit sharing 25%
IRA 25%
Pension 9.7%
Stock purchase plan 1.6%
Simplified employee pension 3.2%

What limits, if any, do you place on participation?

Must work for designated period of time to be eligible to join 81.2%
Three months 12.6%
Six months 13.7%
One year 41.1%
1½ years 1%
Two years 10.5%
Three years 7.4%
Five years 1%

Offered to full-time employees only: 63.3%

What percentage of your employees participate?: 90% (median response)

Offered only to certain levels of employees (i.e., management, sales, etc.): 4.3%

Source: September 2003 JCK Monthly Retail Panel with a 36% response rate—236 responses were received out of 683 sent; the universe of fine jewelers in the U.S. is 25,000, according to the Jewelers’ Board of Trade.
Must work for designated period of time to become vested 47.9%
Six months 3.6%
One year 8.9%
Two years 8.9%
Three years 17.9%
Five years 28.6%
Six years 3.6%
Seven years 5.4%
10 years 1.8%

Employee-Free Stores

More jewelers are running stores without hired help. According to U.S. Census Bureau Nonemployer Statistics* (data on businesses that operate without payroll and are subject to federal tax) there has been a small but consistent rise in the number of jewelry-only stores that fall into the “no employee” category. In 1999, 23,175 jewelry-only nonemployer shops existed; that figure rose to 23,301 the following year, and grew to 24,291 in 2001.

* To be counted among the nonemployer ranks, stores must have no paid employment or payroll, have receipts of $1,000 or more, according to the government.

Type of Jewelry-only Store Number Receipts
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
1999 Nonemployer Statistics
Individual proprietorships 20,406 $1,092,940
Corporations 1,893 $218,412
Partnerships 876 $94,593
Total 23,175 $1,405,945
2000 Nonemployer Statistics
Individual proprietorships 20,577 $1,099,268
Corporations 1,895 $227,120
Partnerships 829 $89,703
Total 23,301 $1,416,091
2001 Nonemployer Statistics
Individual proprietorships 21,305 $1,074,278
Corporations 2,081 $250,850
Partnerships 905 $93,981
Total 24,291 $1,419,109

These jewelry stores reveal a growing and important segment—the self-employed. With 28,336 jewelry-only businesses in the United States, according to the Census Bureau’s most recent figures (from 1997), nonemployers account for the bulk of jewelry-only businesses in operation.

The nonemployer trend isn’t exclusive to jewelry: In 1992, some 14 million nonemployer retail establishments existed in the United States, and five years later that number had risen to 17 million.

However, nonemployers account for only a fraction of jewelry sales in this country. In 2001, receipts for this group totaled slightly more than $1.4 billion, while sales at jewelry-only establishments with paid employees was $22.8 billion.