By Michelle Graff
New York--Recently released data from the Jewelers Board of Trade shows that for the third quarter in a row, fewer jewelers closed their doors.

The JBT’s statistics and trend data for Q3 2017 shows that in the United States, 146 jewelers ceased operations, down from 313 in the third quarter 2016.

There were also 22 retailers that consolidated via a sale or merger and six that filed for bankruptcy, bringing the grand total of what the JBT classifies as business discontinuances to 174 for Q3. That is a 38 percent decline from the third quarter 2016, when discontinuances totaled 327.

Counting wholesalers and manufacturers, the grand total for jewelry businesses ceasing operations, bankruptcies and sales/mergers in the U.S. in Q3 was 228, down from 416 last year.

Including Canada, the number of business discontinuances among jewelers, wholesalers and manufacturers in Q3 totaled 236, down from 426 in Q3 2016.

This is the third quarter in a row that the JBT’s data has shown an abatement in the number of store closures year-over-year, though, as JBT President Anthony Capuano pointed out in the beginning of the year, “the trend is still for there to be fewer jewelry companies.”

The number of businesses closing for one reason or another might be coming down from the high levels recorded last year, but the number of new businesses continues to decline too.

New business listings in the U.S. were down 49 percent to a “staggering” 111 year-to-date, the JBT said. The bulk of those (93) were retailers, with only 10 and eight new entities in wholesale and manufacturing, respectively.

Total listings for the U.S. jewelry industry were down 5 percent, from 27,479 to 26,246. Including Canada, total listings have declined 4 percent year-over-year, from 28,743 to 27,492.

The JBT issued its Q3 report last Tuesday.

In its weekly alert sent out Friday, the organization announced that Capuano, who took over for the retiring Dione Kenyon in August 2016, will be on medical leave through the end of the year.

Immediate past Chairman Richard Weisenfeld will serve as interim president in Capuano’s absence.

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