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Cutting Remarks

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The annual 24 Karat Weekend is a great way to take the industry’s temperature after the holiday. This year, holiday results appear to be all over the map—some independents did great; others recorded a 1 to 2 percent gain, which has become standard for many since the recession. In a surprise,...

Rob Bates | January 18, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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 This week: More store closings at J.C. Penney. Magic Johnson sues his jeweler. What it’s like to wear diamond headphones. All below.   Richline Group acquires The Aaron Group.   Signet’s holiday comps sink. - Should Signet have purchased Zale?   Birks’ U.S...

Rob Bates | January 13, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Today, you can rent just about anything: accommodations (Airbnb), clothes (Rent the Runway), purses (Bag Borrow or Steal), and even boats (Boatbound). But when luxury exec Randy Brandoff investigated, he found no service that lets you borrow luxury watches. “When I saw it was not available,” he...

Rob Bates | January 13, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Through all of Signet’s recent troubles, management continues to point to its 2014 purchase of then-competitor Zale Corp. as a bright spot. On its November 2016 earnings call, it touted and raised expectations for synergies stemming from the deal. “We still feel very good about the trend...

Rob Bates | January 11, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: Five predictions for retail for the year ahead. How the watch industry could enjoy a “smartwatch boom.” And the ring that “brands” men. All below.   National Jeweler: Jewelers report having best season in years. - The Centurion: Luxury watch jewelers have strong finish...

Rob Bates | January 6, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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When Evan Smith talks about the deep Earth, he makes it clear he is talking about the deep Earth—way underground, beneath the tectonic plates, below where any human has traveled, as “far under our feet as the International Space Station is above our head,” in the words of NPR. “...

Rob Bates | January 6, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Just as it seemed like an unprecedented number of celebrities died in 2016 (though that’s debatable), it sure felt like last year was the worst one ever for jewelers closing up shop. So far, the total stands at 981 jewelry business closures for the first three quarters of the year. Barring a...

Rob Bates | January 4, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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As I have for the past four years, I would like to once again celebrate the ingenuity and creativity that still lives in our industry. This year, we have a striking collection of funny, bittersweet, and, in a few cases, hard-to-believe jewelry promotions (and you may not believe who takes the...

Rob Bates | December 29, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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As I have done for the past two years, I am spotlighting my favorite writing on jewelry and our industry of 2016 that did not appear on this website.   And once again, let me apologize in advance for leaving out many excellent pieces and writers from this roundup. We are all...

Rob Bates | December 23, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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This is my final roundup of 2016. Wishing all my readers a wonderful holiday season, and a happy and healthy new year.   This week: Can the new design director save Tiffany & Co.? Looking back at a tough watch year. The German town embedded with tiny...

Rob Bates | December 23, 2016 | Cutting Remarks
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