There is an interesting piece in Conde Nast Portfolio, interviewing retail CEOs and economists on when they think the recovery will come … Answers range from “we’re in it now” to “a couple of years” to “who knows?” Clearly at this point things seems to be stabilizing, and consumer confidence is increasing. Whatever happens, our industry has a ways to go, and it is still a tough environment. For those of us who aren’t independent jewelers, I recommend Shanu’s recent post, which gives a snapshot of what life is like for many in these trying times.
On a brighter note, I am hearing that there was a suprisingly upbeat mood at AGS – in spite of attendance being, not surprisingly, down. And there are encouraging reports from the latest DTC sights and BHP tender …even the DTC’s “second-week sight” may have done okay. There is also talk of some speculation in the market, as rough grows more and more scarce. So things are definitely waking up.
And here’s the news:
Ultra goes Chapter 11.
– Affadavit with creditor list.
– Troubles at Filene’s Basement, where Ultra runs leased departments.
Beryl Raff replaces Beasley at Helzberg’s.
– Buffett, one month ago: “Our jewelry stores just get killed in a period like this.”
JC Penney: Jewelry has “weakest sales results.”
BA Ballou reopens.
Online sales keep growing.
– Retail foot traffic predicted to fall.
– Retailers try to hold prices down.
More on Finlay and Zale.
– Zale stock “at bargain price.”
– Zale manager claims axed for health issues.
Michael Hill envisions 800 store chain. (!)
De Beers: “We’re still profitable.”
– Sights improve.
– Overall sales will fall 50%..
– Analyst: Anglo’s De Beers stake “worthless.”
De Beers opens Canadian factory.
Rio not sure when Argyle will restart.
EGL has new “certain” HPHT identification method.
Bijou sues Kohl over jewelry line.
– Tacori wins lawsuit.
Guilty plea in Diamond District heist scheme.
Diamonds “steal show” at Sotheby’s.
From India: Industry “beginning to turn around.”
– Mark Boston: Is the worst over?
– Ratings on Indian diamond companies cut.
Harry Winston: Market has reached a “plateau.”
Blue Nile downgraded by Citigroup.
Tiffany CEO cuts compensation (good to see), still does well.
– Costco, other retailers avoid layoffs. Also, good for them.
Signet financial presentation.
– Austin and Warburton in Ann Arbour. (going on web)
Obama stumped on “conflict diamond” question.
– Flashback: John Edwards stumped too.
– New book has chapter on diamond resources.
The latest addition to the “blood” family .. “blood emeralds.”
GIA on Pink Panther DVD.
– Recalled Polariscope.
Palmieri finalizes GCAL acquisition.
Diamonds from outer space?
Another jewelry from the toilet story.
Ladies and gentlemen .. .meat jewelry!
– Columbus Dispatch on security threats for jewelers.
– Economist Intelligence Unit on Zimbabwe diamonds.
– Syndicated feature about a “not-right” ring.
– Hartford Courant on jewelers’ “big events.” (Includes material from last’s week Washington Post article.)
– The Consumerist asks for diamond buying suggestions. The comments are about what you’d expect.
Have a great weekend, and for all who celebrate, happy Passover and Easter …
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