Diamond Shavings: Your Friday Web Roundup

Well, Christmas seems worse than expected – which is no mean feat considering how low expectations were. There are a lot of rumors flying around and companies seemingly in trouble. But I’m also hearing that a lot of the talked-about-names may muddle through, since keeping people afloat is in everyone’s best interest.  

 

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys the big industry (24 Karat) weekend. Here’s my advice: Don’t think about the industry!

And now, for all you masochists, here’s what’s going on …

 

The Bottom Falls Out: Crappy New Year!

– Signet holiday same store down 16%.

– Zale same store sales down 19.6%

– Finlay holiday sales down 23%.

 

Forecast: “Unprecedented” drops at Blue Nile, Tiffany.

 

Ultra plans to close stores, suspend some payments.

 

Mall vacancies at 10 year high.

– Retailers renegotiate with landlords.

 

Will customers ever pay full price again?

– Stores cut prices early.

– Retailers “at war with customers.”

 

Layoffs at JTV and ShopNBC.

 

Gottschalks on the verge

– Macy’s to close 11 stores.

 

Chaim on the crisis.

 

Optimism Corner:

– Forecaster predicts “Best Christmas ever” in 09.

– Another  predicts “turnaround.”

– Jewelers wonder if Obama will help.

 

Interview with Christian Bernard trustee.

 

Chuck Lein retires at Stuller.

 

MJSA appoints new head.

 

GLG on Zale.

– Gassman on Harry Winston.

 

47th Street robbery on New Year’s Eve.

Video of robbers.

 
Macau “weak.”

Diamond “cartel meltdown”?

 

Indian diamanataires happy with Rio mine.

 

Rajesh Exports: Demand will stay low.

 

“Roster dispute” at Element Six.

Israel polished exports down 11%.

 

Leviev wants to build large Vegas hotel.

– In fight over Apthorp.

“Insider theft” at Shreve, Crump and Low.

Jewelers Opening: A Jared in Utah.

Jewelry still sparkles in Egypt.
– Gold down, diamonds strong in Turkey.

 

Owen Wilson’s watch saved by watches. Or something.

 

Scarlett Johanson “squealed with delight” over ring.

 

Coming soon: The Bernie Madoff jewelry collection.

– The New Yorker on jewelry pawned by Madoff victims.

 

Media Watch:

– Business Week does a De Beers case study and talks to Gareth Penny.

WWD on the diamond industry’s problems in Africa. (Subscription)

The New York Times on the Antwerp diamond sector.

Sunday Telegraph on Laurence Graff.

LA Weekly visits a local exhibit.

 

From the Blog:

Ultra Letter to Vendors..

Interview with Christian Bernard Trustee.

 

Have a great weekend …

JCK News Director