Buyer Up: Caution Prevails at the Counter

Things are looking up in the ­jewelry business…at least that’s what the economic indicators would have you believe. Declining personal debt levels, a rising stock market, and nationwide salary gains prove that the country is enjoying a noticeable, if modest, recovery. But many store owners wonder: Is the economy’s buoyancy just the calm before the next fiscal storm?  As they set out on the 2011 trade-show circuit, many jewelers say they are thinking twice before they make pricey purchases—because an excess of expensive goods is precisely what got them into hot water last year. Mark Enix, owner of Fountain City ­Jewelers in Knoxville, Tenn., was one retailer who got burned. “I thought 2010 was going to be the year things turned around, so I bought a lot of high-end merchandise,” Enix says. “That decision bit me in the butt last year, and I’m paying for it now.” Re

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