Channel Shift and Channel Conflict

Jewelry retailers have been agonizing and arguing over the changes being wrought in our industry for 20 or more years. Mostly, they have cast aspersions on new channels and felt vindicated when those business models or channels they didn't approve of disappeared. Avon no longer sells jewelry door-to-door, and it is hard to believe that it owned Tiffany for five years before selling America's most famous jewelry brand just 23 years ago. It was then barely making 5 percent operating profit on sales of about $100 million. Regional wholesalers have disappeared, as have countless better-quality department stores. Many high-end independent stores were bought by Zale and ultimately homogenized into the Bailey Banks & Biddle division. Now that division is far smaller than the sum of all those acquisitions. Most memorable is the disappearance of the catalog showroom industry. I vividly re

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