Diamonds and the Internet

The sale of diamonds over the Internet is a topic retail jewelers need to address, because it isn't going away. Blue Nile and Amazon have made big splashes in the business media with their assessment of the opportunity that "high-margin" retail-jewelry business offers. Retail jewelers have taken a defensive position with regard to Internet sellers, assuming that these heirs to the "dot-com bomb" (see "Jewelry Dot-Bombs," JCK, April 2001, p. 92) will conclude the same way. Some have ignored the threat; others have threatened suppliers who provide product to Internet sellers. Both tactics ignore primary, significant advantages retail jewelers have: assortment, selection, personal knowledge, community standing, and trust. To compete against the Blue Niles and Amazons of the world, those advantages need to be leveraged and communicated to frontline sales personnel. Sales-staff training i

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