Doing Business With Overseas Suppliers: A Primer

The U.S. jewelry industry, like so many others, has witnessed a remarkable growth in imports in the past two decades. We are now part of the global marketplace, with more than 50% of the jewelry sold here of foreign origin. It’s important to note, however, where this growth has been. The manufacturing of promotional jewelry has gone overseas because of lower labor costs. The watch category is dominated by imports, and certain generic jewelry categories, such as machine-made chain, have been taken over by Italian manufacturers because of their innovation and efficient production. But what of the well-made, better-quality jewelry you may have seen at jewelry shows in Basel, Vicenza or Hong Kong or in the foreign pavilions of U.S. shows? It doesn’t seem to end up on Main Street, in spite of retailers’ awareness that they need to show their customers “something new and different.
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