For Jewelers, Not a Happy Holiday

Although holiday 2000 had some bright spots-mainly at upscale, independent jewelers-most jewelers told JCK the season's sales were disappointing. Many have merchandise left and don't plan to do much buying in the first half of 2001. But, while holiday sales were down, most jewelers say sales weren't dismal, and they remain optimistic about 2001. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, which tracked sales in a variety of product categories between Nov. 24 and Dec. 24, jewelry sales were down 3.6% from last year's figures. (Apparel sales were up 3%, and furniture and home furnishings were up 1.9%, but music, video, and home entertainment sales dropped 6.3%.) "The traffic is there, but people are spending less per item than the previous two years," says Michael Jurado, owner of Hoover's Jewelry in North Pratt, Neb. "Of course, the last two Decembers were record Decem

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