Help for the Holidays

According to one piece of Post-It Note wisdom, "If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done." But if retail jewelers wait till the last minute to hire extra help for the holidays, they're asking for trouble, says veteran retail jeweler and teacher David Peters, director of education for Jewelers of America. "Circumstances force them to do things they wouldn't normally do, to cut corners in hiring and make bad decisions," he says. "Others bite the bullet and, instead of adding help, will work themselves to death." Another obstacle to hiring seasonal help is competition from other businesses. Salaries offered by the lower end of the service industry—such as convenience stores and fast-food outlets—in recent years have risen more sharply, in terms of percentage, than have those of mid-market or luxury retailers. Some major retailers and firms offer almost double the

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