Holiday Outlook: Great Expectations or Hard Times?

Anxiety over terrorist threats, mixed reports about consumer confidence, and wild gyrations in the stock markets are making holiday-season planning a difficult proposition for many jewelers. Nevertheless, at least one expert is optimistic about the coming holiday season. "The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that jewelry store sales through April 2002 are up 1.7% over the previous year," says Pam Danziger, owner of Unity Marketing, a market research and consulting firm in Stevens, Pa. "That may not sound like a big increase, but when you consider that the first quarter of 2001 started off with a bang, up nearly 6% over 2000, you can see that the retail jewelry market, especially jewelry stores, are coming out of this economic slump stronger than ever." Danziger's optimism is tempered with a modicum of caution: "You just don't know. If there's another terrorist attack, t

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