How Far We’ve Come – And How Far We Haven’t

Look back over the past 100 years and ask yourself: “In all that time, has the jewelry business changed much?” The answer has to be a contradictory “Yes and no.” Consider some of the great industry issues of 1900: unfair competition from “outsiders,” lack of trained employees, phony advertising, sloppy credit control, criminal attacks on traveling salesmen, misrepresentation of product. Sound familiar? But if such issues continue to preoccupy us, they do so today with greater intensity. The “outsiders” no longer are hucksters trying to sell diamonds in beer saloons; they are major corporations such as Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, and QVC. The criminal attacks on salespeople are made with guns, not blunt instruments. The misrepresentation of product is infinitely more sophisticated – and often broadcast to consumers in a way that fosters distrust of jewelers. Of course,
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