It’s 2009: Do You Know Where the Kids Are?

At the Plumb Club Forum last year, a panel of jewelry industry leaders offered their views about the most pressing issues facing this industry. Doug Hucker, executive director of AGTA, raised a point that caught the audience by surprise. There were, he pointed out, very few young people coming into this industry. This year, Jimmy West, executive director of Leading Jewelers Guild, told me about a book called The Age Curve: How to Profit From the Coming Demographic Storm, by Kenneth Gronbach. Gronbach explains why sales of various consumer products first rocketed, and then tanked. For example, had either Harley-Davidson or Levi Strauss paid more attention to demographics, they'd have known long ago that the baby boom generation, the core customers for their products, would be maturing out of the market before long, and that the Gen X customers they need to replace them are more than 1

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